Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Feed a Fever?

I can't decide whether I really hate or really like being sick.

On the down side, if I'm taking a sick day, I must be feeling pretty miserable. Chances are that I can blame it on a respiratory infection that leaves me with an achy head, a sore throat, a horrendous cough, and/or a deep husky voice reminiscent of either Lauren Bacall or the bass from a do-wop group (not that I'm usually up for singing "Goodnight Sweetheart," but you get the idea). I also probably don't have much of an appetite and just want to slurp down pots and pots of honeyed tea. Generally, I tend to pull the covers over my head and pray fervently for oblivion.

On the other hand, if I have half an ounce of strength, a well-stocked larder, and a couple of good books, then I'm all for a day of peace and quiet.

It's a pick'em.

So when I came down with the annual early spring sickness this week, I felt fairly wiped out, but not completely bereft of hope. I still had plenty of herbal teas and honey, a few servings of leftover eggplant curry lurking in the fridge, and two quarts of homemade vegetable stock.

Normally when I get sick, I want my favorite soup (tofu sea vegetable) from my favorite Chinese restaurant on the hill. But since I had plenty of stock on hand, it seemed silly to ask friends to run out for me when I could make a variation of the soup for my lunch (based on the delicious ginger-lime dipping sauce recipe I use with potstickers and scallion pancakes).

The soup turned out thin, which was actually what I was going for since I didn't want anything too substantial, but it had just enough of everything (garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, shredded carrot, cilantro, etc.) to satisfy me. And it had enough heat to banish some of those nasty germs.

Of course, this effort was followed by a nap. (My energy lasts only so long.)

The verdict is still out. A day or two of rest is always a good thing. I'd rather not be too miserable to enjoy the time off, but if that's what I have to do to get better, then so be it.

I just hope the cupboards are full.

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