Quick is a Relative Term

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​A very quick note about the next two posts. The timing is a bit off. They were both supposed to post late last week or very early this week. Unfortunately, I had my yearly physical on Monday, and it was deemed that I receive a pneumococcal pneumonia (not sure if that’s redundant) vaccine. Which hurt. A lot. But I was fine. On Tuesday, I was tired, but I went to morning mass and then grocery shopping. By the time I came home from grocery shopping, I couldn’t lift my arm higher than my chest. I started feeling very warm, but then I was cold. By dinnertime, I was definitely ill. Fever, aches, ear ringing. I spent two full days in my pajamas drifting from bed to sofa and back again. I’m still not all the way well, but the fever’s been gone for days, the aches are tolerable and going, my ears are still ringing, but that is somewhat “normal” although not usually quite this loud. I was able to lift my arm higher so I was able to shower and that makes me feel more human, so I did get out of the house and do a couple of errands and made some phone calls that I had put off.

I’ve been told by friends who know (medical people) that this is most likely NOT a vaccine reaction. Live vaccines, like this one and the flu one sometimes make us sick. I’ve come to expect it with the flu vaccine. Good news: if all goes well, I won’t need a booster until I’m 65.

It is also precious little sacrifice for the immunity it will give me and those around me because the last thing I want is for them (and me) to receive life-threatening, yet preventable diseases.

I hope to get back on track this week, slowly, but there’s so much to do – Lent to prepare for, St. Patrick’s Day, retreat, interfaith dinner, Captain Marvel, my daughter’s musical, memoir workshops, and art, so it’s probably time to begin.

Holiday Food

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Food makes the world go round. When we travel, the first thing we do when we get off the airplane or park the car is to find somewhere to eat. I know we’re always looking for that perfect, quintessential local food that we can instagram and taste, and talk about when we get home. Maybe that’s just me.

The holidays are also a time of food; not always trying new things, but having the old things – the things of our childhoods, of our in-laws, of that Pinterest thread that we’ve been promising ourselves we would eventually try.

Here are a few of mine:

1. Candy canes for Christmas and Gelt (chocolate gold-wrappered coins) for Chanukah.

2. Latkes. Confessional time: I make latkes more during Passover than I do during Chanukah. Passover has an overabundance of potatoes, and by  mid-week, it gets a little tiring, although celebrating our Exodus from slavery is never old.

3. French Toast. I happen to make the best French toast. Plain, unadulderated, egg, milk, white bread with butter and Aunt Jemima syrup. Mmm. On occasion I will make a French toast casserole that needs to refrigerate overnight, and then bake in the morning, and that is also amazing, but I think that has less to do with me than with easy French toast on a weekday morning!

4. Green bean casserole. Yes, the Kraft one. Or is the recipe from DelMonte? I think the recipe calls for milk, but my mother never used milk to keep it somewhat kosher-like. Again, simple: 2 cans of French-style green beans, drained, mixed with one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, mixed with half a container of French’s fried onions and baked for 30-35 minutes on 350. Sprinkle the fried onions on top, and bake for another 5 minutes or so. Voila!

5. Orange Marmalade. I’m not sure why I think of orange marmalade at Christmas time. Possibly because my mother-in-law is British/Irish and that’s a very British food to have during Christmas (or any tea time) with scones or English muffins or biscuits.
What are your holiday favorites that you really miss or can’t live without?