Borsch

I ran out of test strips yesterday. I had an ultimatum attached to that vial: before I buy any more strips, I have to call my insurance and figure out how to get them to reimburse me for my medications. Well, after eating practically nothing yesterday (cheese and half a cabbage) and faking breakfast this morning (good thing I’ve eaten the same thing for breakfast so often!) I got more scared of going without test strips than I was of the insurance and I broke down and called them. Turns out I just need to fill out a bunch of claim forms, and my deductible was met way back in late October. Good news, that’s a couple hundred dollars spent on syringes and insulin and (of course) strips that I may well see again.

I went immediately to the pharmacy; when I got home I checked my sugar right away. 88. Oh yeah, baby, oh yeah.

Since I can once more test my sugar levels with confidence, I immediately took a nap. (Hey, that was a nasty stress headache I’d developed.) And then, once I woke up, I whipped up a batch of borsch. Winter is a great time for soup, and borsch in particular is one of the happiest memories I have of Christmases spent at my grandparents’ house. This particular version is vegan and depended largely on what I had to toss in the pot. It really needs some sour cream (or soy equivalent) on the side, but I don’t have any handy.

Sautee in your largest soup pot until brown:
1 1/2 yellow onions, chopped
~10 white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Meanwhile, grate together:
3 medium beets, cleaned, ends peeled
1 turnip, ends peeled
2 carrots, scrubbed, ends off
1 small red cabbage

When the onions and mushrooms are ready, add the grated root vegetables and:
8 cups water or stock [I used leek broth]

Bring to a boil.

Add:
Beet greens, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Add also your seasonings:
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 Tbs parsley
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 Tbs paprika

Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or so. It is damn tasty, and vegan too!

Oh! And my cereal this morning that I ate without benefit of test strips? (Yes, I know I was completely irresponsible, but sometimes I need to get really afraid in order to get less afraid. I have issues. And cheese.) I used a mix of soy creamer and cream instead of milk, since our milk got skeezy really fast. The soy creamer has 16g carb per cup, only a bit more than milk’s 13g, and it tastes decidedly sweet (but not overly so, like candy would be). The cream adds a certain flair and richness, and mixed up with the flax seed and wheat germ the entire mess gets sweet and thick like the best sort of dessert. I think I’m in love.