Saturday, June 12, 2010

Recovering. Recipes: Crustless Quiche, biscuits, rolls - what, no cookies!?

This is a pretty healthy dinner, I must say. Except the cookie, of course. This would pass as a hearty breakfast or brunch, too.
Crustless Quiche
1 dozen eggs, beaten until the yellow turns pale
a whole bunch of veggies & stuff: For example, this Quiche has the following, which I sauteed before adding to the eggs: onion, red bell pepper, shredded carrot, diced baby bok choy, canned mushrooms, chopped tomato (just squeeze out the juice after first slice, then continue cutting), chopped olives, chopped broccoli.
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 + cups of shredded cheese of choice (mild or medium - or even sharp - cheddar, colby jack, whatever)
I had extra half-and-half I had to get rid of, so I added that, too, but I usually don't add it.
Mix everything together, pour into two pie pans, and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until browned and the center doesn't jiggle.

Talk about high protein packed full of veggies! My kids eat it with ketchup/catsup (whatever). My husband uses Sriracha hot sauce to spice it up.

Whole Wheat Biscuits (okay, make it with white flour if you like. They taste really good either way).
2 C. Flour (wheat, white, or combo)
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar

Cut in:
1/2 C. butter flavored shortening (regular is okay, too)

Stir in:
3/4 C. Milk

Form into dough, turn out onto floured surface, knead and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick, adding more flour if necessary. Cut with biscuit cutter or glass cup. Bake on glass or metal pan at 450 for 10-12 minutes.

The Easiest Rolls Ever
These use a bread machine for the mixing, but there's no reason you can't just mix it yourself, let it rise about 40 minutes or so, punch down, and let it rise again about 40 minutes before forming.

Put in bread machine in order, or in the order your machine suggests (wet first or dry first)
1 C. warm milk
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 tsp. salt
4 C. flour (bread flour is preferable)
1 Tbs. instant yeast

I usually warm the milk, dump in, use the same cup to soften the butter, dump it, then use the same cup to beat the eggs lightly.
Set machine to Dough cycle.
To Form: divide dough in half. Roll the half into a circle, about the size of a medium pizza. Cut into 12 wedges (like pizza). Working from the wide side, roll each wedge in towards the center point to form the rolls. Repeat with other half. Line on greased cookie sheet, three rows down with 8 rolls across. Cover with dry clean light cloth. Let rise about 1/2 hour. Bake at 375 10-12 minutes.

This dough is so versatile. Just up the sugar to 1/2 cup. and you have perfect cinnamon roll dough.
I use it also for Garlic Pull-Apart Bread, (pictured at left along with sauteed baby bok choy, long grain white rice, hamburger stroganoff, and applesauce made from Grandma H's apple trees) which is sooo good.
Melt 2 Tbs. butter in skillet, saute 6-8 minced garlic cloves for about 3 minutes.
Roll about 2/3 of the dough into an 8 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread garlic mixture over top of dough. Cut into 4 strips vertically, then horizontally to get 16 (3x2 inch) pieces. Place pieces in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. (The arrangement will look like an accordion pleat.) I tip the loaf pan up a little to help stack the rectangles, turning each one with a corner up opposite to the rectangle before and after so it alternates. When I'm done, I set the pan down and move everything to fill the pan evenly. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until slices fill pan, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Bake about 30 minutes, until golden brown, placing foil on top after 10 minutes. Immediately invert bread onto a wire rack; cool slightly. Serve warm. Makes 1 loaf. Serves 8.
Reading: I am loving Magyk. What a fun book. Once again, I find myself carrying the book around with me all day long with the hope that I will have a moment to read. That moment never comes until all the kids are asleep, of course.

Running: Ugh.

Ruminations: Sometimes you lose yourself. It just happens. I guess it's okay as long as it is only temporary. The problem with having lost myself this time is that it feels pretty permanent. Writing always seems to help, so hopefully by the end of this post I will either find myself or have spotted myself waiting for me up ahead.
Wish me luck.
It's my injured body that triggered the Lost Person's Alert this time. With a crazy domino effect, everything else just seemed to cascade away with me - including my identity. I was a runner. I was a triathlete, also, but mostly a runner. Two weeks ago I injured my back on the end of my 20+ miler. Since then I've run (with great pain and less speed than any turtle) only two times - 10 miles and 5 miles. I went swimming twice - 2 miles and 1 mile.
But that's it. In two weeks I've done practically nuttin' but sit, sit, sit. And sleep, sleep, sleep. Oh, and visit two different chiropractors and go twice to the physical therapist. I've used muscle relaxants, pain killers, hot baths, ice packs, and spent countless hours stretching. My back is not getting better. The physical therapist disclosed to me also that it isn't just the acute muscle strain at the base of my back, but it is also the chronic muscle contraction all the way up the right side of my back and shoulder and into my neck, that is causing my problems.
After having a headache every day for three years, I probably should've realized there was a greater problem at play. I guess its good to know the root of all evils is my back, but I'd feel a lot better if we could fix that root. So far nothing.
It's crazy how unbelievably tired I've been. Doctor Husband says I've been burning the candle at both ends and am sleep deprived, so the rest is good. Physical Therapist says my body is trying to heal and recover, so the rest is good. Ex-Runner Me says I'm getting really lazy and if things don't change soon, one of these days I'm just going to end up staying in bed and die there. Oooo, I am such a bundle of positive energy right now.
Resigning myself to the inevitable, I went to pick up my race packet yesterday and to inform the race director that I'm not running today. As I write this, I should be one hour into this morning's marathon. It was going to be a good one for me, maybe a PR (personal record). I'm in almost the best shape I've ever been and have learned how to fuel properly to get me through a race in good form and good time. Almost the best shape I've ever been? No, not now. Two weeks ago I was in almost the best shape (two years ago was the best). Today my body is a lazy bag of bones with no focus, no goal, and no me inside.
I just had a thought - my first glimmer of hope. When I wrote just now that "two years ago was the best" I realized something. Every time I have had a baby (and this includes miscarriage), I have had to start all over. I have done it five times. It is hard to go from running 26 miles with ease to struggling through 2 miles, but I've done it. And I can do it again. I can recover myself. I can. Now I just have to want to.
Do I want to? Do I want to go through all that again? Has it been worth it in the past to slowly get back to where I want to be?
This is where I need to scrunch up my face, close my eyes, search through my brain, and look for me. Ahh, there I am, way back there, fading in and out - a picture of me in bed, a picture of me panting up the hill, a picture of me smiling on a fast run. Right-oh, that's who I want to recover - the smiling me. The me who can do things because she chooses to work for it. It doesn't have to be running, but it has to be something. Swimming, biking, writing...anything, really, that I work for and makes me smile.
I am feeling very selfish. Is it all about me, me, me? No. It can't be. I'm in charge of four little ones, bound to my husband, and a member of a community. It's for them that I get out of bed. But I don't get up early. The getting up early is only for me, and I'm not doing it anymore. So I guess I'm taking care of the things around me. Now I have to get around to recovering myself or I won't be able continue getting up at all.
The race director wouldn't sympathize, which was an eye-opener. I realized what seems so traumatic to me is something he sees all the time. I realized that to him, this is no big deal. Inside I pout, "He's not the one hurting every step he takes!" But then a part of me says, "Maybe he knows you'll heal and this really will pass." Oh - a part of me! I just found a part of me!
The race director also transferred my registration to next year's race. That was a bit of a shock. He thinks I'll be running again. He's already assuming I'll be back in the game next year. He also said that I can now focus on the August race I'm signed up for (a triathlon). He's assuming I'll be going again within weeks! And wow, part of me says, maybe he's right. Oh! That part of me I found is just getting stronger and bigger as it begins to emerge from the recesses of my head! (No, I am not crazy and hearing voices, just having fun with the imagery).
He (the race director - not a voice in my head) invited me to help hand out medals to finishers this morning. I'm leaving to help in an hour. I'm really excited to do that. Despite not being able to run, and not being a recipient of a finisher's medal that ought to have been mine, I get to be a part of the race anyway. That was very, very kind of him - very therapeutic, too, in terms of healing the inside hurt.

Speaking of voices, here is my cheering squad:
My husband, who thinks I overdo it, but supports me anyway. He might be right, but I like overdoing it. I like pushing myself. He's given me the go-ahead to get treatment, slapped on some pain reliever patch when it hurt too bad to sleep, and made a late-night trip to get some muscle relaxants just to help me out. I know he thinks my running is silly, but he knows how much it means to me and lets me do it anyway. One of these days I'm going to run my best and make him proud, and then he'll decide my running is a good thing.
My kids, who think their mom can do anything, and I don't want to disappoint them. Ever.
My little brother (who is only thirteen months younger than me and much taller, but I like to call him little anyway) spent quite a bit of time chatting with me yesterday. He just ordered his own pair of barefoot shoes (Vibram Five Fingers) and is in the middle of reading, "Born to Run." His enthusiasm was contagious, his information intriguing, and his ideas compelling. In other words, I want to read the book now. As he deals with running injuries right now, he can commiserate and encourage me that maybe this isn't the end of my Running identity.
My older brother is also dealing with injuries. He either needs new shoes or no shoes (depending on your take on barefoot running). He was going to run today's marathon in my place, but shin splits took him out of the game. He tends to think I'll get better, too. I'm trying to believe him because I've always believed him.
My oldest brother is quadriplegic. He deals with acute and chronic pain all the time. To him, it's just life. Yeah, it is just life. My back makes it hurt to walk, but at least I can walk. To him, I am not a Runner, I am Family. Besides, he's also convinced I'll get better.
My parents, who probably would be delighted if I stopped running and stopped getting hurt, but are proud of me nonetheless.
My little sister-in-law, who made me do yoga even though I just wanted to sit. It was good to do something at least. My parents-in-law, who would have been at the race if I had run today...
My friends who have given advice and sympathy, pointed me to the right chiropractor and the right physical therapist, and baked me my very own plate of cookies. I feel spoiled with all this love.
The voices of those that matter most to me...they believe. Not necessarily that I'll be running, but that I'll be my best at whatever it is I set out to do. I just need to get out of bed and set out! And, in the setting out, take them along. I think as I start the journey with them and with the little part of me that I've found, that I'll recover the rest of me and find joy and satisfaction in my roles and my goals.
I guess the first step on the journey to recover is to know where I'm going. Time to set some goals. Time to wake up and do something more than dream... Time to find Me.

I have a black toe on my left big toe from my last marathon. Running is so much a part of my life in a positive way, but it also impacts me negatively when I'm injured and running hurts, or when I go through withdrawal when I can't run at all. I don't want to give it up, though. I won't.
When I find a shoe I like, I stock up. Especially if the shoe is on sale. Then I just alternate days so the shoes get the same wear. That would all change if I became a barefoot runner, I guess. Except winter. I wouldn't go shoeless in winter.

LATER: I just got back from handing out finisher's medals at today's marathon. I couldn't help thinking how much more fun I was having cheering on the runners than the runner's were having pushing through the pain... But, of course, I know they're accomplishment is gratifying and I would love to be in their shoes. Well, there was one barefoot runner - I guess I should say I'd love to be in his feet?
Dang it, my back hurts. Back to my quest to find the rest of me.
Again, wish me luck. A hug wouldn't hurt, either.


  1. i attest that the food was GREAT! way to rise above the doom-and-gloom and handing out medals! next year for sure!

  2. I'd give you a hug if I could. I think that it's hard for someone who isn't a runner, someone who doesn't enjoy lacing up and heading out the door to do something crazy like run 20 miles on a Saturday morning before coming back to go to soccer games and ward parties, doesn't get it and probably never will. But I get it. There's nothing that makes me crazier than being injured. You'll get it back, Steph. But in the meantime, don't feel bad about needing to vent about it.

  3. I understand the difficulty of having an identity that is all wrapped up in the physical, visceral part of our existence. I was bawling to Eric this morning about my own thwarted plans this morning and he said,"It's like you've been training for a marathon and then they told you had to stop after only running a mile." I smiled through my messy tears and thought of you. Different marathons, same frustration. Let's both keep going and perhaps we can wave to our various "selves in process" as hopefully our paths and conversations cross along the way. WE CAN DO IT!!! (That's really all we know how to do, right?) Love you! Thank you for sharing your beautiful difficulties AND tender triumphs with me!

  4. Thanks guys. I wasn't dealing with the whole injury thing very well, was I? Well, I guess I just had to get the frustration out so I could get over it. I'm much happier now that I've resigned myself to a (hopefully short!) future of rehab. I'm guess I'm just going to turn into a really good swimmer now. :) (The sun is shining which stops my whining and curbs my pining so I am finding that silver lining which leaves me smiling). hee-hee.