Bread & Breakfast

Sticky rice congee with chicken, lemongrass and quail eggs Sticky rice congee with chicken, lemongrass and quail eggs

Speedy and I are nursing a sick daughter at home. Alex has a cough that’s been going on and off for weeks. She’s lost weight, she feels weak and her much-needed sleep is often interrupted by her coughing. Speedy took her to the hospital, had her x-rayed, and tuberculosis and pneumonitis were ruled out. According to the doctor, it’s one of those respiratory infections that come with the cold season. On television just the other night, someone from the Department of Health said in an interview that cases are mounting what with the strong winds blowing and the pollution from China and Japan reaching the Philippines.

The thing with Alex is that she had been in too many theater productions. Over the last twelve months, she had been juggling classes with theater work like mad. She was already sick when rehearsals for Hedda Gabler started weeks ago but she finished the production anyway. I wish she hadn’t but, ironically, in a sense, I couldn’t blame her. I understood. When you’re seventeen and you’re in your second year in college (she’s taking up Technical Theater) and not even taking up major subjects yet, you jump at the opportunity to work with theater bigwigs including Hedda Gabler director Bart Guingona and thespians Leo Rialp and Lara Fabregas. It would have been nuts to pass up on something like that.

The problem is that she’s now paying for it with her health. She needs rest and I’m not going to let her take on another theater production until she’s well. Those stressful theater schedules will not help her get well so I’m insisting that she stay at home until she shows marked signs of improvement. I suppose there’s really nothing like resting at home. And I guess the less polluted suburban air has been helpful. She’s been home for two days, she’s looking better, she’s coughing much less and she’s eating better. Another three days of rest will help. Then, if she’s good, continues to eat well, rests and takes her medication religiously, she’ll be ready to go back to her classes next week. Classes, not the theater. Not yet.

Meanwhile, I oblige her with her requests. At least, as much as I can. She wanted lugaw (congee) with those premature chicken eggs, we couldn’t get any so Speedy bought sticky rice, chicken thighs and quail eggs instead. And I turned them into a pot of congee. Sticky rice congee with chicken, lemongrass and quail eggs

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