Cooking as Therapy

We took Daisy back to the critical care center yesterday. She was still refusing all food and continuing to have episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. A CT scan was added to her growing list of tests.

The good news is that a tip to toe scan showed no obstructions or cancer. The bad news is that she’s still sick, and they can’t seem to find a cause. She was dehydrated and consequently hooked up to an IV for necessary fluids. She spent last night in the hospital. The doctor said that they would call later today with an update.

Ruth Reichl wrote a book a couple of years ago after Gourmet folded called My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life. I thought of her yesterday when Frank suggested going out to dinner. I knew that my nervous energy would be better served by spending time slicing and dicing in the kitchen. Cooking, for me, is definitely a form of therapy.

4eb6696c102ec4ced8cb45a7d2bac315I’ve posted this shrimp and cabbage dish before, but it’s what I made last night, so it’s getting a repeat on the blog. Prepping ingredients ahead of time makes for a quick finish when it’s time to cook.


1. Combine the following ingredients in a measuring cup or preferably, a small jar with a screw top so you can shake it up again when you’re ready to use it.

1/3 C chicken broth
2 TBS medium to dry sherry
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper

2. Thinly shred 4 cups of cabbage (green or Napa). Store in a plastic zip-lock.
3. Peel and devein one pound of medium shrimp.
4. Mince 2 tsp. garlic and 1 tsp. fresh ginger. Combine them in a little zip lock.
5. Slice scallions to equal about 1/3C.

When you’re ready to cook:

1. Heat a saute pan over medium-high to high heat. Add about a tablespoon of canola oil to the pan. Saute the cabbage for a couple of minutes until it just starts to soften. Sprinkle with a little salt. Remove to a bowl.
2. Add another tablespoon of canola oil to the sauté pan. If you have sesame oil, a tiny bit added with the canola oil will provide extra flavor. Add the shrimp to the hot oil and saute for about a minute.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to stir for less than a minute.
4. Shake up your jar of liquid ingredients and add them to the pan.
5. Bring to a boil and cook for another minute or so.
6. Return the cabbage to the pan. Stir for a minute to combine the ingredients,
7. Sprinkle the scallions over the dish and serve with rice.

A few additional notes:

I sometimes add about a teaspoon of Hoisin Sauce during the final stirring.

A little Sriracha is nice if you want to spice things up a bit.

This dish is really good with brown rice, but you need to plan ahead because brown rice can take up to 40 minutes to cook, and the dish itself takes very little time.


About Mary Jane

I am a retired English teacher. My husband, Frank, and I have lived on Cape Cod since 2000. I am a lifelong bread baker and writer and have been posting a blog on Falmouth Patch for the last few years. Savory Seasons has been largely devoted to recipes and food in general. I am hoping to expand my focus in this new blog.
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8 Responses to Cooking as Therapy

  1. JoAnn says:

    Difficult days for you. Sorry you are going through this anguish. I hope Daisy’s doctor can find a way to make her more comfortable. Love, j


  2. Janet Andrade says:

    Poor Daisy. How’s Frank holding up?

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Nancy Brine Fredrickson says:

    Mary Jane, I love Ruth Reichl’s books. Thanks for reminding me of them. I have a bad cold, the first in years & I plan to cook soup today to help cure it. Mine will be a Moroccan Lentil Soup with Cauliflower. Fresh cauliflower is in season now in Florida. Hope they discover what is wrong with Daisy. I know how hard it is to have a dog so sick.

  4. Mary Jane says:

    Thanks, Nancy. Feel better!

  5. Hello. I hope Daisy is doing much better. Enjoyed your recipe and hope fully soon I will try it. Sending you well wishes.

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