Dear flu shot…fuck you! What the hell? I went and got you, paid 25 stupid bucks, proudly wore my dumb heart-shaped band-aid around like a Girl Scout badge and still spent the last week of my life totally incapacitated and sweating bullets without a sense of taste or smell. Let’s explore:
- Fever hallucination #425: Gossip Girl with beavers — Gnawssip Girl.
- Fever hallucination #2048: My studio apartment…is ENORMOUS.
- Fever hallucination archives: There are no 90-degree angles anywhere in here.
But more importantly, even if I had been able to taste, I couldn’t keep a dang thing down. This week I’m on the mend, but …well, you don’t need to know what happened when I attempted to recover calories with a giant bowl of béchamel-ey macaroni and cheese last night. It was oogly.
No, there’s only one thing that can save me now. It’s rice and dal, that simplest of Indian lentil-based staple dishes, and it’s saved me many times before. When I had mono, rice and dal. When I managed to get sick of French food during my semester abroad (I don’t know how it happened either), rice and dal. I used to improvise a shoddy version in a dollar-store electric kettle at boarding school (also good for boiled eggs, ramen and starting small electric fires).
Without further ado, the recipe: heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium pot, then add half a teaspoon of black mustard seeds. When they “pop,” add half a teaspoon of whole cumin seeds, a clove of garlic sliced very thinly, and a large knob of whole peeled ginger. Stir-fry this around for a minute taking care not to burn the spices or garlic, then add half a cup of split yellow lentils, a cup of water and a good shake of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until soupy and serve over basmati or other long-grain rice. If you’re not dying of plague, a few fresh curry leaves or a dried chili add a lot of flavor. If you are dying of plague, you probably got the same flu shot I did.
This meal will stay down more or less no matter what’s wrong with you. It’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, pretty much totally hypoallergenic and made of stuff your body wants to hang onto — easily digestible protein in the form of skinless lentils made even more easy to digest by boiling it into oblivion, and nice soft rice. Fun fact: it was my first solid food and will probably be the first solid food of whatever offspring I…ugh, talk about keeping it down. I’m getting back into bed.
More simple, wonderful lunches on Food Republic: