A Fever and Chills
Made some hot Russian tea on Saturday, and it was not bad. It was day four of feeling of feeling ill in a way that left me flopped on the couch like a sack of beans on the couch, wrapped in a soft white blanket, sipping grapefruit juice and fading in and out of sleep. Started with a fever and chills, then an inability to keep my balance or stay awake for a whole episode of 20/20, then a stretch of ache and tired that kept me in the house for four days, Mr. S is out of town, speaking in Seattle on the importance of storytelling later in life, so I’ve been on my own where a menu is concerned and I did pretty dang well. Malto-O-Meal wins the prize for Best Food When You Feel Like Crap, and I was blessed to have a few friends visit with Potato Leek Soup and homemade macaroni and cheese and some praline pecan ice cream that disappeared faster than spit on a skillet.
I’m feelin’ a bit like me again, and this being day seven, it’s about time. Hard to say what it was I had, and truth is it doesn’t much matter. I talked to myself this morning when I woke at a normal hour, and turned on the radio, made up some stuffed chicken parmesan to bake later in the week, and didn’t think more than one fleeting thought of lying down and napping on the couch by the fire.
I get a lot out of doing things. “Getting’ ‘er done!” Mr. S often hollers when I’m cleaning the house from top to bottom. “You’re a machine,” he says, as I fold load number four of sheets. And it’s true. I enjoy being busy. And what is most unenjoyable about being sick is that I can’t do much at all. Except lie there and think. Which, now that I mention it, is rather enjoyable. All curled up and warm, no one hollering for help, the fire crackling near my feet, and the creakings of the house in the bitter winter cold.
Got a few phone calls during those blurry days. I didn’t answer most of ‘em. One was Mr. S, though, and he said something about planning a trip somewhere, and asked where I’d like to have dinner this weekend. “Scotch eggs,” I remember saying, “and fried potatoes.” And I remember someone else, the sweeter voice of a friend, saying gently through the phone, “When you’re an oak most of the time, it’s okay to be the wind now and then.”
Well, now. That felt like a blessing to me. And it was. Pass it on.
I’m a fan of pasta.
A pasta fan am I.
Cook this one up and serve it ‘round,
And someone will tell you how awesome you are.
And you’ll simply have to accept it.
That’s my poem for today.
Stuffed Chicken Parmesan
3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Salt, to taste
1 cup mozzarella
2 cups flour
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup oil, for frying
3 cups tomato sauce (or your favorite spaghetti sauce)
½ cup Parmesan
2 T basil
½ tsp garlic salt
Pinch of cayenne
Cut a pocket into each chicken breast and stuff each evenly with the mozzarella cheese
and press the edges of the chicken together to seal the pocket.
Separate the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs into 3 separate bowls. Being careful to keep the chicken from opening, roll the stuffed chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.
Dip the floured chicken into the egg, then the bread crumbs, coating evenly.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fry chicken until golden brown on both sides. Place ⅔ of the tomato sauce evenly on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the chicken on top. Top with the rest of the tomato sauce, then sprinkle the parmesan, garlic salt, cayenne and basil on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.
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