Last Monday when I came home from Stockholm, as I was driving home from the airport, I started feeling a little weird, as in not hungry at all although it was 10 p.m. and I hadn't had anything since lunch. I thought it just had to be the tiredness from all that walking in the cold wind, so when I went home I went straight to bed thinking that would make me feel better. Wrong. It wasn't that I was tired. It wasn't the walking or the wind or all those other things. It was a stomach flu that kept me up most of the night. Last time I had one of those I was traveling through California with my parents and I was 11, so I had no recollection of what kind of medicine and remedies one has to use in these cases. After going through the medicine cabinet, though, I realized that even if I had known everything in that stupid drawer had expired around 1999. My mother calls it "being a healthy family". I called it something else at 5 a.m. while sweating cold sweat and feeling too nauseous to stand, but I won't repeat it here because there might be kids reading this. So Tuesday I still felt under the weather. No more nausea, but my stomach still felt weird. And the weirdest thing of all was that I still wasn't hungry. At all. I sipped on herbal tea and nibble on saltines. I spent the whole day on the couch desperately trying to make myself feel better. The next day at 7 a.m. I had to be on a plane to Amsterdam with Francesca, dammit. So I went to bed at 8 p.m., confident that when the alarm would go off at 5 a.m. on Wednesday I would wake up feeling like my normal self again.
It didn't happen.
What did happen, instead, is that Francesca called me at 5 a.m. to tell me that she was also feeling lousy, describing me the same symptoms I had had Monday night. We knew right away our trip to Amsterdam was not going to happen. I mean, what's the point in going to visit a new, wonderful city when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and die? We decided to stay home and spent the next three days talking to each other over Skype, both laying on the couch too weak to even sit up. We were miserable. So miserable that we were dreaming about having someone show up at our doorstep with some kind of comfort soup. On the third day I was so desperate I was dreaming of Campbell's chicken noodle soup. Which is when I realized that I actually had all the ingredients —except for the celery— to make chicken noodle soup. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I dragged myself to the kitchen, drank some herbal tea with lots of sugar in it for energy, and put together the soup. Now I don't know id it was the flu that had simply ran its course or it was my soup, but the next day I woke up feeling great. And as for Amsterdam, I swear I'm going to go in the spring.
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Adapted from Cooking Light
- 48 oz. chicken broth1 tablespoon olive oil1/2 cup chopped onion1/2 cup green peas1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1 medium carrot, chopped6 ounces fusilli pasta2 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (I didn’t have any, so I cooked and shredded my own chicken)2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Warm up broth in a large sauce pan.While broth heats, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, green peas, salt, pepper, and carrot; sauté 3 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Add to hot broth and stir in pasta; bring to a boil. Cook 7 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente. Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley