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A sick day, a snow day, a just say no day

There are days when we should stop and smell the chicken and dumplings and listen to some Christmas carols. Sometimes when we are so consistently scheduled, it feels really good to break the pattern. When you have a sick child, things have to change and we are all forced to slow down and say no to obligations. In a way it is a blessing! It's like a bonus day, a snow day...when you have the time for more of those things you don't usually get to enjoy as long as you wish like coloring, cooking, and cuddling.

You know how there’s a Seinfeld episode for everything that happens to us in life? I think the same is true for Beatles songs…After a long week at work, I kept having a Beatles soundtrack in my head that related to how I was feeling…It’s been a Hard Days Night and we keep having to Come Together at work when all I want to say is Don’t Bother Me because I’m so Tired. I know that All Things Must Pass so I’ll say Ob-La-Di and when I need some, I’ll yell HELP and I Call Your Name!
After singing these songs in my head for a few days, my daughter got sick. I thought…more stress, but it was truly a blessing because I was forced to slow down with her and just breathe. We curled up together sharing a blanket and colored princesses. Isn’t it true that once we relax, answers to problems will often be revealed? What had seemed like such a big deal becomes much less of one. Then we can be more productive in every area… maybe we all need to color more.
I remember enjoying sick days at home from school when my mom would set me up on the sofa with chicken noodle soup, hot tea, warm blankets, a fire in the fireplace, and I Love Lucy. I felt warm, safe, and secure. Nothing beats home when you are exhausted and curling up in your little mom-made cocoon is pure happiness. “Stay-at-home” mom is the dream job for most working moms, but it has a more special meaning on a sick day. We all deserve some “stay-at-home” time. Make sure you take advantage of yours when you can.
Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.
~Ashleigh Brilliant
How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.
~Spanish Proverb

Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself,
your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.
~Ralph Marston
There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath
“I cannot go to school today,”
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox.
And there’s one more—that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue—
It might be instamatic flue.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broken—
My hips hurt when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,
I have a silver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is—what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is… Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”
~ Shel Silverstein

For your next “stay-at-home” day! Hopefully it will be a “snow day” and not a “sick day!” Read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, listen to She and Him, A Very She & Him Christmas, eat chicken and dumplings, feel a cashmere sweater against your skin, and sip and smell some peppermint tea. You’ll be feeling better before you know it.

Chicken and Dumplings
8 chicken thighs (with skin and bones)
Dredge in and brown in 2-3T vegetable oil:
½ flour
Generous amount of salt
½ t cayenne
¼ t black pepper
Sweat in 1 T vegetable oil:
3 leeks, white and light green part sliced in half moons
2 celery ribs diced
2 carrots, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into chunks
2 parsnips, peeled, diced
2 bay leaves
Deglaze with 1 C dry white wine
Stir in ¼ C more of flour
Gradually add 6 C chicken broth
Stir in browned chicken and juices
2 t fresh lemon juice
1 t sage and rosemary
For the dumplings:
1 ½ C flour
1 C parmesan cheese, grated
2 ½ t baking powder
2 t sugar
Salt and pepper
1 C whole milk
4 T butter

Preheat oven to 375. Cut chicken into large pieces. Combine flour and seasonings in a resalable plastic bag. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess in a deep oven proof pot, heat 1 T oil over med-high. Brown half the chicken; transfer to a plate. Brown the rest in a bit more oil then remove and reduce heat. Sweat the vegetables and bay leaves in oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine; simmer until almost evaporated. Stir in flour to coat vegetables. Gradually add broth then chicken. Cover pot and transfer to the oven; cook for 20 minutes. While stew is in the oven, make dumpling dough. Stir in lemon juice, and herbs before adding dumplings. Blend dry ingredients for dumplings in a mixing bowl. Heat milk and butter until butter melts; blend into dry ingredients. Shape using a small ice cream scoop then drop dumplings into the simmering stew. Braise in oven until dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes. 

Here’s to another week and wishing for Good Day Sunshine!

1 comment:

  1. Funny, I just had a conversation about that with a friend who literally collapsed and fell asleep in the middle of cooking dinner. There are plenty of times to just stop, say no to any more commitments (heck cancel some of them), and just take the time to chill. Preferably with a roasting chicken in the oven, or the recipe you posted. What is it about chicken that's so comforting anyhow? Great post.