A Beautiful December Day

We have another beautiful December day.  Clear skies.  61F.  Hard to believe we are just into winter.

Our Virginia winters are mild.  Last year we had a very cold spell.  Some snow.  The cold killed a few exquisite rosemary bushes.  Not mine.  I've never been able to get rosemary to grow, though I have a sage plant that is many years old.

I woke up in the wee hours of Christmas morning with a sore throat.  It has blossomed into something not so nice.  So I am laying low, enjoying the view of the day from the sofa--and an occasional jaunt outside, that reminds me that I don't feel so hot.

My back end is still bothering me.  I went to the doctor.  No xray, but he pressed hither and yon on my back and said that my hip flexor is hurt.  Walk.  No running.  As Christmas Eve day proved, standing all day isn't a great idea either.  The only good thing about this gunk that I have (rather widespread....and my son was sick, though I don't feel that I breathe the same air with him enough to have caught it), is that I'm not feeling so energetic.  Today is the worst day:  dull headache, burning throat, dry cough with burning lungs. It could be far worse. I finally learned after years of 'pushing through' illnesses (which meant that I worked no matter what), that all I really accomplished is exposing folks to my illness and staying sicker longer than necessary because I failed to rest.

I actually think that I caught this from the sneezing, wheezing woman a the salvage store who I let go ahead of me.  I had a cart full...she was empty-handed which meant that she wanted cigarettes.  If she had stayed behind me, I would not have passed through shared airspace.  No good deed.....

I'm well enough to do a few things in moderation.  Make the dog's food.  Make dinner.  Last evening I made dolma.  I used the recipe in the Armenian cookbook that I have from our local Armenian church.  (I do not attend).  I followed the directions exactly, but it did not taste anywhere near as good as what my Nana used to make.  Oh how I wished I had her recipe. 

My kitchen gremlins, Ella and Angel were on hand.  I gave them a taste of the cabbage leaf that I had mangled.  Eagerly accepted by both and eagerly awaited for more.

I served them with a mixture of rice and red lentils that I had fixed for the dogs' food (to mix with raw meat).  I chopped some red onion and put it in some butter in a fry pan.  I also added some egg noodles to brown. Once the onion was softened and the noodles browned, I added some Minor's chicken base and water.  I then spooned in some of the rice/lentil mixture.  It was very very good.

I'll work on perfecting that dish....it was still good, but the dish tasted bland...lacking in vibrancy that I remember from my childhood. Just as there are a hundred recipes for apple pie, finding the right balance of flavors is a cook's treasure hunt.  And it is also a personal 'thing' as taste preferences are just that, preferences.  I'll punch up and deepen the flavors of this recipe, to include some internet searches.


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