I’ve been in a serious funk for the last few days. It felt as though I had oncoming flu, but the flu never came. I had a headache, neck ache, earache and general malaise. Basically, I have just felt like sleeping a lot and dozing in between watching made-for-TV movies. I probably had some sort of cold-type infection, made more miserable by the smelly choking smoke from the BC wildfires that has been in our air for about a week.
Today, though, the smoke lifted and so did my depression. It was good to see the blue sky and the sun again. I was even inspired to go outside for a walk until I actually went outside and found that it was really, really windy. I didn’t feel like fighting both a cold and the wind, so I went back inside.
Then I thought I should do something useful and since I had two elderly bananas just sitting around enticing fruit flies with their banana charms, I chose to make banana muffins. I figured I had just about enough energy to throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix them up: no intelligence or creativity required. So, that’s what I did. The muffins turned out quite well; so well, in fact, that I was inspired to do more.
The whole “throw things in a pot” plan seemed to be working for me, so I was inspired to give it another go. I looked into my pantry to see what I had to contribute to a meal, and I typed the names of my canned goods into the ingredients search box on allrecipes.com. I love that feature. It knows how I think, and that I very rarely think about food. When I do think about food it’s usually about fifteen minutes after I get hungry and fifteen minutes before it’s time to eat. With the ingredients search, I can tell my computer what I’ve got and it tells me how to turn that into something to eat.
Half an hour after doing my recipe search, I now have a lovely vegetarian chili slow-cooking away to its heart’s content. I had just about everything on the ingredients list except for Sriracha sauce, and I made a “that’ll do” type substitution for that from the miscellany in the door of my fridge. I have no idea if barbeque sauce is a good substitute for Sriracha sauce, but I’ll let you know once I’ve tried the chili. That’s as creative as I get when I cook—substituting exotic ingredients with pedestrian ones.
As a consequence of this unusual explosion of the culinary arts in my kitchen, I have definitely made an improvement to my sense of well-being. I feel a million times better than I did yesterday and the day before, so the chili has already worked wonders even before it is cooked. And it all started with the banana muffins. Who knew that just messing about making food with one-pot recipes could turn out to cure a flu funk?