This is the saddest post I will ever write. Because guys, I have no sense of taste right now. None. Actually, that’s an overstatement—I can just barely discern sweetness. Which means that at least the expensive Savannah Bee Company honey that I polished off wasn’t completely wasted as I loaded it into mugfuls of tea. See, I got a cold. A bad cold. I’m calling it the TNNA flu, because I came down with it on the last day of The National Needle Arts Association’s Winter show, which I was working all last weekend. I honestly cannot remember the last time I was this sick. I’ve had colds, sure, but not like this.
This cold was bound to happen, what with working Vogue Knitting LIVE the weekend before. Sunday evening in Phoenix I took food off a coworker’s plate, declaring, “I feel fine!” and I was punished for uttering such damning words come Monday morning, when my throat was on fire and my nose was running. (That coworker, I should add, remains cold-free.) The symptoms devolved quickly as the day went on, and after we broke down the booth I crawled into my hotel bed and stayed there pretty much until we flew home the next day.
On my second day home sick (out of three; I have been on the couch, bored, for DAYS NOW), I set about making myself chicken soup. Mom always made me chicken soup when I was sick growing up, so I channeled her and dragged myself off the couch to throw something together. I kept it simple, as the best chicken soups are, sauteeing carrots, celery, onion, and rosemary in some olive oil in the dutch oven until the onion was just translucent, then plopping in a whole chicken (breast-side down) and covering with stock (the bird wasn’t completely submerged, but almost). Finally, I could pull all my frozen ziplock bags of homemade stock out of the freezer and put them to use! I probably used about 2 cups of my own highly concentrated stock, then 6 cups of water. I didn’t add any additional stock because the color was so nice as it was.
That simmered away, happily smelling up my apartment I’m sure (though I had no knowledge of it, as my sense of smell is long gone as well) for two hours, and then I pulled the bones and skin out and let the meat just collapse into deliciousness. Added a healthy touch of salt and gave it a taste . . . and burned my tongue. That was it. Sensation, but no taste. It was eerie.
I took another sip. Definitely burned myself anew, but still no flavor. Sad, I walked away, figuring by dinnertime the flavors would have melded, perhaps my nose would have cleared, and I’d be able to enjoy it. No dice. Jason taste-tested, pronounced it delicious, so I added more salt and served it up. (I don’t trust him: He likes things under-salted.) We dipped some crusty bread in, and I’ll admit it had therapeutic qualities if not flavorful ones. The leftovers are in the fridge, and I look forward to eating my soup this week, with hopefully (HOPEFULLY) restored sense of taste and smell!