Okay...I'm not that tall...
Like a just-just-as-mighty jasmine shrub, I've toppled over.
Something--and I'm not sure what--wheedled its way by my immune system and left me flat on my back for a couple of days, unable to keep anything down.
I'll be kind and save you from reading a detailed diary of my biological functions, but suffice it to say, I am not amused with this constant nausea and ongoing tummy ache. And the fatigue. Extreme fatigue.
I doze on the couch, the PVR a babbling companion. I suppose under normal sickday circumstances this wouldn't be too bad...but this isn't normal sickday circumstances. On a normal sickday a machine filled with Julia Child, Jamie Oliver, Diary of A Foodie and other foodish shows would be small bit of joy in a snuffly world.
But when the mere thought of food makes one moan with disgust and trigger a deep breathing campaign to quell heaves, my normal escape become torture.
All that said, I have learned that my gag reflex is a bit nonsensical and rather choosey as to what sets it off.
The following had me reaching for the remote:
- A bowl of mushrooms
- Watching Jacques Pepin remove braised endives from a pan
- When that new Glee character (the one with the huge mouth) declared no one was more rock'n'roll than Justin Bieber
Yet the following had no impact on my queasiness:
- Watching a sheep have its throat slit and its blood collected by a Navajo elder
- A ship tossed on choppy seas
- Stephen Fry helping scientists study sea lion poo
Needless to say, my tummy has been quite tricky as of late. For the first couple of days all I could really have was tea, ginger ale, rice and pudding.
Easy to make and easy to eat. I fully admit to going for instant pudding the first night: two minutes with a hand mixer and I had several "meals."
Once I was feeling better (but still not really up to eating anything too solid) I eschewed the packet mix and made my own pudding. It's simply a custard, with extra thickening power thanks to cornflour (cornstarch). It doesn't take that long to make, but unlike a packet mix, it does need about an hour to set in the fridge.
Yield: approx 250ml/1c
1.5Tbps cornflour (cornstarch)
a pinch of salt
250ml (1c) milk
1 egg yolk
0.5tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt and combine with milk. Scald the milk while whisking continually--the mixture will thicken quite a bit because of the cornstarch. Take off the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes.
Temper the yolk by slowly dribbling the slightly cooled milk mixture into yolk, whisking all the while. Slowing increase the milk's stream until all of it is mixed with the yolk.
Rinse and towel dry the pot you scalded the milk in and pour the custard in to the pot. Return to the hob and over lowish heat, whisk until the mixture boils. Mix in the butter and vanilla.
Seive out the scrambled eggy bits (if you wish) and pour into bowls (covered with pressed-down clingfilm, again, if you wish), and refrigerate until set.
I'm a quill for hire!