I had swine flu. No, really. It was very similar to the regular flu, except that I have asthma, and developed a lot of difficulty breathing because of it. I ended up on several different steroids, antibiotics, and expectorants to keep me from developing a secondary infection in my lungs. With all of these things together, I ended up not eating very much last week.

The night before I got sick, I had some friends over and I whipped together some Southern cooking for our dinner. Clockwise from the top left:  fried green tomatoes; fruit salad with raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and red grapes; butterbeans with peppers and onions; and spicy cheddar grits (made with stoneground Anson Mills grits, which I LOVE–I will never go back to quick grits). The butterbeans were actually the hit component of dinner, everybody liked them.

And the next day, I had a 101-degree fever and a persistant cough, and cooking got put on the back burner for the week. All day every day from Monday to Saturday, I had herbal tea, vegetable broth, electrolyte drinks, and applesauce. My dinner every night was Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable Soup with friendly little cheddar whales swimming about on top.

My first non-soup meal was on Saturday, just a straightforward bowl of couscous with peas and smoked tomato dressing. Very boring, no pictures. On Sunday I fixed myself a simple but tasty breakfast:  scrambled eggs with garlic, blueberries and raspberries, and Mayan Dark Chocolate “coffee.”

For my Sunday dinner, I braised a red cabbage that had been sitting in my fridge all week. I wanted to use it before it turned on me, and I had been planning to make a vinegary slaw for sandwiches, but I didn’t have anything else for sandwiches, so I threw together a carrot, a couple of cloves of garlic, and about 1.5 lbs of cabbage in a pan with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, onion broth, and some seasonings. It went into the oven at 325 degrees for two hours. On the side, I made smashed red potatoes with light Smart Balance and mushroom gravy and some steamed peas with garlic and salt. To round it out, I had a cup of unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon on the side.

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