Post #363 Back Soon

May 1, 2015 at 12:17 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #363 Back Soon

cocoa brownies

I thought it was time to bring you all up to date because I’ve been away so long, longer than I intended.  There are a couple of reasons.

Long-time readers may recall that I’ve written about why I started this blog in the first place.  Apart from my love of cooking and showing off, I wanted to put together a book of funny and cute short stories involving food and include the recipes for the foods I wrote about.

This book was the brain child of Partner/Spouse.  He’d listened to the stories of my travels around the world, and growing up in Arizona, etc. and laughed at them, referred to them, and retold them to other friends.  He noted one day that all the best stories involved food.  It made sense since I’m most comfortable in the kitchen.  He suggested the idea and format, and I started jotting story ideas.  I was floored to realize I could count well over fifty of the funniest stories.

In the meantime, I was still working on my other writing and trying to sell it.  I learned that many blogs can be “booked” and decided to do that with the short stories, etc.  So I started this blog to get the stories and recipes down, experiment with style, and see what was most popular.  While doing this, the face of publishing changed, and I was learning more about direct publishing and e-books.  Recently, I decided that now was the time to test the waters with a self-published e-book through an internet direct publisher.  I put together 32 of my favorite stories, and started compiling the recipes to go with them.  I was 75% finished, and wanted to concentrate on that task until completed so I wrote the last post saying I’d be gone for a while.  I really anticipated that I’d only need a week to get things in order to start editing.

Then my right arm stopped working.  What happened is I woke up one morning and my right arm was in screaming agony.  I couldn’t even hold a pencil, much less type at the key board.  After a couple of days of pain, I went to the doctor.  We all assumed it was just a simple pinched nerve and a course of steroids would do the trick.  But it didn’t.  So back to the doctor for stronger meds.  I was in so much pain, I wasn’t sleeping for longer than an hour or two.  I couldn’t drive.  I couldn’t extend my right arm in front of me for longer than a few seconds.  I didn’t lose strength, but the pain was so bad I couldn’t really perform any normal mundane task.  That continued for several days, and messed up some weekend plans I’d been looking forward to, so back to the doctor, but this time to a specialist.  Several xrays and mri later, and I’m feeling MUCH better.  I go back to the specialist next week for followup to determine what the long term course of action is going to be.  Right now, it looks like degenerative disks mostly due to “old age.”  I nearly slapped the doctor for that one.

The steroids I was taking mess up your blood sugar.  When I first started taking them, I’d eat three bites and be full.  Now, I’m done with the steroids and can polish off a whole pan of brownies without blinking, hence the first picture above.  I made brownies last night with pecans and chocolate chips.  The meds also made me incredibly thirsty.  I’d get up twice during the night to drink a half a quart of whatever.  I rediscovered a love for lemonade and found that Country Time has a new liquid concentrate that’s delicious.

Since this happened, Partner/Spouse has taken on a lot of the cooking duties, and we’ve had some very fun meals.  He’s much more adventurous in the kitchen than I am so we’ve enjoyed many things we haven’t before.  The most notable thing was Lemon Garlic Risotto.  We had that with chicken, and between the two of us, we polished off two full cups of it.

Risotto is a way of cooking a specific variety of rice so that it makes a creamy sauce as it cooks.  If you’ve ever watched Hell’s Kitchen, you’ve heard chef Ramsey yelling about the risotto not being perfect.  First, you have to start with a fat rice variety, and the most common is arborio rice.  In most rice dishes, the rice will absorb twice their weight in liquid, but arborio will absorb four times as much.  For one cup of rice, you will need four cups of liquid.  But you can’t add it all at once.  You start with one cup, and then you stir while cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed.  Then add a half cup and stir.  Then add a half cup and stir.  And so on, until all the liquid is gone.  But, the key is that the liquid you’re adding must be simmering hot so as to not slow down the cooking time of the rice.  With ours, we had lemon, garlic, white wine, and chicken stock.  And it was GOOD!

As you can see, my arm is feeling much better.  I’m back to typing, although I do have to watch what I’m writing carefully since I’m not back 100%.  I also have to be careful no to overdo things.  So over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting again, and working on my project, and trying to mend.  And once I have writing news to broadcast, I’ll put it here first.  Thanks for your patience.

And as always

Enjoy

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