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Thursday, January 28, 2010

daily bliss: healthy mac and cheese

Feeling sleepy but relatively chipper, I decided to make a veggie laden mac and cheese for dinner. Though mac and cheese is my staple comfort food, I didn't feel in the need of culinary soothing tonight. I just craved something cheesey and veggietastic.

I sauteed leek, garlic, red chard. I added broccoli florets and stalks, roasted red and yellow peppers. I cooked whole wheat pasta. I made a cheese sauce: melt a dab of butter and stir in flour to make a roux. Add skim milk, coarse pepper and salt, reduced fat mexican melting cheeses, 10 year aged cheddar, and bellavitano (a fruity parmesan style produced in Wisconsin). Mix all the ingredients together, pour into a buttered casserole (le creuset!) and top with buttered panko. Bake. Pour a small glass of Layer Cake Shiraz.

The dish tasted delicious, both decadent and healthy all at once.

The only problem is that in this case, it seemed to cause the blueseyness that it usually cures.

Suddenly, the cold, dry, winter air seemed interminable and unbearable. The noise of sitcoms I usually find humorous grated on my nerves. Sudoku puzzles, my latest interest, seemed ridiculous, annoying, and pointless. I turned off the TV and the silence reverberated, filled with my own thoughts, which quickly turned into a series of unfounded worries, since, to quote Holden Caulfield, "When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around" (rest in peace, Salinger, literary man of mystery).

I'm tired, after my first week back of teaching after break. Next week I'm hosting a campus wide event *and* leading a workshop on writing your own love stories. Projects, small and large, loom over me. The coldest air of the year is parked here for a few days. I have a stack of student essays to grade, an article to write.

I really want to curl up in front of a fireplace (which I don't have) with a 500 page novel and leave the world for a little while.

Such is winter.

And so, I seek solace in laughter, in conversation. In an earlyish bedtime and sweet dreams. The promise that tomorrow will start a happier day.

Goodnight, my friends.

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