April 2009


This is a whiny post about my whininess. Not whinniness, which is what a horse would be, but whiny-ness. I’m a whiner. Whiner sum ego.

I went to the doctor last week, after years of complaining about the cold. Yes, I’m one of those people that you wish would just move away, so you never have to hear about the frozen feet again. I wear multiple wool sweaters in the winter. I wear wool leggings under my pants, and several pairs of socks under my sheepskin boots. Yet my hands and feet, and thus my entire body, remain unremittingly frigid. I hate it. I hate it so bad that it frequently makes me cry.

It’s against my principles to set the thermostat above 68 in the winter. Even that feels indulgent. Yet, every once in a while, I just can’t take it anymore and crank it up to 70. Then I feel guilty and turn it back down to 60 overnight.

I feel angry all winter long that I have to haul my kids to school and preschool in the bitter cold. I dream of having a second car. But then I feel selfish and bratty. I dream of having a treadmill, so I could run or walk without braving the arctic chill (and now the rain), but then I can’t stand the idea of using electricity to do something that requires none, and should only be creating energy, not wasting it. So I don’t go running.

Well, the point is that I went to the doctor to get tested for hypothyroidism, which is one know cause of intolerance to cold. I was practically praying that they would find that I have it, because I would just have to take one pill a day, and everything would be normal.

Well, I don’t. I’m fine, healthy, whatever. I have Raynaud’s syndrome. Yeah, unexplained intolerance to cold. Nothing really to do except try to keep warm.

Just in case you’re curious, Raynaud’s is where the capillaries in the extremities clamp shut because of either sudden (or prolonged) cold, or emotional distress. Some of you have witness me have an attack, and it’s not the cutest thing ever. I’m sure depression doesn’t exactly help. The hands and feet can become white because of the lack of blood. Then they turn blue from lack of oxygen. (I’ve never gotten that far.) But then, they can develop gangrene. Yup, we can get frostbite in temperatures where other people are wearing shorts comfortably.

I cried for about 10 minutes this morning, when I found out I don’t have hypothyroidism. Isn’t that awesome?

So I’m reading this cookbook/philosophy book by New York restaurant owner Kenny Shopsin. It’s a great read on many levels, but I’ll warn you, skip it if you get queasy at multiple sex references and profanity. Anyway, I just wanted to let the crepe lovers among you know that the crepe method Shopsin created is worth finding the book for. I tried to get it on Amazon, but they didn’t have it, at least last week. Luckily, my awesome local library does.

Anyway, if you’re a crepe purist, maybe you should avert your eyes while I describe the painfully simple, fast way to cheat on crepes. Grab some white flour tortillas, the thinner the better, and the great big ones are the best. In a wide bowl, whip up some eggs with a little cream and a tiny bit of vanilla. Dunk the tortillas, one by one, a la french toast, and maybe let them stew for a few minutes while you heat up the griddle.

Butter griddle like you would for regular crepes. When it’s hot, toss in a tortilla, cook until golden on the bottom, with lovely brown circles all around, flip, same for next side. I plated these up as fast as I could and couldn’t keep up with how fast they were cooking. I actually had to cut the tortillas in quarters because my griddle is too tiny, but that works with little kids just fine.

I popped them on a plate, dabbed about a tablespoon of cottage cheese (no ricotta on hand), a drizzle of strawberry jam, folded it like a burrito, and tapped on some powdered sugar. What a hit.

There are so many other cheats in the book that it’s worth looking into. I already do a lot of them, but he sure takes it to a new level, as far as being prepared to cook anything on the fly, and serve in less than 5 minutes.

I’ve now started daydreaming about visiting Shopsin’s General Store, but I suspect I’d get kicked out for being too much of a twit. I’d probably walk in, stare around with wide eyes, and stammer. And Shopsin would bellow, “Off with her head!” Actually, I doubt he’d do that, but I don’t know if I want to find out.