The Virus Diaries: Rationing

March 17, 2020 at 1:53 pm (Food, Fully Sick, general life, Love and CJ, Mental illness, Mum Stuff, recipes)

[Day zero and day 1 of the Virus Diaries.]

We had our first ration rage incident last night.

For context, you should know that 8 year-old Louisette has inattentive ADD and she takes Ritalin. She barely eats as a rule—here is the aftermath of a typical breakfast:

That is lemon butter and honey on white bread. Most kids would kill for that. She has eaten one bite and then declared herself full.

Obviously, we’re long since given up on the idea of a healthy breakfast and we just try to get her to eat SOMETHING. Ritalin is known to suppress appetite but this is a typical breakfast even when she hasn’t taken her tablet yet.

One thing that DOES happen in the late afternoon/evening is that the effect of the Ritalin wears off and she is suddenly very cranky and starving. And also super duper vague (as in, you can tell her there’s a new toy for her on the kitchen bench and she won’t be able to hold the thought in her head long enough to walk through the house and get it).

A meal that’s easy enough for me to make and that she consistently likes is frozen chicken nuggets and fish (it’s a victory if we can even get her to have hot chips). She has 3 nuggets and one battered fish fillet, with tomato sauce, mayo, and lemon juice.  I have stocked up on nuggets but we only have two fish fillets left. So last night I added a nugget to the usual tally but only gave her half a fish. While it was cooking I told her that I had done so and explained why, and she seemed fine with it.

When she collected the cooked meal, however, she screamed and sobbed because her piece of fish was so small. Chris calmed her down and she ate her dinner in the end. But that was our first rationing experience and it sure wasn’t pretty. Poor Louisette. She is an extremely sweet and gentle girl but coming down off Ritalin severely heightens her emotions. She and TJ are both slightly flagged (not tested yet but Louisette is on a waiting list) for being on the autism/asperges spectrum as they’re very very particular about certain things, especially Louisette eg how her shoes feel when she puts them on, and ALWAYS having a hat on outside even if it’s literally just to walk to the car. (The one exception is when swimming.)

 

I don’t cope well with rationing either, so there are fun times ahead. In fact, I’m so bad at rational that I often drink a full glass of water right before bed, knowing full well it’ll make me get up to pee at 2am. Just the thought of, “I shouldn’t drink anything now because it’s too late at night” is enough to make me desperate for a drink. So desperate I can’t sleep. Brilliant.

Yesterday Chris and Tim were both feeling much better and I had some errands to run (picking up and dropping stuff outside people’s houses). My junk food supply is very strong but low on non-chocolate lollies (I’m intolerant of pretty much everything but if I eat a variety of things I think the effects are less). I really love Kool Fruits (they’re like round mentos) and there is a particular local shop that usually has them, but didn’t have them the last two times I went there. So I thought I’d go in real quick and see if they had any, since no one is making me quarantine myself and it would be a very quick visit with theoretically less people than a big supermarket.

It was unusually crowded, so clearly I wasn’t the only one targeting a smaller shop in hopes of getting some food supplies. I bought a LOT of lollies and 1 litre of lactose free milk. I’m quite anxious about running out of lactose free milk because it’s one thing I’m NOT intolerant to. I have enough for about a week, and it’s extremely hard to get at the moment.

Chris has actually gone to work today, so I’ll most likely ask him to attempt to do some shopping too. I would rather he stayed at home, but at the same time I can see that it’s important to not abandon society altogether just yet. And I want more STUFF.

We have settled into our coronapocalypse outfits. I wear pajamas; TJ wears undies and nothing else; Louisette wears undies, a dressing gown, and gumboots.

With the exception of hangry Louisette, everything is quite peaceful. My kids love staying at home doing nothing. You should have seen the joy on TJ’s face when I told him we’d skip school for at least the rest of this week. Here’s an approximation:

 

I’m doing some school work with the kids each day (less than half an hour, which is actually plenty for most primary schoolers). TJ is in Kindy, which like many schools is doing Jolly Phonics, in which letters are introduced in roughly the order of usefulness, and each letter comes with a song and a dance move. I was able to quickly figure out where he’s up to (‘h’) and do that with him. The only hard part is that he desperately wanted to keep going. Adorable, non?

Today is ‘r’.

Louisette is in Year 3. We’ve already been practising Spanish numbers as her class has been doing Spanish for years whereas she’s only just started. I only got around to doing school stuff with her quite late yesterday, so I stuck to Spanish because I knew that even hangry Louisette would enjoy that. Today we’re doing clocks—every time I get up, I adjust the hands of a clock and ask her what time it is on my way past.

Uh oh. Tim just had diarrhea. Still no sign of fever, but that’s ominous. Or not. He had dried fruit on his breakfast, which is a classic diarrhea-inducing food.

Speaking of my cute little disease vector, here’s a fun fact: he always insists on having company when he goes to the toilet. He then sings songs (“The Lion Sleep Tonight” is a favourite at the moment; I love hearing him sing it around the house… Louisette does not), asks maths questions (“Mum, what’s 7 half of?”) and talks about computer games (yeah, that’s gonna be a thing forever I think). Last time he went to the toilet he decided it would be funny if he threw his undies around and played with them like a kitten with string.

And now he’s singing, “Peach is a stinky butt-butt” over and over. (He’s playing Mario Kart.)

Kids are gross, is what I’m saying.

Chris and I decided long ago that if any member of the family got covid-19, we would separate the house into two zones: diabetic me in the master bedroom and ensuite; Chris and the kids in the rest of the house. At the moment we’re doing a soft version of that. Chris sleeps in his study and only uses the main bathroom. I only use the ensuite. This is great for me, because I get the biggest bed to myself. (This of course inspired the classic pre-divorce question, “Daddy, why don’t you and Mum sleep in the same bed any more?” which amused me because I’m odd. And because we’re actually not getting divorced. Side note: I bet divorce rates go up after mandatory quarantining. I recommend quarantining your house in sections, for both health and sanity.)

Hmm. Tim just had diarrhea again. It’s a rare symptom of covid-19 and there’s still no fever in any members of the household, but it is a bit suggestive that he’s had a sore throat and diarrhea.

Now that I’ve told you that my 8 year-old still has tantrums and my 5 year-old is just a windmill of gastro, here’s a little dialogue I overheard yesterday:

Louisette: TJ, is it all right if I go into your room and play with your blue monkey toy?

TJ: Sure. Actually you can keep it forever.

What little angels, right?

Last night I dreamed that I ended up with twelve orphaned kittens that I oh so graciously offered to find homes for—hoping, of course, to get Chris to agree to keep at least one.

I have dreams about getting another kitten at least once a week. If I can think of a decent excuse to get a second kitten in real life, I will grab it with both hands. But of course we have Zipper, and one cat is sufficient for survival. With a cat, my immediate family, chocolate, books, and the internet, I can survive most things.

Here’s Zipper yesterday, annoyed as usual that I’ve gotten the camera out.

And I noticed yesterday that my potatoes have sprouted. Which is good!

About two weeks ago I set aside three potatoes (ie one of my rare safe foods) to plant a “The Martian”-style food source in our front garden. We’ve actually grown potatoes there before, so I feel mildly confident that I can make them grow. Of course, things escalated a lot sooner than I expected so it’s unlikely they’ll have time to grow before all of Canberra is on lockdown. Still, I’m proud of them. Especially since the basil plant I bought a week ago is already looking melancholy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway…

Resource of the day:

Fried Rice

Ingredients:

Cooked rice

Any vegetable you got, cut up small.

Any meat/eggs/tofu you got, cooked and cut up small.

Soy sauce if you have some.

A dessert spoon full of sugar.

Any oil you got.

  1. Fry in a pan.
  2. Eat.

Tim is currently liking fried rice with peas, corn, egg, and soy sauce. (Can you tell that that’s what he eats when Chris and I are eating maple marinated salmon?)

Recommended donation of the day:

Order some Chinese delivery or takeaway food. Restaurants may well close soon, and apparently some Chinese restaurants are being avoided due to people being racist. Eat that yummy yummy food while you can! Order lots, and freeze some for later. I know meat (and for that matter potatoes) are in short supply at the moment, so this is a handy way to stock up on protein.

Recommended personal action of the day: Disinfect (but don’t wet) your phone and keyboards.

Recommended hoarding item of the day: Order hot water bottles online. If a lot of people are staying home with heaters on (when the weather gets colder), we may have power outages. Save electricity and protect your family by having something that only requires ten minutes of electricity (to heat the water) every coupla hours. In fact, most hot water taps are sufficient for a hot water bottle even after the electricity is off (as you have hot water stored up in your water heater).

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The Virus Diaries: A Million Shades of Grey

March 16, 2020 at 12:58 pm (Fully Sick, general life, Mum Stuff, recipes)

Beginning of the Virus Diaries.

I dreamed that Chris Evans (aka Captain America) and I were rehearsing a romantic scene (yes there was kissing, shut up) for a new Marvel movie. I often dream I’m rehearsing for Marvel movies—usually with Zendaya and Tom Holland, because apparently my unconscious mind thinks I’m in my 20s—and it’s enormously fun.

An SMS woke me up (because so much is getting cancelled at the moment, there are a lot of organisational messages flying about) but I managed to step back into my dream.

Unfortunately I now dreamed that I’d overslept and was running late to rehearsal. I frantically got ready, including a shower because I didn’t want to smell bad while kissing Chris Evans (my unconscious mind is very considerate of major Hollywood stars), but my car was missing. I begged my mother to borrow her car, which I’d never driven before, and she reluctantly let me (KISSING CHRIS EVANS, MUM! I GOTTA GO BEFORE I GET FIRED!!), at which point I rabbit-hopped across the road just as a cop car came around the corner. I babbled frantically that I was just driving the car for the first time and not drunk or anything and pleeeeaaase let me go to work. That’s when they noticed my mother’s car was out of rego.

MUUUUM!

At which point I was woken by another SMS, and I got up. Might as well, since Marvel was definitely going to fire me. Oh well, it’s not like I could survive the Marvel Diet anyway.

Pretty sure the dream was courtesy of this article at the Mary Sue web site:

And Now a Thread of Chris Evans as Hand Sanitizer Because We Deserve It

 

Today is Monday. It was going to be the kids’ first swimming carnival, but it got postponed—luckily for us, as we’re staying home anyway. I’m 99% sure none of the Banks family has the COVID-19 virus, or even a regular flu, but we’re doing the right thing staying home under the circumstances. Going to work sick is not cool any more, my peeps.

The title of today’s episode is all about that funny limbo state most Australians find themselves in right now. Do we self-isolate? When? How much?

Things have changed so quickly from, “Eh, it’s just a bad flu. If you’re healthy, you’ll be fine” to “Lockdown” trending on twitter because people WANT the government to shut everything down immediately.

My family is one of the “lucky” ones as Chris works in the public service which is big enough that a lot of people will be able to work from home (although the system is definitely not strong enough for it to go smoothly or to work for everyone) and I suspect we won’t lose any pay. Our kids are extremely screen addicted and will cope very well with being socially isolated for weeks on end. I already work from home (except for when I’m selling books at fairs/festivals, so I’ve already lost some income there and will continue to do so for some time). I even have a new book that I just started writing! I’ll talk more about that later, I promise.

A lot of people—particularly casual workers—are going to have a very hard time. Disabled and chronically ill people are already having a bad time (being treated as even more expendable than usual), and are also more likely to die, and are also extremely likely to have necessary services (such as nurse visits or people who deliver their groceries for them) cut off. Please check on anyone you know who’s elderly, disabled, chronically ill, or suffering income-wise.

In health terms, Chris still has a sore throat and headache but no fever.

TJ is five and a hypochondriac. When he feels sick, I generally ask him what hurts and then ask him if his elbows hurt, telling him that if his elbows hurt then it’s serious. Sure enough, his elbows always hurt under those circumstances. Then he starts naming other painful body parts. But my careful questioning yesterday seemed to support the statements that he has a sore/nauseous stomach and a sore throat.

I have a sore throat, migraine, body aches, diarrhea, and nausea. All of those are pretty standard (fibromyalgia is a disease of the nervous system, so it’s all about that widespread pain and fatigue), although I’m not usually nauseous. I don’t feel feverish at all.

Louisette is fine.

Yesterday was actually a surprisingly eventful day. We had two visitors (from whom I kept my distance, even though I felt like a fool). My Mum dropped by to pick up some stuff my sister’s kids had left here, and to drop off half of a sign that we are painting together. The sign is very exciting. It’s also very hard to photograph, since it’s displayed inside a window and the glass is very reflective.

This photo probably isn’t as exciting to you as it is to me. It’s not, as it might seem at first glance, a photo of our rubbish bins. The “Through Rooms” sign is metallic paint on a sheet of copper. We will eventually finish the other side, and the whole thing will say:

Shooting Through

Escape Rooms

But in any case it’s not super urgent to finish it since I can’t run the escape room at the moment. So every who sees it will just be left pondering what “Through Rooms” could possibly mean.

My second visitor was a friend who had offered a few days ago to do shopping for me if necessary… and although it definitely wasn’t technically necessary, it was certainly useful. Here’s the list I gave her, and how it all went down (italics is for things that I suspected might not be in stock):

6 litres full cream milk [for Tim and Chris for a week] – success!

A bottle of maple syrup (see yesterday’s recipe) – success!

A frozen Hawaiian pizza – success!

A pack of frozen salmon (again, for yesterday’s recipe) – success!

20ish apples – success!

10L lactose free long-life full cream milk (Louisette and I go through at least 10L/week) – utter failure! There was not a single litre to be had. Luckily I just bought some the other day so we’re okay for at least this week.

6L normal (ie with lactose) long life full cream milk – success, just… she had to buy the expensive organic stuff. Which she did, because she loves me.

2 packs roll-ups – success!

1 loaf white bread – success!

1 wheel of brie – success!

4 pack of non-diet ginger beer – success!

Aldi ‘Confidence’ toilet paper – hah! Nope.

1 pack frozen peas: There were none to be had anywhere, but she spotted a pack lurking behind unrelated items in the frozen food section and literally climbed into the fridge to GET FELICITY THOSE PEAS BECAUSE AIN’T NO FRIEND OF CHEVELLE GONNA GO WITHOUT FROZEN PEAS WHEN SHE SAID SHE WANTED FROZEN PEAS. SUCCESS BABY!

Dear frightened friends, we’ve all seen the footage of people fighting over toilet paper in an especially bogan corner of Australia. It’s a scary time, not just because of the COVID-19 virus but because fear brings out the worst in people. Please remember my friend climbing into a supermarket refrigerator and take heart. Times like this bring out the best in people too.

Be best, my dear ones. Be best.

Be like Zipper.

My poor able-bodied husband was a bit embarrassed that I let someone fetch my groceries like that, especially the ginger beer and Brie (in his ignorance, he considers them non-essential items). I have many many years of practice at being dependent on others, and with the way things are going we (that is, everyone in Australia) may not be able to go shopping for much longer. No one is going to starve, but everyone is going to have to go without something (eg their favourite brand of noodles). Don’t forget to stock up on treats.

 

There was a minor miscommunication over dinner and the pizza was entirely consumed by the not-Felicity members of the household. Which is fine really, since I’m intolerant of both ham and pineapple anyway… and I had Brie and crackers for my dinner. Yum.

 

My son TJ is hilarious. Yesterday he ran a series of experiments to test which one of his hands was:

1. Heavier

2. Faster

3. Better at punching air

4. Better at slicing air

His conclusion based on vigorous experimentation was that his hands weigh the same, and are equally proficient at punching and slicing air. However, he informed me that his left hand is slightly faster than his right. (He is right-handed, so there may be a tiny flaw in his research somewhere.)

He also tried Brie for the first time.

He liked it, but declared that he was full after one piece. Excellent. I ain’t sharing my brie with the kids.

 

Resource of the day:

Recipe for perfect stovetop popcorn (warning: DO NOT burn popcorn. It is an extraordinarily noxious smell).

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon oil

1/3c popping corn (it’s quite hard to find in shops; usually on the top shelf)

salt, butter, sugar, cinnamon, etc

1. Put oil into a saucepan, add three corn kernels, put the lid on, and put it on medium heat for around 5 minutes (if you are absent-minded or have fibromyalgia or some other brain-breaking condition, put on a timer for five minutes, then two minutes, then one minute).

2. When all three kernels are popped, remove the pan from the heat. Take the three popped kernels from the pan with tongs and throw them away.

3. Add the rest of the kernels, put the lid on, and count out one minute (I use the timer again).

4. Put the saucepan back on the heat, shaking it every so often to move the kernels around. Keep the lid on a slight angle so steam can escape (but not popcorn).

5. When there are no pops for 10 seconds, turn off the stove and pour your popcorn into a bowl/s. Add your salt/sugar/etc as you like, using the hot saucepan to melt butter if you’re adding butter.

I use about a tablespoon of butter, twice as much icing sugar, and 1/4 tsp of salt.

I eat the whole lot myself, but it could easily serve four people.

Recommended donation of the day: Check on your retail workers, elderly neighbours/parents/friends, and disabled/chronically ill people. Assuming you’re well, it may be useful to grocery shop for them and/or clean their home surfaces.

Recommended personal action of the day: Clean every doorknob, light switch, and handle you can find in your home and/or car and/or office. People are very likely to mock you if you do this in public, but do it anyway.

Today’s recommended item to hoard: Fresh herb plants. Hopefully you can keep them alive long enough to keep eating them (fresh greens) until the virus crisis is over.

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Lactose Day

July 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm (general life, recipes)

The best part about experimenting with possible food allergies is the part when you get to suddenly eat all the stuff you might be intolerant too – right after you’ve missed it for so long.

All last week I stayed off all dairy products – no milk, no sweet delicious butter, no heavenly sour cream or fetta or yoghurt or cream cheese. And no chocolate.

Today I went nuts with the experimental eating.

Breakfast: Cereal and milk, plus 10 grams of chocolate. (And – unusually for me – I not only went to church, but I stayed around talking to people afterwards. I am SO much more functional on chocolate.)

Morning tea: Strawbery and banana milkshake with added sour cream (why not, right?)

Lunch: Baked slices of potato topped with cream cheese and butter-fried zucchini pieces (also known as the Cream Cheese Lunch of Dooooooooom).

Afternoon tea: Far too much chocolate, plus chocolate milk. And a half-shot of Frangelico with milk. (I was writing, and wanted chocolate so very much. It was a GREAT writing session, as usual when I break a diet. Last time I did this I consumed 300 grams of chocolate, and this time I ate 70 grams. Which sort of makes this a good day.)

Dinner: Tuna mornay with extra cheese + a side of beans fried in butter and garlic, and with fetta added at the last moment.

Supper: Chocolate milk.

I posted an article today on http://twittertales.wordpress.com about homosexuality and the Bible. It’s a scary thing to do because I have 2000 fans/followers, and at least some are likely to have a strong negative reaction. I used a pretty shocking opening example, too (offensive shocking, not M-rated shocking). In my head, I’m constantly in deadly danger of getting in trouble (like I’m five years old, I know). It genuinely scares me. But I’m more scared of deserving to get in trouble – I’d rather be unjustly punished than punished for something I actually did – so I think I can handle any hate the article brings out. Plus the sermon in church this morning used the exact same key passage as I did, and made the same central point (not that it was a sermon about homosexuality – that’s too hot a button for most sermons). That was encouraging (while also reminding me of some really dumb stuff I’ve done lately).

This is one of those rare and special occasions where my writing actually means something.

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Stuffed

February 24, 2010 at 12:59 am (Mental illness, recipes)

Yesterday and the day before, I upgraded “daily crying” to “crying in public”. I also received some very bad news yesterday (the kind that really is devastating, and will have an effect on me for the rest of my life – but in five years I’ll be glad it happened).

But generally I’m less homicidal lately. Yesterday I exercised control over my world by swapping a couch with our spare bed, so I don’t get so uncomfortable watching DVDs on my partner’s computer. Today I plan to make him throw away stuff. That always makes me feel like I’ve made the world a better place.

The doc reckons I have Giardia, but also wanted to do some tests (particularly since I was super careful about not drinking any Indonesian water, or ice, or eating salad, or brushing my teeth except with bottled water). I’ll start taking anti-Giardia pills at lunch today.

Stuffed Capsicum (serves two, or one hungry person):

1. Slice a capsicum in half and scoop out the seeds and ribs so it makes two little bowls. Roast them facing down for ten minutes at 200 degrees celcius.

2. Mix a small amount of cooked rice with crushed nuts (you can smash them to bits yourself with a potato masher), chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic and a teaspoon or so of either cream, butter or oil. You can also put in tuna, cooked chicken pieces, tofu, or almost anything.

3. Flip over the slightly-cooked capsicum halves and fill with the mixture. Cook another 5-10 minutes, top with grated cheese, and eat.

Since I’m using my parents’ internet, here’s a picture:

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So You Think You Can Diet

February 23, 2010 at 1:28 am (general life, recipes)

I’m cautiously optimistic. The scales today said 78.3 kilos. It’s not great, but it’s not awful. They also read 77.6 at one point, but that seems a little implausible so either I accidentally cheated (more than the acceptable level of cheating, I mean), or there was a leak in the space-time continuum. Either way, I’ll weight a few days before weighing myself again.

My partner and I got bits of extra work which added up to about $150, which really takes the pressure off. We still can’t fix either of our cars (yet) but if I need to do something stupid we can go out to dinner.

Yesterday we went to a friend’s place for dinner and he made salad – usually a favourite of mine (I’ve even blogged about it). But there was chicken (my newest, shiniest food-related phobia). And vegetables. I was so hungry I was barely speaking (too difficult to be civil so catatonia was better) but I couldn’t face one bite. So I ate Maccers (which, since it isn’t technically “food” was both edible and a handy way to express my self-destructive urges).

Another friend who was there is obsessed with diseases – the more horrible, the better. He thinks I have living parasites in my gut (based on the fact I got food poisoning in Indonesia in January and haven’t 100% recovered). So I’m going to the doctor today.

Why couldn’t I get the awesomely cool kind of parasite that causes massive weight loss, dagnammit?

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Further Naked Calisthenics

February 21, 2010 at 3:35 am (Mental illness, recipes)

I discovered a new trick on the scales today, and allegedly now weigh 77.9 kilos. I can live with that lie.

Church was unusually difficult today. It was one of those mornings when I wish God would become corporeal so I could punch him in the face. At the same time, I felt he was the only one in the room who caught the slightly sarcastic edge to the songs. So it was like being tortured, but feeling okay about it.

I just found out I won a GPS-type thingy in today’s Australian Sun Herald Travel section – for a teensy bit of non-fiction writing I did. That’s pretty cool – and worth $450. Gotta love that.

Tonight I’ll be eating a potato bake, which isn’t at all healthy, but is delicious.

Peel and slice about a kilo of potatoes, stick them in a greased lasagna tin with chopped bacon and mushroom in the middle layer, then mix a cup of cream with some basil or whatever herbs you like, and pour it over the top so it trickles through. Sprinkle cheese on top of that, then cook it for about an hour with aluminium foil over the top – and a further 10 minutes or so without the al foil (I’m hazy on times and temperatures – it’s basically “Very hot, for ages”. C’est les potatoes).

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Pain and Zucchini

February 18, 2010 at 2:54 am (recipes)

Woke three hours early with an intense headache. Hate the world. Panadol worked, though, so I’m down to just fatigue and hunger. Tomorrow I’ll weigh myself, so I’ll be either cheerful or homicidal. (I have been enjoying the lift in my self respect now I’m not eating 1-2 family-size packs of junk a day.)

Zucchini Soup (I’ll move on to other vegies soon):

3 zucchini

2 onions

1 carrot

2 potatoes

15g margarine

3 c water

1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in some of the water.

Melt the margarine, and put all the vegies in a pot with it (chopped, obviously) for 50 minutes, stirring every so often.

Add water and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Puree and stir in sour cream (if you want).

Serve hot or cold sprinkled with chives.

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Zucchini and Fetta Pancakes

February 16, 2010 at 11:02 pm (recipes)

Zucchini. . . is there a weirder looking word?

These pancakes are inspired by Black Pepper Cafe’s Zucchini and Bocconcini Pancakes (served with natural yoghurt).

The standard pancake batter recipe is: one cup flour, one cup milk, one egg. (I use much more milk – my pancakes are almost see-through – and when I’m poor I use powdered milk and fry them in margarine. Usually I use butter.) I top my pancakes with sugar and lemon juice (a wonderful combination).

To this I added one grated zucchini (my aim was to have a green vegetable for breakfast) and fetta (to hide the taste of the aforementioned green vegetable).

It worked surprisingly well. I added a bit more flour to maintain a similar texture, and found I’d made a much creamier pancake. If it wasn’t for the hint of green colour in the batter, you wouldn’t know they were good for you. (The fact that I fried them in butter, then ate them with lemon juice and sugar, was also a cunning ploy.)

My pain/nausea levels are much as expected, but psychologically I’m holding up well. Today I’m going to buy nature’s lollies – brightly coloured, interestingly shaped, and full of sugar – fruit.

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