Dinner tonight pays homage to neither of those occasions.
Dinner tonight pays homage to an oft-neglected category: sick food.
Sick food is an art form -- and a personal one, at that.
Tea and toast, sometimes with peanut butter? That's a mainstay, no matter what ails you. For the flu, maybe some crackers. For a bad head cold, chicken noodle soup and other broths and soups can help clear the sinuses, and almost no one would disagree. But after that, it's to taste. My dad has said he thinks eggnog is a great sickbed drink. I disagree, but if it makes him feel better, more power to it. Some friends swear by eye-poppingly spicy curries to clear the sinuses. I happen to think that for that first meal post-sickness -- the one where you're not fully better yet but you definitely can't stomach yet another bowl of chicken noodle and you have some appetite back -- nothing can beat takeout Moo Shu pork, sweet and sour chicken AND wonton soup, but I realize I might be alone in that.
Something else I am often alone in? My love for what I made for tonight's repast: creamed salmon on toast. It's my favorite for a very specific circumstance: when you're hungry, sick enough to feel like dung but not so sick that you can't bear the thought of really making anything. (In that case, your best option: beans on toast.) Anyhow, I've spent four of the 11 hours I've been awake lying in bed, and the bulk of the remaining seven hours lying on the couch surrounded by a constantly growing mountain of used Kleenex, so I had built up enough strength to stand in front of the stove and stir the white sauce that makes up the base of the meal. I added some Old Bay seasoning this time in addition to cayenne, Worchester sauce, mustard powder and salt and pepper -- my nose is super stuffed, so I was looking for something I could taste. And with some frozen peas and canned sockeye, dinner was complete.
This is something Nate (who is working the overnight inventory shift on this Valentine's Day) will always make for me, but every roommate I have ever had has looked at its preparation with suspicion, if not downright horror. However, I feel markedly better having had it for dinner, so who's the winner now? Now, for yet another pot of tea and some more of the Olympics, and I plan to be well on the path to healing -- just in time for a seasonally appropriate Chinese feast tomorrow, is my devout hope.