Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sick Days

I've been away from blogging for awhile due to a lingering cold/flu bug. I've now entered the world of the walking sick like so many of my friends, co-workers and neighbours. It seems like the longer I'm sick the more I retreat into my Italianism. 

I started off thinking healthy: "eat miso soup with lots of vegetables." So I made delicious udon soup from my friend Eric's recipe. I ate it every day. No change. 

Vegetables were clearly not the cure for my Mediterranean DNA. So I finished off my Polish chocolate hoping an interlude would help. Yummy, but no change.

Then I wondered "What would my nonnas do?" How about those olive oil cures? I wasn't sure how to do this, so I channeled Nonna Fausta and imagined what she would do. I don't think she would have used a microwave to warm the olive oil but it was fast and I was obviously delirious.

The warm olive oil felt really good in my ear (don't tell my doctor) and on my swollen throat but it didn't cure me either. 

I spent a week curled up in front of bad daytime TV. To my surprise there were no less than three TV commercials using Italian songs as their soundtracks. One was a pizza ad with Dean Martin singing C'e la luna mezzo mare. Another was a guy in love with his digital phone singing "senza te" and a third was a mozzarella ad featuring Umberto Tozzi's Ti Amo. If anyone knows the connection between daytime TV and Italian soundtracks, please enlighten me.

A nasty side effect of being sick was not getting my hair cut when it was due. Now my hair has grown wildly out of control and looks an awful lot like my great-Zia's hair when she was a Calabrese youngster in the early 20th century. The higher the hair, the closer to heaven...?

Getting back to soup. I shifted from Japanese udon to pasta fagioli, using my cousin Donnie's recipe from our family cookbook, "Cucina di Cugini."  Mmmm good comfort food. I had it two days in a row and I'm actually feeling better.

There must be something to that curative olive oil, but I was supposed to EAT it. Tonight, continuing with the success of the Italian theme, I made salsiccia e peperoni. On Mark Bittman's recommendation, despite believing that it's a mortal sin, I spread mustard on my Italian bread. 

I think my sick days are over.