I have this thing with my back. Everytime I get into a pyschological squeeze, my back starts acting like I bought somebody’s Mr. Man weights at a tagsale and I’ve been benching five hundred pounds with my friends the International Olympians. There is this theory that if something is really bugging you and it freaks you out to think about it, (usually something to do with fear or anger) that you can repress it, without even realizing it, and shove it into your back muscles. Now I could sit here and pretend that it would be so much more likely that I would be mistaken for a Mr. Muscle look alike than being angry or afraid, but I may as well pretend that I was a tuna. The theory works with me, even if it takes me a while to figure out or admit what the issue is. I have had pain burrowing into my back since my son got sick a week ago. This morning, he was better enough to go to school, and you would think that would have meant my back would have been better, but it was worse. When I came home from dropping Ferd off and begged my husband to rub my shoulders he said, “there has to be something wrong with you.” I said “I know I believed in that crazy theory, but this time there is nothing wrong with me. I have asked myself upside down and sideways what is the problem, and there is no problem.” “Are you sure he said”. I said, “the only thing that could possibly be wrong with me is that I am worried that I am going to lose Ferd.” And then voooom. Crying, crying, crying, and about ten minutes later, no pain. I don’t advise coming up with what you think could never possibly be an issue on the subway, because you might just hit the jackpot, and it is embarassing to overshare with people you have only been looking at for a couple of stops.
Run to the library and ask for a book by Dr. Sarno called “Healing Back Pain.”
The good thing about back pain is that you might get out of making dinner. Otherwise, how about making everything mini? We had mini hamburgers tonight, and you can cut out the toast with a biscuit cutter to fit. You can have baby carrots and baby zucchini, make a potoato gratin, and cut it out into little tiny squares, and serve mini oreos for dessert. How cute is that?
You know how to make the hamburgers. For the baby carrots and zucchini, blanch a bag of the baby carrots in boiling water for about three minutes and then lift them out with a slotted spoon. Do the same, in the same pot, if you can find baby zucchini or chop normal zucchini into little cubes, but only for a minute. Drain well. Heat up some extra virgin olive oil in a large saute pan and add three whole cloves of garlic, stirring around for a minute until the garlic is golden. Add some fresh mint and parsley leaves. Add your zucchini and carrots. Season with salt, and let them sit in the pan without stirring, until they have a little color. Stir, and drizzle with a little olive oil.
For the gratin, slice your potatoes as thinly as you can. Chop up a little garlic (I like to cook it first, but you don’t have to). You can also leave the garlic out all together if you want to. Layer the potato slices in a baking pan with a little olive oil, some salt, a little pepper, the garlic, and if you have it, a drizzle of heavy cream. Keep going to make three layers. Heat up the oven to four hundred degrees, and bake covered until a knife goes easily through the potatoes. Uncover and sprinkle with parmesan or sharp cheddar or gruyere, and set it under the broiler, watching it like a hawk. When it has cooled for a few minutes, cut it into the little squares (or not).