Morning (After) Glories

Today is New Years Day – Happy 2009, everyone!  We hope that you all had a delightful New Years, however you chose to celebrate.  As you can imagine, we got into the bubbly…and the brewed….and the fermented.  As a result, I would like to dedicate today’s post to hangover helpers – or as I like to call them, Morning (After) Glories.

I feel that I can offer up these suggestions, as I’m rather an expert in hangover management.  Oh no, don’t be silly – not through drinking responsibly and following every cocktail with a glass of water.  I know the principles of hangover avoidance, but I absolutely do not practice what I preach.  Nope, this is about hangover management, and that’s really my specialty.  I have it down to an art, from keening about the discomfort just loudly enough to attract attention and the occasional scrap of sympathy (which is entirely undeserved and only meted out by those who think I have the flu) but NOT loudly enough to alarm the hoard of malevolent robot-elves who are stomping gleefully on my throbbing temples.  I drop one leg over the side of the bed, then the other, and ease myself into a horizontal position to face the stark light of day.  I shamble into the kitchen for an enormous glass of orange juice mixed with water, carefully evaluate whether I can brush my teeth without harfing, mumble several curses about the neighbor who chose to use his New Christmas Snowblower at 7am, and then collapse onto the couch to watch several hours of PVR’d Corrie Street until I get hungry.

So now that you have just had a glimpse into my last two hours, let’s get on to the next part:  what could you possibly eat or drink which would make you feel less like a cotton headed donkey who died in the streets several days ago?  You know that your body is probably severely dehydrated, lacking in electrolytes, B & C vitamins, and potassium – among other things.  Some people suffer from hypoglycemia when they’re hung, so getting a good dose of fructose into you won’t hurt either.

In addition to the carbs and protein that your body is craving, some of the best hangover helpers are probably in your kitchen right now:

– fresh tomato

– bananas, apples and oranges

– honey

– aspirin (alright, CLOSE to the kitchen…)

Go on, then.  Get some grub into your belly, drink a tall glass of juice with a chaser of water, give yourself a bit of time to start feeling better, and then promise yourself that this will not happen again… for at least another week.

Beggars Deli Special Eggy Sandwich

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Do you swear by a greasy breakfast as your hangover cure, but realize that you’re nowhere close to getting into the shower, and until Denny’s starts delivery, you’re on your own?  This is far and above my favorite hangover sandwich.  Not the healthiest, very few hangover helper ingredients in there, but incredibly satisfying to put some meat on your bones and wind in those sails on an otherwise dismal feeling day.

  • bread
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp milk
  • turkey kielbasa
  • bacon (ready-crisp, because I’m not feeling very ambitious)
  • fresh sliced tomato
  • Swiss cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • butter for the fry up

Whisk the egg and milk together with some salt and pepper.  Dip in both slices of bread until it’s all soaked up.  Fry only one side of both pieces of the bread with some melted butter, and just until the egg is set.  Then put the raw side down and spread the cooked layer with mustard before piling all of the other ingredients on top.  Now you have a sandwich which still needs to be cooked on the top and bottom.  Fry the bottom, flip it carefully as this is one major mofo, and fry the top.  It helps to have your heat on medium low so that the bread doesn’t burn before the cheese melts.

Ooey, gooey, meltingly tasty.  It’s everything that’s good about French Toast mixed with everything that’s good about a hoagie.  And bacon.  And cheese.  If you lick the grease off your fingers, I won’t judge.  Sure, this sandwich is a heart attack waiting to happen, but don’t worry – the cirrhosis will get you first.

Peanut Butter, Banana and Bacon Eggy Sandwich

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This one is chock full of delightful hangover helpers.  The banana helps bring your potassium levels back up, the honey adds an easily digestible fructose kick to your system, and the peanut butter is full of protein.  As for the bacon, well, do you blame me for craving bacon this morning?

  • bread
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 banana
  • peanut butter
  • honey
  • bacon (ready-crisp, because I’m not feeling any more ambitious then I was with the first one)
  • butter for the fry up

Just like with the other sandwich, whisk the egg and milk together.  Dip in both slices of bread to soak up all the liquid, and then fry one side in melted butter.  Spread the peanut butter and honey on the cooked sides, top with bacon and banana, and then return it to the pan to fry the top and bottom.

For as much as the meaty-cheesy sandwich has Mike written all over it, this li’l guy is Tina’s Delight.

Ham and Zucchini Strata With Tarragon And Chives

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There is just something about a strata which is innately comforting and helps to bring body and soul back together.  Tender and cheesy, this soft and eggy bread casserole is a fixture in my house for  breakfast and dinner.  Strata, like other bread puddings, is incredibly flexible and forgiving.  You can add just about any kind of meat, cheese, vegetable and seasoning to it and it will usually be delicious.  I like that kind of flexibility in a meal, because when I want hangover food I usually have a very specific craving (“I WANT HAAAAAAM!!!” or “Mmm….sundried tomatoes….garlic……and nothing with spinach, today.”) and strata is a good way to satisfy those needs of yours.

I would sing the praises of strata far into the heavens, if I could.  If you have any leftover bread that’s still kicking around from Boxing Day, well, this is a great way to use it up.  The other just lovely thing about this meal is that it can be made in advance.  If you know that the morning after will have you more in the mood for heaving than whisking, you can make this a day in advance, pop it in the fridge, and then on the day of you just need to pop it in the oven before you go collapse again on the couch.  See?  It’s a meal that loves you back.

Click here for one strata recipe, but again – feel free to add any variations that you like.

Pappa al Pomodoro:  Tuscan Bread and Tomato Soup

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Tomatoes are one of the leading hangover helpers, and tomato juice (ahem – Bloody Caesars, perhaps?) make a regular appearance on the list of foods to eat/drink when you’re feeling rotten.  If your stomach feels like an Olympic tumbler right now, why not make a soothing, comforting, nourishing soup?

Pappa al Pomodoro is hearty, delicious, and as easy as the day is long.  There’s a lot of reward for a minimum effort here. It’s also a great way to use up some leftover bread that’s kicking around on the counter.  I do have an affinity for stale bread, don’t I?  The healthy dose of tomato in here will work to calm your inner wounds, and the familiar flavors of basil and garlic are just bold enough to perk up your senses, without making your poor angry tummy do a runner.  And really, nothing says ‘comforting lunch’ quite like a steaming hot bowl of tomato soup!

Click here for the recipe.

Panzanella:  Italian Bread Salad

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And this is the point where I realize that it looks like I’m trying to sell you equally on hangover food and stale bread….I do love stale bread, mostly because I hate waste.  Throwing out half of an old baguette is like slicing out a piece of my heart.  Why not just repurpose it?

So, Panzanella.  Everything that speaks to the merits of Pappa al Pomodoro will also ring true for Panzanella, but if you’re in the mood for something with more filler than a soup, this might be your preference.  The bright flavors and briny olives will wake up your tastebuds, if nothing else.

Click here for the recipe.

Apple and Roasted Beet Salad

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Why am I even bothering with this one?  I know that you’re not going to make this salad when you’re hung like a dog in the mud.  You’re hoping for greasy breakfasts, and I give you vegan recipes with beets.  Sigh.  I know, I know.  But it would have been a shame to leave this out, based on principle, when we talk about hangover helpers.  Apples and beets are both absolutely brimming with vitamins and minerals that your body is currently craving.  Vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, iron, that pesky bugger potassium – beets have it all.  They’re also touted as having anti-oxidant properties and working to detoxify your body – and if your body feels as toxic as mine does right now, you might consider giving this a shot. 

Apples and beets – they may not be what you think you want, right now, but they’re one of the better options.

Click here for the recipe.

  • http://noblepig.com noble pig

    Wow, it all looks delicious! I love it. Happy 2009, the best is yet to come.

  • http://thespitefulchef.blogspot.com kristie

    You are SO brave for getting up and writing today. I ran this morning and it almost made me barf like crazy all over the other sweaty gym-goers who will only be attending gym sessions for the next two weeks, crowding out us regulars who want to run on a treadmill, as opposed to walking veryvery slowly at an incline, thinking they’re doing a fat lot of good.

    Regardless, you’re my hero and the idea of an eggy sandwich makes me feel all bereft that I didn’t know about them this morning when I was trying to keep down Total raisin bran.

  • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

    Noble Pig – happy 2009 back at ya!!!! BTW, we did your traditional 12 grapes in champagne at midnight….looks like it will be a sweet year after all!

    Kristie – I only wrote this morning because if Mike saw me lazing on the couch he would start making ‘helpful suggestions’ about better things that I could be doing. And…and you went to THE GYM. On New Years Day, with a hangover. So did Mike, as a matter of fact. You guys make me feel like such a fat panda.

  • http://mikes-table.themulligans.org/ MIke

    lol, a very new years appropriate post. I distinctly remember my worst-ever please-cure-this-hangover breakfast being at IHOP…and it, eh, didn’t quite do the trick for me, to put it nicely, lol. These all sound much more my speed.

    I hope you had/have a happy new year!

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

      Oooh….IHOP! There are times when I wish we had one around here, and then other times when I realize how very lucky I am that we don’t!!
      Happy New Year to you as well!!!!!