When feeling down, start cooking

You’re feeling unwell – your sinuses are clogged, your throats sore, your body aches and what do you do?  Most people would hole up in bed and take whatever over-the-counter meds they think will cure them quickly or better yet go to the doctor and a perscription.  When I feel unwell, I take minimal over-the-counter meds (because I can’t stand that drugged out feeling I get, unless I know it’s Bronchitis – I’ve had that three times this year already :() and usually get in the kitchen and make something amazing.  Yep you read it right when I feel bad, I find that I cook at my best.  Now I know your thinking, “Why cook when you’re ill? You might infect anyone who eats what you prepare?”  You would think so, but when I’m ill I go into hyper sanitary mode.  I wash my hands more (even more than normal which says a lot), if I feel a cough our sneeze coming on – I walk out of the room, I never cough or sneeze into my hands, the list goes on and on. 

The last time I felt ill, which was about a month ago, I felt the need to bake homemade rolls and Roasted Eggplant soup.  There is something so theraputic about kneading dough (I do not use the dough hook).  I’ve found that my bread is not as tough when I set the timer for 8 minutes and push and fold the dough until smooth and elastic.

I place it in a greased bowl and set the timer for 1 hour.  I then punch it down and make little round balls that get to rise again for another hour.  In the past once I got to this step I would freeze the rolls I wasn’t going to cook and bake off the ones I was.  The rolls that were frozen were supposed to be thawed at the desired time, with the hopes that they would rise again; but rising again never happened.  I always ended up with little round knots that never got bigger than golf balls.  How frustrating. 😦  So this time around I, decided to partially bake my rolls and freeze them to be completely baked when we are ready to eat them.  It has worked out so much better. 

Anyway…on this day I made four 9-inch pie pans and three 6-inch pans of rolls (I gave one of the smaller pans to my parents and baked one for us that evening.) and a pot of Roasted Eggplant Soup (this was something we had had at my friends wedding in mid-September and my babydoll loved it).

To make the soup, I took one eggplant, one onion, six cloves of garlic, and four Roma tomatoes.

They were cut and brushed with olive oil.  I then placed them into a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes to roast.

After they have cooled enough to handle them, I scooped out the eggplant and placed it along with the other vegetables in a pot of chicken broth.  I then added 1 tsp of thyme

and let simmer for 30 minutes.  I took out the immersion blender and pureed the soup until smooth, added a cup of heavy cream. 

The soup was awesome and rolls were light and fluffy (my babydoll would have eaten all of them if they weren’t placed in the freezer to be eaten later).  Because I wasn’t feeling my best, the bowl of hot soup was a welcome meal.  Don’t you love a hot bowl of soup when you’re under the weather?  What’s your ritual when you’re feeling unwell?  Do you crawl into bed?  Have someone bring you Chinese take out?  Or do you take on unthinkable projects like me?

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