I could really use a Mental Health Day right about now. The constant din and noise from the outside world is starting to wear me down. I haven’t had a day off in months because I want time on the books for our upcoming move that is supposed to happen early in April. I remain optimistic, but the chances seem to be growing that we will not be able to move at the appointed time due to the Coronavirus situation. If we had more flexibility, we would have arranged to move early, but we don’t have that luxury.
In the meantime, I just keep going through the daily grind, over and over, and feeling more exhausted at the end of each day. While I am not the most optimistic person in the world, I keep hoping for the best. I am a realist which, I know, is another word widely associated with pessimism, and I try to do the best I can. Some days that is much easier than others.
I don’t know what I would do if I took a Mental Health Day right now. The weather is miserable and going outside is not an option because of that. We are not under any “stay at home” quarantine orders here……..yet. That is why I am concerned about our move next week. Things could change at any moment.
Everything seems to be moving in slow motion this morning. The only thing missing is a migraine, and I don’t want one of those to appear to harass me today. I am amazed that I have made it through until lunchtime without throwing in the proverbial towel and taking the rest of the day off. Staying busy does make the time go by much faster, although it does make me more sluggish as the day goes on.
And, at approximately 1330 in the afternoon, the migraine announces its arrival with several sledgehammer blows right behind my eyes that completely threw me for a loop. I have taken some Aleve but the bell is still ringing inside my skull and probably will be for a few hours at least. There is one more meeting that I have to get through before quitting time, so I should survive.
Sunday was the day when I finally stepped into the kitchen, determined to cook something that I hadn’t tried before. I prepared pork chops with asparagus and mushrooms and egg noodles in cream of mushroom sauce. Here is how I went about it.
First, I cut up some asparagus and set I aside. Then I opened a package of mushrooms to have them ready as well.
Next, I drained four center-cut pork chops and coated them with my seasoning, which consists of:
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp pepper
- 1/2 tbsp rosemary
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
The next step was to prepare the Instant Pot by coating the bottom with a thin layer of avocado oil (you can use olive oil if preferred). Then I started the Instant Pot and set it to “Sauté”.
Once the Instant Pot heated up, I put the four pork chops in and let them cook for two minutes on each side.
After the pork chops were finished with the “Sauté” setting, I turned the Instant Pot off to get things ready.
I put the asparagus over the pork chops, followed by the mushrooms. Then I put in a bag of egg noodles, followed by 4 cans of cream of condensed mushroom soup, and about 2-2 1/2 soup cans of water.
The beauty of the Instant Pot is that the egg noodles go in right out of the bag without cooking them first.
I set the Instant Pot to cook “Meat/Stew” for 20 minutes, closed and secured the lid, making sure that the pressure release was closed.
That was it. It takes the Instant Pot a few minutes to pressure up and then start the countdown timer. Once it completed, I waited about 12 minutes before releasing the pressure. The timer counts up after the cooking cycle completes. This is called “slow release”.
After bleeding off the remaining pressure by opening the release on top of the Instant Pot, I stirred the awesome meal before putting it into a serving/storage container.
Et voila, it was finished. It came out delicious. And the best part was very little cleanup afterward.