October 30, 2009
I’m not supposed to be writing this, really. Dave is going to yell at me.
Today I am at home from school on doctor’s orders, and I am supposed to be resting my hands, arms, & wrists as much as possible while waiting for the course of oral steroids I started this morning to kick in. I have the best PCP/internist in the world, and her office staff deftly fit me in for an emergency appointment after things got so bad that it hurt to hold open a book.
Amazing the things you take for granted, right? That I can go through my life grading vocabulary tests, typing reply emails to parents, scribbling notes in a journal, mincing garlic for dinner, and not feel anything but perhaps a little tired at the end of the day. To be a generally healthy, able-bodied human being, I’ve realized over the last few days, is to be profoundly spoiled.
I would say more, but I really oughn’t. I’m going to do my best today to stay away from my computer, phone, & cutting board (which are, of course, the trifecta of inanimate objects that receive the majority of my attention) and come up with creative, non-injuring-to-the-hands-arms-or-wrists ways to spend my time.
The hypothesis my doctor’s currently testing is that my tendon sheaths are extremely swollen and pressing on the nerves in both wrists, causing pain in both hands and along the forearms. The plan: five-day course of steroids and some sexy wrist-splint-wearing at night. Hopefully, Plan A will suffice and we won’t be moving onto Plan B: visit the neurologist.
In the meantime, I feel lucky to have the most generous folks taking care of me…Courtney, who offered to drive me to Costco and be my concierge this afternoon, so that I don’t have to pick up any large items or push them in a cart. The aforementioned Dave (my best guy friend in the world), who invited me out for delicious pizza and wine dinner last night, then scolded me for texting later in the evening. Usually it is I who confiscates his Blackberry at the table, but for now we may have to switch roles on that one.
Jill has been nothing but sympathetic and will have to carve our Halloween pumpkin; no doubt she’s up for the task. We still have one of the little guys you see below leftover from last weekend, when I made my own pumpkin puree (now safely tucked into the freezer) and toasted up these spicy pepitas.
If you plan to do some carving this weekend (ohandIthinkyoushould), be sure to save your pumpkin’s seeds and toast them up in the oven for a crunchy, addicting, perfect-with-a-cold-beer snack.
Happy Halloween, ya’ll!
There are infinite variations on the theme here—once you’ve got the method down, feel free to play it up with spices. I’ve done an Indian version (cumin, coriander, red chili), a Mediterranean one (oregano, smoked paprika, garlic), and just plain ole salt.
For the version below, I basically rummaged through my spice cabinet and had fun sprinkling little bits of this and that. They got the “OMG did you put crack in these?” thumbs up I so enjoy hearing.
1 ½ cups raw pumpkin seeds, washed & dried well
2-3 T butter or vegetable oil*
2 T honey or brown sugar (the former yields a “wetter” finished product)
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. chipotle powder
¼ tsp. cayenne
pan: foil-lined baking sheet
Combine all ingredients but sea salt in a small bowl. Toss to ensure that each seed is well-coated.
Spread the pumpkin seeds into an even layer on the baking sheet. Toast for 12-15 minutes or until the seeds become fragrant but not overly brown.
Cool just a tad before eating, but they are so delicious warm! Store in an airtight plastic container for up to a week.
*If you use butter, the pepitas will be more flavorful but will also become rancid more quickly, so be careful.