The perils of home cooking


Mind you, this entire post is based on a supposition, which, if false, makes the whole of the blog as unfortunate as the events that led up to this post. But, if you’re daring, then read on…

In almost any examination of what constitutes a good life, nearly everyone can agree that good health should top the list. And those that don’t agree just haven’t been sick recently.

Given my low tolerance for pain and infrequent physical ailments, it is fortunate I live alone, for I am a miserable person during those rare unlucky times when I am under the weather. Or, in other words, if a man whines about being sick in the woods, and no one hears, then no one can be bothered by it.

Last week, I was hit by a lightning-swift blast of fever and “after-shock” symptoms. The fever was not panic-level, never crossing 101, but it left me totally spent and without either appetite or capacity to eat solid food for the next 3 days (the “after-shock” was low-grade nausea, making everything taste dangerous).

I now have two working theories for what happened and why:

Food Poisoning

Just prior to my battle, I had made a huge batch of jambalaya. When I say huge, I mean, HUGE. In this case, so my theory goes, perhaps I made it too huge.

The last items added to the saucepan are the chicken, shrimp and sausage. Theoretically, it’s possible that the saucepan was so full that the “meats” did not get cooked thoroughly (despite my constant stirring to ensure even cooking).

Thus, if we follow that theory, any of the three items being under-cooked could have caused a reaction that led to both the fever and the ensuing nausea.

Problems with this theory: I never experienced the classic food poisoning symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea. And, normally, fever results from an infection, which, if from under-cooked food, would seem like it should also have induced some of those bathroom-based symptoms.


Or virus. Or whatever 24-hour type thing that zonks you and then goes away, leaving you weak and without appetite or energy.

My bowling buddy enthusiastically supports this theory. His explanation is that my hermit-like life already has me living in a near “boy in the bubble” world and that even the most innocent of germs, that regular people would not even have to shrug off, could have catastrophic effects on my not-quite-hermetically-sealed home.

Problems with this theory: If this were truly the case, I would think I would be getting sick more frequently. Without even allowing for food shopping, bowling, lunches with family and general jibber-jabber with neighbors, just normal airflow likely fills my house with evil germs and bacteria.

I still lean towards theory one, but it’s possible I simply “got sick” and it was coincidental (or perhaps enhancing) that it timed to my jambalaya cooking (a dish I have cooked many times before without issue).

Just to be on the safe side, I tearfully threw away the mass quantities of saved jambalaya. No sense risking it. I can just cook up another batch sometime in the future. A smaller one, this time.

One way to avoid the perils of home cooking might be for me to simply cook less…quantity, that is.

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