Monday, September 14, 2009

On The Mend

(and a recipe)

I'm finally feeling better. I took my medicine like a good girl and did nothing for 2/3 of the day yesterday but sit in the recliner against the heating pad playing Lego Batman. That is all I did. Well, the first 1/3 of the day I spent at church, but I wasn't being pious. I was in rehearsal and then a very long staff meeting. And I was bored most of the time, so don't think respectful or admiring thoughts of me. But I think that time in the recliner was time well spent in healing.

Today, after a good night's sleep (aided by my lovely muscle relaxers), I am feeling a lot stronger. I can turn my neck almost completely to the right and left and can look up, though looking down is still not very pleasing to me. I'm probably walking around with all kinds of things (crumbs mostly) scattered all over my shirt front because I can't get a good look down there!

I tend to set myself back on days like these and run right out and do too much in order to make up for all the time I've lost, but I've committed to not doing that today. This week is just too busy and I can't afford a single extra day of recovery. The Viking was very frustrated and stressed out last night, having to fill in as Mommy during the Sunday Night School Week Preparations. I usually manage making sure we're all ready for the week ahead which entails groceries, the menu, lunch preparedness (this is one of my newest favorite words lately, have you noticed?), laundry, finding shoes and bags and mouthguards and water bottles and library books, taking a final check to make sure homework is done, making sure boys have bathed properly and girls are not taking too long or hogging the bathroom to do so, you get the idea. The Viking is know...I don't know what he usually does while I'm doing all that...probably something involving tools and bits of metal and quite likely his "work pants". But last night, he had to do my job. And, boy, was he cranky!

At one point, Redheaded Snippet sneaked from the kitchen where she was supposed to be helping The Viking into the living room (where I was convalescing) to tattle on him. She gave me her newly minted teen-aged look and said, very pointedly, and low so her poor father couldn't hear her, "Mom...he's throwing things." Indeed, I could hear frequent crashes coming from the room from which she had just escaped.

He wasn't being violent, just doing his tornado thing. He hates spending time cleaning or tidying so he goes in like a whirlwind doing it as fast as he can so it can just be over. I can't blame him. My job makes me cranky all the time but it doesn't alarm the children cause they're used to it from me! Of course, since the tornado blew through I may find myself unable to find anything in the kitchen...but bless his pointed little head for helping, right?

So, I am going to spend a little more time on the recliner now that I've spent the morning sitting upright all on my own. Redheaded Snippet has another game this afternoon and I intend to be there without my collar on so I'd better bank some down time.

But before I go, here for your culinary pursuits, is a recipe Lobelia has bestowed upon me. She got it from her Wegmans newsletter. I don't get those, but I'm sure going to start! This recipe is perfect for Autumn and I absolutely cannot wait to use it so I thought I'd post it here. It's a theoretical recipe as neither of us has actually made or tasted it yet, so ye be warned.

Theoretical: Butternut Squash, Apple, & Gorgonzola Gratin

SERVES 8 ACTIVE TIME: 20 min TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 45 min

-2 1/2 T olive oil, divided
-1 small butternut squash (1 1/2 lbs),peeled & sliced into 1/8-inch thick pieces
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1/4 t ground nutmeg, divided
-1 1/2 c heavy cream
-2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
-3oz Gorgonzola cheese

You'll Need: 2-quart shallow casserole dish, baking sheet
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Rub casserole dish with 1 1/2 T oil. Place casserole dish on baking sheet. Cover bottom of dish with layer of squash; season with salt and pepper and half the nutmeg. Repeat with remaining squash; season with salt and pepper and remaining nutmeg. Pour heavy cream over all.

2. Bake 30 min; remove from oven. Press squash/cream mixture down using spatula; return to oven. Bake 10 min; remove from oven.

3. Toss apples with 1 T oil in small bowl. Cover top of squash mixture with single layer of apple slices, overlapping slightly and pressing apple slices gently into creamy mixture with a spatula.

4. Return casserole to oven; bake 45-50 min or until squash and apples are tender. Remove from oven. Top with dollops of Gorgonzola; let cheese melt before serving.

Chef Tip(s):
Squash can be sliced ahead of time and refrigerated.

Doesn't that just sound silly good? I'm imagining it served with marinated pork loin and roasted asparagus on some crisp, chilly night! Mmmmmmmm, I can't wait!

Okay, gotta go convalesce.

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