A Cooking Post: Odds and Ends, or Cooking with Depression

Let me hasten to assure you that I’m not really depressed. At least not today. Yesterday though…

I’ve been struggling for the last few weeks with side effects to some of my medicine. We (my doctor and I) had agreed I should try a higher dose on one of them, as my symptoms were showing up more often. So I added an extra pill and never really thought about it again. It was only 10 more milligrams.

Then things started getting weird. Loud ear ringing. Dizziness. Loss of balance. Sleep worse than usual. I could function, but couldn’t enjoy anything much. After about a week of this – I waited longer than I should have – I went back to the doctor. After making sure that I wasn’t having a stroke, she said it was probably the medicine. She wanted me to cut back and she would consult with the neurologist about using a different drug.

Okay. I cut back that night and within two days most of the symptoms had receded to barely noticeable. Then ensued several days of pharmacy mix-ups as I tried to get the new drug. I finally got it on Tuesday and worked out a complicated plan of reducing the old medicine while increasing the new one. So Tuesday night, I took the first pill of the new med.

Holy cow. I woke up about two, so dizzy I could hardly walk straight. And the ear ringing was back, although not as loud. No more sleep for me. Wednesday (yesterday) was a Lost Day. I was glum and whiny, had no energy, no desire to do anything, and didn’t give a damn about any of it. I couldn’t believe it. How could one pill do all that?

So I cooked. It’s the only thing I could make myself do. I made Middle Eastern Lentils and Peppers for dinner, a vegan meal of brown rice, chickpeas, bell peppers, lovely spices, lemon and mint. Oh and of course, lentils. I can’t link to the recipe, but it’s from The Slow Cook Book. Before I could make it, I had to cook a batch of chickpeas. I thought that since I had to do that, I might as well cook a big batch and can them.

So I got out my nifty pressure canner and filled a few jars with water to heat them up while I cooked the chickpeas. Best-laid plans… my 32-year-old stovetop was every bit as cantankerous as I was, and the big burner (there’s only one) decided to stop working. If I’d been feeling better, I would have worked around it, but not yesterday. I was Not Dealing With It. At all.

So the chickpeas ended up in my freezer, which I wanted to get away from doing. That’s why I bought the pressure canner. But the ghoddess has spoken – it’s time to get this stove fixed and that’s all there is to it.

I added the chickpea fiasco to my grumpiness and finished making the lentil dish, which was very good. No complaints there.

The other thing I made was Fresh Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce.  I made them without the shrimp. I love these things and it was fun to serve them as an appetizer with a glass of cold chardonnay. Yes, you might have noticed I was mixing cuisines with the spring rolls and the lentil dish. Shrug. We survived, and both dishes went with the chardonnay.

Wait – I cooked even more. I made these. Banana Oat Bars with no sugar or flour. At last, a nearly guilt-free snack!

So my depressed day was not really lost after all. I just felt like it was. And boy, was I scared to take another pill at bedtime! But I agreed with Himself, who didn’t feel that one data point was sufficient. Okay, if it had knocked me unconscious or I’d swollen up with hives or something, one data point might have been enough. But it didn’t seem that dire, so I took another pill.

Not a single problem. I slept all night and I feel darn fine today. I even did an hour of yoga. And more cooking. We started the day with a new batch of waffles, made with my special blend of whole-grain flours and flaxseeds. Here they are, all stacked up for the freezer.

Banana Cinnamon Waffles (Cooking
Banana Cinnamon Waffles (Cooking

I got to have the extra spring rolls for today’s lunch. I didn’t take pictures of them because, trust me, my rolls are not quite… rolled. No dexterity.

Then I made Italian Meatloaf with Fresh Basil and Provolone. I haven’t made this in ages – it was a favorite of my clients back in my personal chef days. And of Himself. He gets it for tonight’s dinner, along with fresh corn on the cob and steamed green beans.

Oh! I thought I was done, but I forgot about the honeydew melon. I’ll give you a break for now, and show you about that tomorrow.


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