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Mar 23, 2011 07:54 PM

My life sucks right now - rather than drink, I COOK!!

Hi all. A quick overview: I'm a 30-yr. paralegal turned over the road trucker, married to an over the road trucker who's been diagnosed with lymphoma (2nd time), trying to pay off his truck, a house and all the usual bills of living. He'll be in the hospital next week for 1 month for stem cell transplant while I slog up an down the roads trying to make enough (with today's fuel bills) to cover everything. It's downright depressing!! So, when I can't take anymore, I turn to my kitchen and cook myself silly. I was in Lafayette, LA, recently and had a bowl of the Rice Palace's "Gumbo" which, after 2 spoonfuls, I pushed aside. So, this evening, after bringing husband home from the hospital, I broke out my stuff and made my own shrimp/sausage gumbo. Killer stuff, if I say so myself. It's a combo of 2 southern recipes and my own additions and it was super. So what do you guys do when the bottom of your world falls out?? I need some recipes that are nourishing, involved (but not too...), good, that will take my mind off husband, creditors, needed truck repairs without $ to do them, but we will, by God, eat well. Any suggestions?

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  1. You might find some recipes by looking to see what you have in hand, putting it into the search box, and see if you like whatever recipes come up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joebob

      Hey! Great idea!! I never thought of that but will give it a try.
      Thanx Joebob.

    2. Bread -- it's incredibly satisfying to turn out a loaf of bread, and the kneading is a fabulous stress reducer!

      3 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        Though I appreciate the wonders of bread, I can't bake my way out of a paper bag!! Have never been able to make decent pie crust, EVER. My last loaf of bread was used as a door stop. Maybe cookies?? Thanx, though.

        1. re: caiatransplant

          I am also a bum baker, but even I can bake this loaf. No kneading, but good eating. :)

          Good luck with all....

          1. re: caiatransplant

            I HATE baking sweets and my pie crust comes from the Pillsbury box, but no-knead bread is un-screw-up-able, IMO. ;)

            Best wishes to you in this tough time!

        2. So very sorry for your circumstances. Much to bear and hard to persevere.
          I make soup. Lentil sausage or the old gypsy soup from Moosewood.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ldubois2

            What's old Gypsy soup?? Sounds interesting. Got a recipe?

          2. What a terribly difficult time you are going through, caiatransplant. So sorry to hear of your husband's illness and I commend your determination to get through this without the crutches you mentioned. Cooking beats drinking any day of the week.
            I love the soup and bread suggestions above. It is so important to feed yourself well; even, as MFK Fisher would say, "to treat yourself as a guest." Stews and braises also would be good; they're adaptable to any number of spices and preparations; they smell great, they can be economical, and are delicious and healthy. Pots of vegie stew as well: eggplants, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, spices....great as a soup base or stirred into pasta, eaten as a side dish, as an omelet filling, and so on. Roasted chicken with a pan of stuffing on the side and some vegies baked or roasted at the same time is awesome, and lasagna is always good, vegetarian or no. I have a son who is in the hospital more than not, and one thing I like to do is bake; not so much for our house, but for the nurses at the station and the doctors on the service. They don't get a lot of homebaked treats (I just make simple quick breads, coffeecakes, muffins, cookies and the like, though once I did make pizza.) They don't really get many true goodies on their long shifts and are always appreciative. Yep, it smacks of bribery but I don't care: it's an inroad to a more human relationship with the medical staff and they are always extra-accomodating and very, very pleasent. I'm sure that would be the truth in any case, but they sure do seem to like the baked goods, and I feel their "thank yous" in the care they give my boy.
            And always remember: you can always load up a big baked potato with butter and sour cream and salt and pepper and chives and call it dinner. : )
            Best of all good luck to you in this situation. Hang tough.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mamachef

              Thanx so much, mamachef. You brought tears to my eyes. Hug.

              1. re: mamachef

                I agree, treating the professionals that are in partnership with your husband in his cure is important. I do not care what one calls it.I call it "paying it forward". But cooking for others who are serving others. is to me, one of the great human kindnesses.

                This recipe is SO easy and loved by everyone my Mom has made them for. They "age" well, actually getting a bit better (if allowed) over times, som staleness is NOT a factor but a help.


              2. I'm so sorry to hear you're having a hard time, but I think It's wonderful that you turned to your kitchen for support. I lost my job three years ago and developed a gym habit which goes nicely with my cooking addiction. I lost 40 lbs in the year following and perfected my homemade pasta recipe as well as many others. I was unemployed for 14 months and it turned out to be life changing in the best way possible. I highly recommend making homemade pasta as it has always been intensely therapeutic for me. I hope your cloud also proves to have a silver lining.

                2 Replies
                1. re: AuntPlam

                  +1 for homemade pasta. There is something so satisfying about seeing those beautiful sheets of silky dough hanging all over your kitchen, waiting to be made into delicious pasta dishes.

                  1. re: biondanonima

                    pasta was my guess too (esp given the baking issue)