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Dear Meredyth,

What do you call those last days of winter that really should not be winter anymore? The extra days of unexpected cold mornings, the wind lashing at you when you open the door, are the worst. Even though the temperature has risen, the cold that remains feels almost unbearable. The really frustrating part about the season change is that the weather still reaches extremes each day, the mornings and nights are blustery and cold, but by mid day the sun is beating down with no breeze at all. Also, I discovered the only things that make me more vulnerable to sickness than drastic changes in temperature are questionable foods and no clean drinking water. I had an unpleasant combination of those things this week; can you guess what it gave me?

You probably guessed right, the good old stomach flu. Last Friday I ingested something, or some water, that was not agreeable. After displaying the contents of my stomach on my good friend Shannon’s wall on Saturday, I thought I had food poisoning. As crappy as that was I figured that it would be over by the next day.

I was wrong. I developed a fever, body aches, cramps, sweats, the whole lot, over the next four days. All I wanted was to stay in bed, drink tea, maybe eat a saltine or two, and have Mom there to pour sympathy over me. Somehow I managed to survive those days, making my own tea, and just pitying myself (but I’m still accepting it if you want to throw some pity this way.)

I know this story is getting fearfully sad, but do not worry, I beat that flu! By Friday morning I woke up, stretched myself out after many days in the fetal position, and best of all, enjoyed a bowl of my favorite breakfast oatmeal.

I was happily recovered and ready to make up for days of no real appetite, but then I found the produce I bought earlier that week was on its last leg. If there’s one thing I cannot stand it is letting food go bad; I refuse to do this. So I baked this problem into a tasty solution

Carrot & Zucchini Spice Bread

¼ c. dark brown sugar

¼ c. honey or agave or molasses

¼ c. OLIVE oil

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

1 c. Whole wheat flour

1 t. baking powder

1 t. sea salt

2 t. cinnamon

1 c. zucchini, peeled and grated

1 c. carrots, peeled and grated

Cream the sugar, honey, oil, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients, add wet ingredients and beat well Add zucchini and carrots. Bake for 1 hour at 350.

Olive oil makes the difference. It brings really nice sweet and savory flavors but it also makes a more moist loaf. I had to freeze the loaf (in order to not eat it all in one day), but it reheated without drying out.

Enjoy your last days of summer warmth!

Love always,