Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | December 13, 2011

Bits and bobs and a recipe

So I’ve been AWOL for a bit. Nothing has been going on of any particular interest. I’ve just continued to have back pain and came down with a nasty cold which left me with those sneezes that make you fear your head will fly off and roll across the room and those coughs that start down near your toes. The combination induced a depression; not, mind you, a Depression, just the grumps down in the dumps I feel like shit and I hurt and I want to be in bed and there are no Christmas presents for anyone and I should be doing all sorts of things but I feel like shit kind of grumpy. Really, I was so tired of hearing myself whine I didn’t want to inflict it on all three or four of you and lose all of my self-respect.

Except for last Thursday, when I stayed home so as not to spew virulent rhinovirus all over the lovely people there, I’ve been diligently attending physical therapy twice weekly, as well as doing my stretches at home. Brian, my therapist, says that in spite of the pain I am definitely making progress since I can bend much farther than I could when I started. He reassures me that these things are stubborn and take time and effort and can be very frustrating, but he can tell that I’m doing the work and I will get better. Somedays I’m holding on to that reassurance by a fingernail, but I’m holding. And c0ntinuing to stretch. In fact, I’m stretching so often people are stopping and looking at me weirdly in parking lots while I use my car to brace myself and look warily at me and ask if I’m okay as I’m stretching while perusing the shelves in the library and stores.

I continue to be grateful for the interwebs. I have friends with whom that is our major, if not only, form of communication. I can order a Georgette Heyer to appear on my Kindle since I can’t face a trip out to the library. I can order Christmas presents and have them arrive wrapped at Mom and Dad’s. I can look up videos on fencing to try to figure out how the hell that works. I can read truly funny or very touching blog posts and I can spend mindless hours in between sneezing and coughing playing games. Now if I can figure out how to get my computer to do laundry, clean bathrooms or cook dinner, I can turn into one of those people you saw in Wall-E.

Daily challenge was to swap your mid-afternoon snack to save cash and calories. Step away from the vending machine or corner convenience store when you’re at work or out and about today. Instead of choosing a sweetened drink for your mid-day break, fill a reusable bottle with water. Skip high-calorie snack or candy bars, pastries, and salty snacks from the machine. Instead, pack your own fruit, trail mix, or string cheese and get a better deal for your bank account and body today. This one doesn’t exactly work for me since my house doesn’t really run to vending machines much, although the kids might like that, but you know, the choose a healthy snack thing is always a good idea. I hear you, Julie, it goes with that damn card you pulled last night. And for those of you who are OCD enough to want the daily challenge on an actual daily basis, let me know in the comments and I can email it to you if I don’t post (*cough Julie cough*).

And here’s the recipe. Seriously, it’s like awesomeness with awesome sauce. I was eating the seven little leftover potatoes and sauce for lunch today and wishing for about 30 more.
Wrinkled potatoes with mojo verde
Serves 3-4
Adapted from Made in Spain

For the potatoes:
1 lb fingerling or other small potatoes (small is truly the operative word here. See if you can find ones the size of large marbles)
1/3 cup kosher salt (the original recipe said 3/4 cup, but you really don’t need that much)

For the mojo verde:
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sherry vinegar
salt to taste

Put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and add the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes for about 25 minutes, or until tender.

Pour out most of the water, leaving just a thin layer in the bottom of the pot. Return the pot to the stovetop. Shake the pot over low heat until the salt covering the potatoes starts to crystallize, about 3-5 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and cover the pot with a paper towel until the potato skins have wrinkled, about 10 minutes.

Put all of the ingredients for the mojo verde into a food processor. Pulse until a paste forms. Serve the potatoes with the mojo verde for dipping.



  1. So sorry you’re not feeling well. My #3 son is just coming out of a nasty cold, too. I keep being side-swiped by them. I get them enough to feel tired and achy, but not enough for anyone to have pity or let me rest. Meh. I hope you’re feeling better soon. (Oh, and I read, but I don’t always get the chance to comment before I’m dragged off by a kiddo. I’d be willing to bet I’m not the only one. Which means you have more than 3 or 4 people here. And we worry. Just saying.)

    • It does seem to be the season for colds, doesn’t it? I didn’t mean to have anyone worry, I was just so sick of my lousy mood and I couldn’t think of anything to write that wasn’t just whining. Thanks!

  2. yes, what Delia sad. I so rarely have anything interesting to say. I’ve been taking zinc and my various other supplements to keep from getting the cold dh has. (which makes dh laugh at me, but hey, he’s sick and I’m not.) so far it’s working. I hope you get well soon! I’ve only thrown my back out once, but I remember it being incredibly painful and taking a long time to heal. I’ve heard that no matter what you do, it just takes about six weeks to heal from a back injury. Hang in there. That recipe sounds wonderful, I loooove cilantro.

    • Well you have pretty darn interesting things to say on your own blog! You’re probably all written out after your papers. I’m at just about six weeks now and the flexibility is much, much better, which is good, but the pain really hasn’t diminished, which is depressing. I highly recommend the recipe. I could probably eat the whole thing myself as long as no one else in the house knew I made it!

  3. Back pain AND sneezing…not good! Sorry you don’t feel well.

    I am going to give my son-in-law to be this recipee to make, it sounds awesome.

    • No, the sneezing and coughing really didn’t help the back at all. But I’m just about over the cold, so now the back needs to get better too. Do get him to make the recipe. It’s truly fabulous.

  4. I’m late! I feel like the White Rabbit, all out of breath and frantically peering at my oversized pocket watch.

    I was so excited about this recipe but then I saw the food processor part, we don’t have one. I’m pretty sure, no I know we don’t. And I actually HAVE a big ol’ bunch of cilantro just getting less fresh by the second!

    Don’t be away for so long next time, WEBS. Even when I don’t feel my very best (the past few days!), or have anything interesting/inspiring to share, I try to get out of my own head long enough to just type out a few phrases, then before I even realize what’s happening, you guys end up with a thousand damn words to slog through.
    Most of us know nothing about your historic and fascinating corner of the world! (Just sayin’.)

    Glad you are on the road to recovery and I adore the idea of you doing your stretches every where you go.

    Oh, ya know…. you could just pop in here with the daily challenges…. and perhaps a Therapy/Healing tid-bit du jour….. 😉

    • A blender will work just as well, possibly better. That’s what we use for making our massive amounts of pesto in the summer and this is pretty much cilantro pesto. I started a post tonight and got one sentence in and just sat and looked at it for about five minutes totally blank. So the daily challenge is in the comments on your blog and I’ll try again tomorrow.

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