April 7, 2012

Better. Yes.


I’m better.  No, really.  This time I really am better. 

            I had thought I went to bed last night at least a little more cheerful, even if I still couldn’t breathe and I think my back hurts quite so relentlessly and godsblattingly as much because of sleeping sitting up as because flu always makes me ache in places that the rest of the time I mostly forget are places, although the forgetting part does not in fact include my back, which has been a ratbag since I started falling off horses at the age of eleven.  Anyway.  I ache like fury, in both remembered and forgotten places, and the only reason to look forward to going to bed is to keep reading, since sleeping is an issue like global warming or the destruction of rainforest or the Republican nomination for president is an issue, and therefore if I was somehow feeling a little more cheerful this must be a good sign. 

            I got out of bed first try this morning.*  I was, furthermore, hungry.  How great is that.  My stomach has been convinced that we have been involved in a highly unpleasant storm at sea the last week or so, involving much pitching and yawing, and has behaved accordingly.  Calm seas today.**  I got dressed.  I had a cup of tea.  I had an apple.  I had . . .

            . . . I wasn’t hungry any more.  Oh.  Well.  Okay.  Hellhounds and I went for a hurtle.  We’ve been going out for about the right amount of time, the last few days, but somewhat less than the right amount of mileage.  Today we were hitting nearer the mark.  Yaay.***

            Went down to the mews for lunch.  I’m HUNGRY.  And . . . I won’t eat anything.  What.  The.  Frell.  It’s like I woke up in the body of a hellhound or something.†  Fed hellhounds.  Even they are eating.  Me . . . nah.  Food.  Nasty.  OH COME ON.  I’M OLD, I HAVE ME, I’M JUST GETTING OVER FLU, I NEED FOOD.  I NEED PROTEIN.

            Come any nearer with that olive/frond of dill/blameless scrambled egg and I will grow violent.  Why yes, thank you, I would like another cup of very strong black tea.††


            So I was thinking, okay, what do you do when you have some stupid little cow who’s been sick for so long she’s forgotten how to eat?  What might not only tempt her but provide something nearly enough resembling nutritional value as might draw her further back toward sanity . . . and protein?  How about . . . 

Carrot Cookies 

Even with my history of telling you to judge your own ingredients and your own batter, this one is a bit mad.  I’ve got notes all over the margins of wildly varying quantities.  Note that both grated carrots and honey can have SPECTACULARLY variable water content.  If your batter is runny, stop.  Do not bake.  Add flour or oatmeal.  You want the batter sticky.  These are drop cookies.  They should behave like drop cookies. 

2-3 c flour.  Half wholewheat/meal is good

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

pinch to ¼ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon (I round it up pretty generously)

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cloves

2-3 c quick oatmeal

1 c raisins (I like golden in this recipe)

1 c chopped nuts (I recommend pecans)

½ c soft butter

1 c grated (raw) carrots

½ to 1 c honey, depending on how sweet you want it, including how sweet your carrots are.  No, really.  Taste your batter.

2 eggs, beaten frothy 

Mix the dry stuff together:  I’d start with 2 c flour and 2 c oatmeal.  I don’t think I ever start with the full cup of honey;  I usually start around the scant ¾ c level. Now beat the honey into the butter.  Usually I’m a little carefree about the whole ‘soft’ butter thing, but if you want to beat it into honey your life will be a lot easier if it’s genuinely soft.  Then beat in the eggs.  Then the carrots.  Now beat in the flour mixture gradually, as your arm or your electric whizzer can stand the strain.  (If you’re using electric, you want it on slow enough it doesn’t pulverize your raisins and nuts.  Ask me how I know this.  I think food processors are a mixed blessing and I’ve mostly gone back to the wooden spoon technique, but then I don’t bake a lot any more.)  If the texture is right, taste.  If you need to drizzle another ¼ c of honey into the batter, it’s not rocket science, just do it, and beat it in, maybe with a few more flakes of oatmeal.  If it’s too runny . . . well, you’re going to need more honey too because of the more flour/oatmeal you’re going to be adding, and if you’re adding more than a sprinkly handful you’ll probably want to cast in a little extra cinnamon.†††  Practical Physics in Your Kitchen.  You just want instructions, right?  Sorry.

            Drop in biggish globs on greased cookie sheets.  350° F, about 15 minutes.  

* * *

I wish to note for the record that I ate a large piece of fish for supper.  I’m sure strength is pouring back into my valiant cells.  Feh. 

* * *

* There was some whimpering and clutching of bedposts, but we can’t have everything. 

** I might even try putting my belt back on.  This would be a good thing, since I’ve been eating so little the last few days my jeans are showing some alarming signs of falling off. 

*** Mind you, I still can’t breathe, and I am terrifying on the phone. 

† I thought I was having more trouble typing than usual . . . 

†† How many hours before I can start on the cider? 

††† Or you can shout, Wrangledabnag it!, and then pack the whole sloppy mess into a big baking dish.  I think 13 x 9 will do it—I know I have done this but I didn’t bother to write down what size pan I used.  It’ll probably take kind of forever to cook and be a trifle fragile.  But it’ll taste just fine.



Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.