Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. -Proverbs 16:23-25
I love holiday weekends. For the past three days, I’ve been sleeping in and relaxing, hoping that, by Wednesday afternoon when I board the flight to New Orleans, I’ll be cough-free and almost 100% healthy. Truth be told, it seems a little unlikely, but I remain optimistic. This weekend has already done wonders for me, so I can only hope that a few more days of sleeping in and taking it easy (I will perform my duty at the annual Slavic conference, but, beyond that, I plan on treating this as R&R time, as well as a continuation of the much-needed and overdue date I had with my dissertation last week) will continue the healing process that started on Friday night with the arrival of the Greek’s parents. There’s something comforting about having people around to help out and to share the burden of everyday life. We’ve had a quiet weekend together–nothing all that fancy–although there has been good food and a trip to San Francisco, where we stopped by the gorgeous Twin Peaks. Fortunately for us, the weather was clear and we could see all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Elektra has also been enjoying the attention her grandparents have been showering upon her. For the past few days, she’s gone on numerous long walks. As they say, a tired puppy is a happy puppy. Her relaxed expression really says it all.
It’s been quite an eventful week. I applied for a job (a long shot, but one that I needed to apply to simply for the sake of saying to myself that I’m actively embracing change!), I wrote a few pages, I prepared things for the conference and I made spiced lentil soup. While the last thing may seem to pale in comparison to the other listed accomplishments, I beg to differ. It’s been so cold here recently that all I’ve wanted to do is stand near a stove stop where there’s a bubbling pot of of lentils with cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. Even without the lemongrass, this soup has enough flavor and spice to improve any brisk fall evening.
Because food, for me at least, is therapeutic (even when ill, I find myself wanting to make things), I also found myself making my favorite granola again this weekend. This was partly for the Greek’s father, who mentioned how much he liked it when he tried some from the container we carried with us to Greece, and partly for my own sake, since it’s good to have a ready-to-go breakfast in the mornings. Especially when, as the semester goes on and on, you find yourself hitting snooze with increasing frequency. I would even say that, the issue of speed aside, by cutting back on the sugar and oil (only 1/3 cup oil and honey each), this is about as healthy as granola can get.
The other thing that I’ve been enjoying this weekend is youvarlakia me avgolemono (now that the Greek’s parents are here, my long dormant Greek is again being put to work, much to the Greek’s glee), or meatballs with an egg-lemon sauce. This one of my favorite Greek dishes; the egg-lemon sauce is so simple and tasty. I’ve had it with both chicken and meatballs, but I can’t really say that I prefer one over the other; each has its appeal. Regardless of the meat you opt for, it’s the kind of thing you long to eat when you’re sick; I’m convinced that the scent of the broth/sauce alone has healing power. Best of all, it’s the kind of soup that invites the addition of some roughly chopped feta.
In times of trouble, the answer is clearly always more cheese….or chocolate.