under the weather . . .

by mulberryshoots

vegetable stock . . .

vegetable stock . . .

The weather has been unseasonably warm (87 degrees over the weekend) and is now rapidly cooling off. They say that rapid shifts in temperature are liable to make people vulnerable to colds.

I’m fighting one off the last two days and can’t remember the last time I had one. Lots of sneezing, sore throat and congestion. The plumber who installed the faucet and Insinkerator the other night was wheezing and coughing, saying he had just come from the clinic with a Z-pack prescription. Hmmmmm. Turns out the dishwasher he installed earlier in the week wasn’t getting water during the wash cycle.This became evident after I emptied dishes caked with drying fluid and still greasy. It finally dawned on me that nothing had been washed even though we had set the one hour cycle the night before.

One of G.’s workmen, J., came yesterday to troubleshoot the dishwasher and after testing the water valve in the house and the machine, discovered there was a kink in the hose looped around the back of the dishwasher that was obstructing water from coming in. I was relieved it wasn’t an electronic board fault that would have required a service call on a brand new machine–and thankfully it wasn’t. Anyway, that was a puzzling glitch yesterday. And hopefully the last.

My daughter, M. who is studying nursing skyped this morning and suggested I use my spirometer–a breath strength measurer they gave me after surgery to boost lung strength and to keep congestion at bay. I also followed her suggestion to humidify the area and took out ingredients to make a vegetable stock that would simmer on the stove all day: leeks, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes and parsley. It was satisfying to cut up all the vegetables and stir them in olive oil, then after browning, adding a gallon or so of spring water. It’s on the back burner of the stove right now, quietly cooking goodness that will supply us with stock to make fresh vegetable soup tomorrow and to freeze. I’ve found that the rich, hearty taste of this homemade vegetable stock is more appetizing than either the beef or chicken/pork bone broths that I made a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it was the proportion of ingredients to water but there wasn’t as much flavor as the vegetable stock.

french onion soup . . .

french onion soup . . .

Because J. is coming again today to work on some carpentry, I also decided to make a separate batch of French onion soup, using some bone broth I had in the freezer and two large onions which I browned in unsalted butter until softened and golden brown. This soup is one of our favorites and we’ll have it for lunch. I have a dry end of a French baguette that I’ll broil with gruyere cheese on top that will soften when we float them on top of the soup right before serving. Yum!

I’ve also been taking Airborne–cold-preventative tablets that fizz up in some cold water (I like to add an ice cube) that both G. and I have taken the last couple of years whenever we felt a cold coming on. It’s done us well as neither of us has had a serious cold since then. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to nip this one in the bud too.

humidifying . . .

humidifying . . .