Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Economic Depression, The Hives, and the Perfect Meal to Turn it all Around

I hope where ever you are, that your weather was as spectacular as ours this weekend. Despite a dour prediction of mostly cloudy skies to go with our spring temperatures, the clouds parted and the weather was simply gorgeous. Somehow, though, the beautiful day Saturday kinda bummed me out. Not a huge deal, really, it's just that with the fever that accompanies spring, I get excited about all the potential at home--potential projects, gardens, more pimping of the deck, etc--but this year with money being tight and no real end in sight for that situation, well, lots of those projects are going to have to be put aside for a while. I, of course, realize that not having enough money for totally optional home improvements is not nearly as big a deal as, say, not having enough money to actually pay for the house. In that respect we continue to be incredibly fortunate. So I wandered around the yard with Matt as he dug up offending crab grass, basked in the sunshine on my deck with the animals, and fixed a nice simple dinner for Matt and my brother. My bad mood was short lived, and I went to sleep counting my blessings instead of categories in my budget. Still, I know this crappy economic situation is affecting everyone, and I guess I just felt like maybe I should say that, yes, sometimes it gets me down too. I can't be the only one, right?

Matt had other things to worry about this weekend. Shortly after we came inside Saturday evening, he started to itch. By dinner time, he was completely broken out in hives. Angry red blotchy hives. His fingers started to swell. And no amount of calamine lotion and benadryl seemed to help. Sunday was worse. He never really made it out of bed, except for a brief stint on the couch and trips downstairs for more benadryl. His lips and tongue swelled. And I swore that if there was no improvement by Monday, I was going to make him go to the doctor. Monday morning, though still all lumpy and itchy, he *was* getting better. By noon, he had a shower, normal looking lips and hands, and only a few itchy spots left. We still have no idea what caused it, and the best we can figure is that the cold he's been battling all week left his immune system kinda weak, and this is how it reacted. Today he's fine, none the worse for wear, and not a moment too soon. I don't mind taking care of him, and it certainly made for a quiet weekend, but I like it so much better when he's awake and feeling good enough to bug me all day:)

Yesterday was really glorious. Temperatures neared 80, the sun BEAMED all day, the dogs and I went to the park, and the patient recovered. With both of us feeling so much better, so restored, we celebrated in our favorite way--with food. With, to be exact, what I have dubbed The Perfect Spring Meal.

First, a burger. But not any burger. Beautifully lean (93/7) Ground Sirloin (the Dollar General market sells this for $3.50/lb, thank you very much savvy shopping). Mixed with fresh garlic, chopped onion, salt, and pepper, and formed into two whopping half pound pattys. Grilled, topped with pepper jack cheese, thick cut bacon, and fresh sliced avocado. Served on ciabatta rolls I made myself, brushed with olive oil and seared on the grill along side the burgers. For sides, a heaping dish of baked macaroni and cheese, and cool sweet and sour pepper carrot slaw. I never make slaw the same way twice, but this batch was so good, it deserves to be repeated. Finish it off with some pickles and very cold beer. This meal MUST be eaten outside, preferably at sunset on the first really warm day of the year. Ths meal was perfection itself. Exactly the way to celebrate not being sick anymore. Exactly the way to remind yourself that, no matter what you've been feeling lately, things aren't really bad at all.


Courtney said...

WOW.. that looks delicious!!!

KatieKate said...

boooooooooooooooooo for the hives

yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh for the avacado burger. Oh my word, that looks delicious!

Shanna Mac said...

you make me hungry.

think i may just go eat a frozen veggie burger with that avocado that should have been tossed yesterday.

christy said...

So how *did* you make the carrot slaw this time (wink, wink!! give us recipe!!)