When I went to bed last night I thought I’d made a strong recovery from a days-long hanging-on cold. But – sadly – my lungs still feel entirely incapable of completing what they are tasked to do.

I went to work for a bit, but came home soon after to rest. It really is a good thing I left work, because my brain decided not to come along today.

  • Exhibit A: I tried to convince a colleague that we already discussed something that we clearly hadn’t (I have a vivid memory of a meeting that could never have happened).
  • Exhibit B: On my walk to the train after leaving work, I smiled and waved (with both hands!! vigorously!) to a guy who ended up not being my friend (in my defense, they both own the same hat).
  • Exhibit C: I then swore I saw my friend’s boyfriend in the Crystal City underground. He started to look concerned after the triple take I gave him.
  • Exhibit D: In the next moment, I thought the guy walking towards me was someone I went on a few dates with (wasn’t him). I decided to spend the entire train ride with my nose in a book to save myself future embarrassment.

Being sick means mid-day napping without guilt. And drinking tea. And snuggling with a snoozing 60-pound furball. It also – usually – means soup. Since this sickness is all in my head (and lungs), I can still eat (winning!). So…soup.

Luckily I already had all the ingredients for a smoky black bean soup I found in the Healthy Hedonist. Now that I know the trick for a truly amazing black bean soup, I’ll never stray again. Ready? Chipotle.In.Adobo.Sauce. Seriously – find your standard black bean soup recipe and then write: PLUS THREE CHIPOTLE PEPPERS IN ADOBO SAUCE underneath. Write it in all caps so you know things are serious.

The other trick I can offer you is: immersion blender. My immersion blender is my favorite kitchen utensil. When I use it I feel fancy, even though I really know I’m just being lazy. For example, my recipe states: “using a slotted spoon, remove 1 cup of the beans and place them in a blender. Add the tomatoes and chipotles, and blend until smooth. Return the puree to the soup pot. Stir.” Ignore this step. Immersion blender. 15 seconds. Done.

The one sad thing about black bean soup is that it really doesn’t photograph well. I mean, look at this baby:


Sure it was delicious. And if you believe me it’s because you’re taking my word for it – this photo does nothing to add to my argument. And the photo only looks mildly appetizing because I heaped avocado and shredded cheese on top. I really do feel for professional food photographers. Sure – it must be easy to take a good photo of a caprese salad. Capture a tomato covered in fresh mozzarella and basil in the right light and even a carnivore is salivating. But you know food photographers also have to make wild rice, or chili, or black bean soup (!) look appetizing. That is no simple task. That is why this is one of my favorite websites. I mean just look at the skill!!

I’m going to sign off now so I can properly convalesce. This was going to be a short and sweet post, but illness also makes me loquacious it appears.

I’ll go back to watching The Station Agent. Or reading The Goldfinch. Or doing my Snow Dance (snow! snow! snow!).

Hope your corner of the world is sickness-free.

Be well,

Dana {in DC}

PS. If you’re wondering how to stay on track with your resolutions, you may want to change your environment.