Under the weather.

I woke up under the weather. It was grey and raining, and I had a headache and that thing where your body says “Hey there, you better rest and take care of yourself or I’m going to make you miserable. Oh yes, you think I’m teasing you, just you wait.” I’m really, really hoping that I can shrug this before it turns into something. I’ve been resting and taking hippy remedies (spoonful of cider vinegar here and there, and crossing my fingers). In lieu of a photo of myself unwell, here is my friend Oso. This is what the morning looked like.

Very little work, movement, or life happened in the morning.

In the afternoon, I went to my kitchen to fix myself lunch. But first I set about on a little project – Nom Nom Paleo’s Magic Mushroom Powder. It’s a wonderful salt mix with porcini mushrooms and special spices, that makes things taste… magical!

I ground up a bag of dried porcini mushrooms in my spice grinder (a.k.a. coffee grinder, I swear I wash it in between uses). Then I added the special spices, and salt.

Mixed it all up, and voila! This stuff is going right next to my salt collection, and I’ll be putting it on almost everything. Chicken, pork, fish, in stews – it’s the perfect spice mix to add that umami flavor to your dishes.

I won’t post the recipe because it’s not my own to post, but you can find it on her awesome iPad app! Highly recommend it.

For lunch, I made a bowl of pork, pumpkin, and greens soup. It seemed very Southern. You may have noticed that I like soups, and I try to make them as often as possible because soup is one of the best ways to get in your nutrients, and hydrate yourself. Rather than making a big pot of soup, I can put together quick soups nearly any day of the week at lunch using a basic method that usually works.

Super basic soup for 1 or 2:

1. Season 3-6 ounces of meat with salt and pepper. Cook in a little bit of fat on the stove, until the meat is cooked through. (Or heat up some leftover meat.) Chicken, pork, cubed meat or ground all work fine. (Today I used some fresh ham with marrow bone.)

2. Add 1-2 cups of vegetables of your choice. I’ll usually use some greens (even mixed frozen greens), leftover roasted vegetables, and whatever is seasonal. (Today was a combination of greens and cooked mashed pumpkin.)

3. Top with just enough liquid to cover. You can use chicken or beef stock, or even just water! (I used water.) Season with a pinch of salt and taste. I usually like it just slightly less salty than I’d like the finished soup to be. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer for 20-40 minutes, until your vegetables are tender, and a little longer if the flavors need to meld more.

4. Take off the heat, and gild the lily. Swirl with a little olive oil, a squirt of lemon juice if it needs a little acid, a spoonful of pesto or a grating of cheese.

In the late afternoon, I had a snack: some cooked butternut squash topped with walnuts, cinnamon and coconut butter.

Before dinner, I decided to take a very short walk to air myself out. Just for half an hour, and it felt good being outside. By dinner time, I was exhausted, so I made my best last minute comfort food “Faux-Shakshuka”. Shakshuka is a wonderful Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce, usually with peppers and onions. For this dinner I opened a can of Rao’s Marinara, dumped in three eggs, and that was it. No apologies, it’s pretty much the best quick meal on the planet.

After dinner I had about a cup of pineapple, and was asleep by 10pm. Because I’m an old lady. Crossing my fingers that this’ll go away soon!

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