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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Allocating limited energy

Those little  chemo warriors must be staging a fierce battle inside my body because I'm still dragging.  I just hope they don't get too carried away and  kill off more good cells than bad cells. I decided yesterday that if I'm only going to  have a limited supply of energy to draw upon, I'll have to allocate it on a priority basis, so I decided  to concentrate primarily on cooking supper. I have managed to get out and fill the bird feeders, check on the seedlings in the greenhouse and do some spot watering out there, but have decided everything else, except for preparing  one major meal a day,  can wait until I have  more energy and can get get around to doing it without becoming exhausted!
 I turned to Jacques Pepin's  More Fast Food My Way for   menu ideas and recipes  for yesterday and today. We have dined like  kings for the past two days, I kid you not. In fact,   by doling out my energy to one major task per day, I have   gone from one course meals to two course until today I worked up to a three course meal!   Go me!

Yesterday  we began with  smoked salmon timbales:  alternating layers of  goat cheese, thinly sliced smoked salmon,  sliced apple and sliced red onion.  A lovely combination of tastes and textures.  We followed that with  broiled lamb chops with spinach and baked potatoes with chive sour cream.  The spinach was sauteed with   garlic, pimentos  and golden raisins. The menu also called for  crepes with banana rum filling, but I had run out of steam by then so we went without a dessert. The lamb chops  were delicious as was the spinach and I'll probably   cook using that recipe again.

 Tonight, we went for three courses- and made it!  We began with a mushroom veloute.  The recipe called for both white button mushrooms and tree ear mushrooms, but our local Piggly Wiggly is not known for  offering   less well-known varieties of  mushrooms - I don't think I've ever seen a dried morel in there, let alone a tree ear. Despite the omission, the  veloute was quite good, and I had made enough   that we'll be able to have some for lunch tomorrow. For the main course we had  what Jacques  calls "Instant beef tenderloin stew."   This is probably the first time I have ever cooked  a stew without braising the meat and vegetables in some sort of broth.  Diced potatoes, baby carrots, button mushrooms, chopped onions and garlic are cooked in butter and olive oil in a covered skillet  until tender, at which point baby  peas are added- I used frozen peas. The beef tenderloin  is cut into  1 1/2 inch pieces and sauteed in another skillet, then  removed when  browned.    A small amount of white wine and chicken broth are then added to the skillet, brought to a boil  then everything is combined   and served.  It was    very tasty and quite filling and I was surprised that the meat turned out to be as tender as it did. We finished up the meal with an apple. pecan and apricot crumble that was  easy- peasy to put together and had been cooking in the oven while the rest of the meal was being prepared. 

So that is  how I've  allocated my  limited amount of energy.  I'm hoping that  the fatigue will lessen  in a day or so and I can actually get more accomplished. Time will tell.  Meanwhile, I'm off to bed. 

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