Tuesday, June 04, 2013

It Evens Out: Kasha Varnishkes

Two weeks ago, Thatboy and I had a brilliant plan to return to the drive-in for a great double feature, The Hangover 3 and Star Trek.

But then his dad got sick and instead of the drive-in, we were packing our bags to head up for a visit.  Being on the eve trial, I wasn't sure when or if we'd make it to the movies again.

But thanks to your good thoughts, instead of being in trial the entire month of June, I have a week or two of reprieve.  So I texted Thatboy on Friday morning, suggesting - "movie tonight?"

We were amped.  We were ready.  I pulled a pizza from the oven for a quick dinner and as Thatboy lifted Thatbaby to be put in his chair, he noted that Thatbaby seemed to be running a fever.

"I'm sure it's just a low grade" Thatboy said as he inserted the thermometer.  Seconds later he was proved wrong when the thermometer flashed 104.4.   I made him take it again - that seemed ridiculous.  Our son was fine moments earlier, and he'd never had a fever that high before.  But again, the thermometer showed something much higher than a low grade. 

A quick call to the 24-hour nurse line assuaged some of our fears, but she made us an appointment at urgent care for 8:15, just to be safe and get him checked out.

By the time we arrived, Thatbaby seemed to be well over his fever.  He was running, bouncing, playing, his regular jolly old self.

By the time we were seen by the doctor, his temperature was back down to 97.8, but he was a bit of a cranky mess given that it was an hour past bedtime.

The entire situation was reminiscent of stories my parents told me of when I was a babe, and they were new parents.  According to legend, I would spike amazingly high fevers, necessitating a trip to the emergency room.  And by the time we got there, the fever was gone and I was a happy, cooing baby.  Which made my parents feel a bit crazy.  It looks like this apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Thatbaby seems like whatever caused that mysterious fever is gone, but he's still been a bit fussy this weekend.  We blame it on a combination of crazy schedule changes, congestion, and teething (teething is pretty much the excuse for any unwanted behavior when you have an infant/toddler).  Sickness growing up met things like butter noodles or eggs for dinner.  This isn't too far removed. Kasha Varnishkee, or bow-ties with bulgar, is a child friendly, sick friendly meal from my childhood.  I think it's typically served as a side dish, but a nice big bowl brings back childhood memories for me and works as an entree on its own.

Kasha Varniskes
1 cup farfelle
2 Tbsp canola oil
  1 large onion, diced
 1 cup kasha
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 cups chicken broth

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat and sautee onions till browned, about 10 minutes.  Remove onions from pan.
  3. Combine egg and kasha, stirring to coat the kasha with egg.  Put kasha in the pan and cook, stirring until the kasha separates into individual grains.
  4. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  5. Add onions and pasta, recover, and let sit an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 


  1. Never tried Kasha before!! This looks great though... Would make a great weeknight meal!!!

  2. Love kasha and definitely don't eat it enough. This is a good comfort food after a stressful day/week.

    I hope you guys get to that movie.


  3. Oh man I would have been in a serious state of panic over that! Pasta comfort to the rescue!