Well, nothing like a head-on auto collision followed by the flu to put a halt to blogging as well as culinary and gardening pursuits...for the past month.
About the collision: Let me first say, I am fine. I cannot say the same for the van; it's totaled. It was a dark and stormy morning....to be precise, a winter storm warning was in effect. But school was not canceled so we headed out to take the kids to school, retrieving the Honda Odyssey minivan from the shop where we had taken it for routine maintenance. I was on my way back home (sans teenage passengers) on a rural stretch of snow-packed highway north of Boulder when an SUV headed from the opposite direction spun out and into my lane. With a steep embankment and very little shoulder on the side of the road there was no escaping. I could do little but break and brace for the crash. Airbags deployed and the front end crunched. Fortunately , both drivers (me included) sustained only minor injuries, but the accident managed to stop traffic in both directions. County sheriff, state patrol, two tow trucks, fire truck and ambulances all arrived within minutes. Since my neck hurt, I was strapped to a back board and whisked off to ER in an ambulance. The drama! I had called my husband immediately after the accident so he was in the long line of traffic trying to get to the scene. Knowing he'd see an ambulance go by, I called him from the stretcher..."Honey, I don't want you to freak out. You're going to see an ambulance go by, and I'm in it. It's just a precaution." After I described the vehicle he was driving, the EMT driving the ambulance yelled out the window to my husband...."We've got her. Turn around and follow us." I was released from ER after X-rays and a CAT scan ruled out an significant injuries. And I'm singing praises of our Honda Odyssey cushioning the brunt of the crash. With 150,000 miles, the minivan did it's job to the last.
Waiting for the first responders, I thought about our plans to go to Breckenridge in two days. That trip was now up in the air. But three days post-crash, I was feeling well enough to make the two hour drive. And, well, if you fall off a horse, you have to get back on and ride. So off we went. I managed to get in two good days of skiing but I had a nagging sore throat. By mid-vacation, I had a fever and felt like I had been run over by a truck. I made the death march to the local urgent care clinic to get a dose of antibiotics. Whatever this bug was, I was sick and dragging for three weeks straight. I'm just now getting back to a near-normal level of energy.
When the primary cook in the family gets sick, it doesn't go unnoticed by other household members. My hubby, son and stepchildren very helpfully stepped in with cooking. Nonetheless, over the past month, our dining bill has climbed on account of a lot of take-out food. I also found myself frequently the grocery deli and takeout sections. I can tell you a few things about the take-out fare at Whole Foods. The chili tofu and smoked mozzarella pasta salad are flavorful and survive the holding well. I cannot say the same for the store's takeout fried chicken, which was overcooked and suffering from lack of salt. The crunchy cabbage is not much better. While it is true to it's name, indeed crunchy, the only detectable flavor is cabbage. How about a bit of salt, sugar and vinegar? That's how I repaired the salad at home. But let me tell you, the brownies and raspberry oat bars are divine.
The flu can have an odd impact on your appetite. Juices, soups, pastas and sweets were the ticket, but anything crunchy sent me into coughing spasms. I typically imbibe in beer or wine with evening meals, but I had no desire for about three weeks. I'm a milk drinker but lost my taste for milk as well. Coffee didn't hold its usual appeal, either, but rather tea seemed to taste better.
As for blogging...no cooking, no culinary creations, no blogging.
Then there's the forlorn and ghostly garden bed, leaf-blown with drip-hose stakes poking out having worked their way up during the repeated freezing and thawing through the winter. While the reliable perennial walking onions and strawberry bed are vibrant, grass and weeds are starting to encroach the open beds. I've ordered seeds from a local farm, Abbondanza and will be blogging throughout the growing season about my experience with these locally cultivated organic seeds. But first, I need to get down to the business of preparing the garden bed. Perhaps I'll start this weekend, and I'll look forward to a refreshing Left Hand Sawtooth Ale at the end of a day's work. Yes, I'm definitely getting better!