Having hoped I might get through the winter without succumbling to one of the many unpleasant lurgies that seem to have been afflicting my friends we've both just been poleaxed by a weird bug that involves coughing, aching, nausea and an upset stomach. Is it flu? Who knows? Everything is referred to as The Flu these days, even when it's a common cold. But I know this is serious because I don't feel like eating. (Unheard-of, obviously)
The few things that have appealed have been plain boiled rice (yes, it's that bad), Marigold Vegetable Bouillon (drunk as a soup), hot apple juice spiked with cinnamon and cloves and fish fingers and mayo (strangely soothing when you're feeling rough). I might even go so far today (I did. See right) as to make us my favourite childhood food when I was ill: eggs-in-a-cup which consists of soft boiled eggs mushed up with fresh white bread and a little bit of soft butter*. And, if I feel strong enough (pause for a quick coughing fit) a bowl of vegetable soup made with the turkey stock I virtuously froze after Christmas,
The plus side - apart from the opportunity to re-watch bad films and old episodes of 'Allo, Allo - is that this is an impeccably frugal and healthy start to 2009. But I certainly look forward to getting my appetite back.
What do you like to eat when you're feeling fragile? (Apart from Marmite, of course. Think we've probably had enough of that lately ;-)
PS Eggophobes may feel a bit queasy at the idea of this dish but for those of you to whom it appeals and whose mother did not give it to them when they were ailing, this is how to do it:
For each person you need 2 good fresh eggs and a thick slice of traditional white English bread (a tin loaf, preferably a day old) Cut the crusts off the bread and break it by hand into rough crumbs. (See above. You don't want fine breadcumbs) Soft boil the eggs for about three minutes if you keep them at room temperature, four, if you've taken them straight from the fridge. Put the crumbs in a large cup or a small bowl, scoop the eggs out of their shells, add a chunk of soft butter - on top of the egg so it melts - then chop the whole thing together with a teaspoon. Season with salt and white pepper if you have it. If not black will do but that's not the way my mum made it. And eat as soon as possible. Oh, and don't expect too much. It's slightly soggy, very bland but immensely comforting . . .