It’s Nappy Hour!

Tse-tse fly. Lyme disease. Depression. Pregnancy. Depression about pregnancy. Sleep apnea. Chronic fatigue syndrome. All possible reasons for why I have been as tired as I have for the past 2 weeks. Another possibility is the whole “getting up at 5:30 a.m., working my ass off in a loud, stressful kitchen all day, coming home, doing chores, working out, making dinner, cleaning up, doing homework, rinse, repeat” every day thing. I’m just SO tired. I’m happy, so it can’t be depression. I’m not pregnant. I am not overweight, so it can’t be sleep apnea. I haven’t been in a forest, so scratch Lyme disease. CFS, much like fibromyalgia, are just made-up diseases to re-describe depression, so definitely not those. And I haven’t recently traveled to Africa. Which just means school is making me sleepy. And that’s only for 7 more weeks. OMFG, so exciting! Possibly more exciting is the fact that in 5 more school days, happy German chef comes back, and he’s one of my favorite things. Ever.

There’s also spring break to look forward to, even though it’s going to be busy and only 5 days long. Chris and I are going to Chicago to visit his old stomping grounds on and around Loyola medical school. And we’re doing something extra-awesome while we’re there, which has me jittering to tell you about it.

—-We’re doing the full tasting menu at Alinea, Grant Achatz’s famous molecular gastronomy restaurant. I can’t form into words how cool it is to have gotten reservations for this, and to know that I get to experience something so uniquely fabulous. If you haven’t heard of this, google it. You’ll be astonished by some of the dishes. I keep googling it and re-reading the menu like the food porn that it is (written, though. Like Letters to Penthouse).

Until then, I just need to suck it up and try to get sleep on the weekends. And try to be better about blogging, even though it’s hard to write intelligently when my eyes are burning with desire to close. This weekend is going to be particularly relaxing, I hope. Chris got home early and cleaned the house today, so I don’t have to worry about that. And San Antonio is going through a freakishly wonderful cold spell with rain and thunderstorms almost daily (for two whole days now!). What that means to me is that I can cook snuggly, delicious comfort food with abandon. The last two nights we’ve had cozy meals.

A potato soup loaded with homemade chorizo, Hatch chiles, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, and sweet onions. It was really tasty, but I had to use canned Hatch chiles (I’m out of my frozen stock of fresh). This was a mistake. There were some small fragments of charred peel left in the can that weren’t really edible, so they had to be put to the side of the bowl when encountered. Suck. I hate when one single component of a dish has the power to just annihilate the rest of the good bits. If only there were a really good food cliche about this. Something about one bad apple, maybe. And how it spoils the bunch. Dammit, English language. You fail me every time!

To make up for it, last night I seared the bejeezus out of the cut up pieces of a whole chicken. It was pre-cut, which I guess means it’s probably a weird oversight that the package had three wings in it. Or they’ve gone too far with hormones in the poultry industry… My guess is there’s probably a package out there with only one wing, and a very confused family that is grappling with the reality of eating a chicken amputee. I took the seared chicken, made an herby broth out of it, then shredded it. I thickened the broth with a pale roux, added diced carrots and onions, a touch of half-and-half, and some cayenne pepper. I made some quick drop biscuits/dumplings, and floated them in the creamy liquid to bake.
The bottom half of the dough cooked in the chicken liquid, and the top baked in the dry oven. So it was half-biscuit, half-dumpling, all fantastic comfort food that warmed the belly and the soul. Chris ate, literally, almost an entire 9×13 cast iron pan of the stuff.

I’ve got half of the shredded chicken leftover, and don’t really know what I want to do with it tonight. Mostly, I want to nap. And maybe drink some wine. Maybe take a nap, but set my alarm for every 15 minutes to take a swig of wine. Who knows? The weekend is my oyster.

7 thoughts on “It’s Nappy Hour!”

  1. I don’t think it’s very fair that, as children, we’re conditioned for spring break and all those other great breaks. But then, as soon as we’re in the real world, no breaks for you! Well, I guess working for the state and having every holiday known to man off is cool, but still, I want spring break dammit! And don’t even get me started about summers. I’d be a teacher if it weren’t for the hating children thing.

    I’m also taking advantage of this chilly weather and making some comfort food although I wouldn’t say I’m enjoying the weather as my body know ONLY functions if it’s over 70 degrees. But I’m making chili tonight to practice for my work’s cook-off along with some garlic herb bread to soak up my new bottle of EVOO.

  2. Ah yes, the crazy “I’m just so tired…I must sleep 15 hours a day” sickness. I’ve had that twice. Once in college over Christmas break (which sucked) and once a couple of months ago.

    I also say that you do enchiladas. See if your HEB has “El Pato” brand spicy tomato sauce. yum….

    Also, if all goes well with my garden this spring, I’ll probably be calling you and begging (no really, BEGGING) you to come up and take some tomatoes. As I said, if everything goes well…

  3. i think my diagnosis is similar to yours – in need of break from school. it’s that mixed w/ a touch of seasonal affective disorder. i’m sick of this weather.

    anyways, nothing like a trip to alinea to get you out of a funk!

  4. Actually, if you think it really could be sleep apnea, there’s a form that affects non-fat folks. My brother in law is crazy in shape and he has it. Took one night at a sleep study place and they figured it out right away. Totally changed his life, actually.

    On another note, I just got a cast iron grill-skillet thingy and I’m going to attempt oven-type hamburgers sometime soon. I’m still extremely pleased with how well the whole steak thing has been going, and now I need to push the envelope a bit.

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