“Curiouser and curiouser”, said Alice. Life, for me at least, is always a bit curiouser. That, perhaps, is what I enjoy most about it. No two days exactly alike, and even if one wakes up in their own bed one morning one never knows where life might find their head pillowed the following day. The day before yesterday was a perfect example of such a line of thought.
It was warm outside, but not as warm as in the past few weeks. Hummingbirds still circled the little red feeder hanging on the deck, but their visits, as with each year around this time, are far less frequent and the nectar disappearing at a slower rate.
Busy with, for lack of a better description, busy work, the day passed quickly. Nothing in particular planned for dinner I pulled a package of bacon from the deli bin and sliced up some of the lovely vine ripened tomatoes I’d picked up at the Farmer’s Market while I was in town. BLT’s on artisan bread accompanied by a steaming bowl of tomato bisque, a tomato lover’s entrée extraordinaire.
After dinner, dishes tucked in the dishwasher we heated up some chocolate chip cookies in the microwave and settled down on the couch to catch a show on the tube, an activity sure to lower my eyelids before the credits are through.
Not a fast foodie, earlier in the day while in town I had an urge to pull through a local drive-thru. I ordered a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. It took all day and most of the early evening for my sandwich to decide to announce its presence in my digestive system. When it did, it didn’t hold back. Who knew one egg, a sausage patty, a slice of processed cheese tucked between a sesame seed bun could be capable of packing such an incredible wallop. My eyes opened to find my body under full attack and alarms going off in all corners. Oh-oh.
It came on so suddenly and so unexpectedly that before I knew it all systems were go and I didn’t know whether to sit, kneel, pray or do all three concurrently. What a night. After six hours I ended up in the local emergency room where I was handed a plastic bag by the admitting nurse and asked to sit in the waiting room while she processed the lady before me busy coughing up a lung. At this point, my hair was standing straight up on top of my head from Rick wiping my face giving me the look of an aging punk rocker. Leaving the house in a hurry, I was wearing socks decorated with colorful balloons, green pj bottoms with orange birds, a mismatched top, but then what would possibly go with such an ensemble, and a hoodie. Sitting there in a chair losing the rest of my internals I’m sure I passed nearly unnoticed. It reminded me of the time I had to take my mother to the ER in the wee hours after a Halloween party. I had used a marker to make a cat’s face that didn’t come off with soap and water as I’d anticipated. Although no longer dragging my tail or twitching my ears, I was wearing a perpetual kitty cat grin, to match my nose and whiskers. This, as you might imagine, made getting across a serious message about getting my mother into a room to an uncooperative nurse somewhat of an uphill battle. To make matters worse there were three inebriated college kids, one with a bloody arm, who insisted on meowing at me every time I passed by.
The other night, thankfully, they did find me a room in spit-spot time (no pun intended) so I could suffer my humiliation privately. After being checked out by a medical person, an IV was inserted and blessedly nausea medicine as well as morphine was piped in through the tubing. Aaaahhhhh.
Shortly afterwards the nurse informed me was to be admitted, (I just hate that word) to be rehydrated and observed. After waiting some time I sent the sleepy Rick home. In the early morning I was transported downstairs to a room, looking so attractive I was undoubtedly mistaken for an incognito runway model being pushed along the corridors.
They sat me on a scale (I would have guessed 82 lbs. after the evening’s entertainment) and tucked me in bed with various tubes and appurtenances attached. Yeah. Blessed sleep. Not so fast! Just as your eyelids drop a helpful medical person shows up to monitor, pinch, probe, inject you with or ask you something.
Finally, after managing to catch a few moments of rest morning arrived and the smell of hospital food wafted down the halls requiring an additional dose of nausea meds in the IV.
Behind the curtain to my right I had a roommate apparently as I could hear a conversation going on from the time as I drifted in and out.
“NO FOOD FOR YOU” was the order on the end of my bed. Several tests were to be run and until they were done nothing by mouth. Ach. As I woke up the lady behind the curtain was still busy conversing with her guests. Needing to use the facilities, I dragged my pole around the curtain and past her bed to the appropriate door. Surprisingly, I found the elderly lady to be totally alone. It seemed she managed all three parts in whatever play was performing in her head, and did so with amazing clarity. Later I was to find that it was more like streaming media and never stopped unless she dozed off. Poor soul. One benefit, I would suppose, is that even if you are alone you would never perceive yourself so.
On the way out I took my lovely set of pink plastic containers as I noticed on the itemized bill last time they cost me nearly as much as a set of bone china.
At any rate, as obvious by this writing I have recovered less a pound or two. It’s the Weight Watcher’s lesser known diet plan for those on a restricted income.
Give these a try. Absolutely loved them.
Asian Chicken Tacos with Sweet Cucumbers and Mint Yogurt Dip
1 1/2 lbs. chicken cutlets
6 Tbsp. teriyaki stir-fry sauce (recipe below – substitute bottled if desired)
2 Tbsp. Canola oil
1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
8 soft taco sized flour tortillas
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 cup mirin wine (Asian cooking wine)
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together mirin, rice 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sugar and pinch of salt and pepper until sugar is completely dissolved. Add cucumber, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the chicken:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. place tortillas 2 at a time on squares of tin foil. Roll up and tuck in ends. Place in oven for 10 mins.
Heat grill or grill pan to med-high. Spray grill with cooking spray. Place cutlets on cookie sheet and brush both sides with 4 Tbsp. of teriyaki sauce. Grill until completely cooked, 3-5 mins. per side. Remove from grill and slice chicken into thin strips.
Heat oil in large wok or non-stick skillet over med. heat. Add sliced onion and cook 7-9 mins. until tender. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. of sauce. Add strips of chicken to skillet. Cook 1 min. Remove from heat.
Place 1/4 cup of chicken/onion mixture in center of heated tortilla. Top with sweet cucumbers, fresh cilantro, and a dollop of mint yogurt sauce. Yum. Serves 4 (8 tacos).
Mint Yogurt Sauce
1 1/4 cups Greek yogurt
1/3 cup peeled, chopped English cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Tomatoes, green peppers for garnish (optional)
Place all items except cucumber in food processor and pulse until smooth. Stir in cucumber. Chill until ready to serve.
Teriyaki Stir-fry Sauce
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 cup water
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. dried ginger
3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in
1/4 cup water
In medium saucepan combine soy sauce, 1 cup water, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Whisk in cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water.
Stir constantly until thickened. When the sauce becomes glossy remove immediately from heat.