Depression and quesadillas.

I’ve been a bit, uhh, unreachable lately. I haven’t posted and—worse—haven’t been answering emails or commenting enough on your blogs. In truth, I haven’t been doing much of anything—well, I saw a wonderful play on Saturday which was followed by an even wonderfuller meal at Saul in Brooklyn, but after that things began to fall apart around here. Since then, the majority of my time is spent crying. I don’t even really feel like crying but I do it anyway. All the time. I’m on the verge of tears right now.

I’m depressed. It hit me like a brick after Saturday. See, I’ve been walking around since my car accident in January with pain in my hips and lower back. It feels like constant pressure, all-the-time, with breaks of intense, sharp, unbearable pain thrown in to spice things up. For a while I thought I was getting better, since the constantly intense, sharp, unbearable pain eased leaving me with the constant feeling that my hips are slowly compacting inside a vice grip—and I mean, who cares about a little pressure when compared to sharp pain? It’s, like, a cake walk. I was happy.

But then the pressure didn’t go away. It stuck. And it was painful enough that I wasn’t able to keep working out on the stationary bike (I had tried it for a few days). I wasn’t really able to do anything after work, save cook dinner—at least there was that. Slowly though, I was beginning to deteriorate into the teary, wet mess I am now. I started to limp at times. I can’t shake the image of the Tin-Man and his rusty limbs. And then over this past week, I stopped cooking.

After our meal at Saul, I came home inspired—there were so many new flavors, new dishes I wanted to play with! But over the next few days, I didn’t cook. I didn’t feel able to. I didn’t feel able to do anything. Everything started to really suck and even though I do believe my doctor will find out what’s wrong and that I’ll get better, I can’t quite seem to listen to myself. I’m depressed—a kind of unrelenting sadness that makes life with pain all that much more painful. More painful for me, and worse, more painful for those around me. Depression makes you feel like you are walking underwater—it takes so much effort to just continue that you don’t have the energy for anything else. I care for and love Jim but there are times recently when moving my eyes in the direction to meet his while he’s talking takes so much energy that I can’t seem to hear what he’s saying. And Jim, receiving this treatment, doesn’t deserve it. He’s been so great with my pain and had such a hard time himself. He knows how to make me forget about the physical pain. But this mental pain, it’s just a bit too much for everyone. I guess this is my way of an apology.

I don’t want everyone to feel sad for me, I know I’ll be okay. I couldn’t be writing about this now if I didn’t feel like maybe the worst is over. Today even, I can again appreciate a sunny day, a long holiday weekend, a smoked gouda quesadilla. I can certainly appreciate a quesadilla.

Smoked Gouda & Onion Quesadilla

serves 6 as appetizers or 2 as some serious comfort food

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups grated smoked Gouda cheese
  • 3 oz thin-sliced prosciutto (about 6-8 slices)
  • 4 10-inch-diameter flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy medium skillet or cast-iron pan. Add onion, molasses, and vinegar and saute over a low heat, stirring frequently, until caramelized, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and cool (you can leave them in the pan.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange onions over half of each tortilla. Sprinkle gouda over onions evenly. Heat the onion pan on medium-high heat and add prosciutto. Cook for a minute or so until they begin to crisp. Drape slices over gouda and onions. Fold other half of each tortilla over cheese mixture. Brush tortilla with some of melted butter. Brush the pan with some melted butter. Cook quesadillas in batches until they begin to get brown and crispy on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Bake quesadillas in the oven until cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes. Cut each of the quesadillas into four or six triangle and serve hot (but not too hot or you won’t taste all the flavors.)

40 thoughts on “Depression and quesadillas.”

  1. I knew there was something wrong! Trust me on this…get yourself a good pain management doctor. They specialize in treating pain, big, bad pain! Sometimes the treatment is really gross and frightening but it works. I have been going through this for almost 4 years and my favorite person other than my family is my pain mgmt doc. It isn’t always drugs but nerve blocks and other neat things that don’t drag you down on a daily basis. You are able to carry on a normal relatively pain free daily life.
    I was really worried that the forever lentils were going to become “forever lentils” LOL!

  2. I hope you feel better soon. I’ve had my share of health issues as well, and I identify with the depression you’re feeling. I’m sure you and the doctors will figure this out soon. Hang in there, and take care of you!

  3. This is the first time I’ve read your blog…
    Sadness, depression, the doldrums, are often a a strange part of life. The only thing that keeps me going during those times are friends, food, and the hope that there will be something joyful and insightful gained from going through the pain. Your dish looks delicious, and the flavors speak to me. I’ll be back to see how you are doing. Cheers, and hang in there.

  4. This recipe is sublime and your blog is awesome, in fact I’m gonna bookmark your website right now. You have great talent, don’t let obstacles in life take it away, stay positive! Cheers!

  5. I know you don’t want me to but I do feel sad for you, Wishing you a pain free existence and happiness soon.
    PS You write beautifully about your sadness,

  6. Depression–tears–fears but you did not try to hurt yourself…I know the feeling of physical pain.

  7. I think one of the pitfalls of depression is how sneaky it is. All of a sudden, you wake up and realize that the little joys that used to amuse you no longer make you smile. The sun doesn’t shine as bright as it used too. I feel your pain girlie 🙂 As a fellow “survivor”, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep trucking along and know that one day, that draining lethargic fog will lift.

  8. For your back and hip pain, have you seen a chiropractor? I had a serious car accident several years ago, and for me the pain crept up and then got worse and worse until a couple of months after the accident I went to see a chiropractor and discovered I had 2 torn ligaments in my spine, and a dislocated rib. It took several treatments to keep my back in proper alignment so that my body could heal, but it did and I have NO pain anymore.

    One way or another I do hope you find a solution to both your physical and emotional pain.

  9. Oh *hug*. I hope it all gets better soon. Just discovered your blog myself and I’m sure those quesadillas are a good start back to the sunnier side of things!

  10. Feel better. Thanks for revealing your vulnerabilities to a bunch of strangers. I hope you are able to get some help with your pain – both physical and emotional. Here’s to the cloud being lifted!!!

  11. Perhaps one of the best things about you sharing this difficult time is that you realize you’re not alone. I’m sure we can all relate on some level to how you’re feeling. Hang in there, things will get better. Especially when you have these fabulous quesadillas and a good man by your side.

  12. We’re out here, we’re reading and we’re thinking about you. Stay strong. One day at a time.. just keep moving forward.. You CAN feel better again. Find a doctor who will work WITH you.. it seems like a lot of effort, but it really will make it worth it. I can tell by this post that you can definitely pull through and you know it too. 🙂

  13. that quesadilla is hot stuff.

    even though you may still feel crappy, you know intellectually that you’re capable of feeling good and you have to trust that you’ll get back there. easier said than done, i know, but you have lots of support both here and IRL.

  14. Very sorry to hear that. Depression is such a funny thing. it is kinda like a bad breakup where the only cure is time but that never seems to help when you feel that way. Sometimes I feel that indulging helps – stay in bed all day and watch movies.

  15. Hello! I only just came across your blog and happen to have a book that might just help you feel bright inside again. It’s called Super Foods to boost your mood – Foods that find depression by Alexandra Massey. I thought maybe that by using something your seem passionate about, namely food, you might be able to find your feet again and start feeling like you enjoy life again. It’s a simple, educational and inspiring read and I hope you enjoy it.
    Lots of love and hugs x x

  16. I’m having issues with leaving comments on WordPress blogs yesterday and today. Let me try this again and hope it doesn’t duplicate…

    My dear, wonderful Robin. You say you don’t want people to be sad for you, but I am tearing up for you nonetheless. You are a very special individual, so kind and warm, and I hate to feel you going through this.

    The last thing you should do is apologize or feel guilty – about us or anything else. You’re in a lot of pain and the physical and mental turmoil is obviously wearing you thin and vulnerable. I wish like hell that I could envelop you in a hug, not so much a physical one as a spiritual one to give you light and love and relief. I’m doing that in my mind and heart. I hope somehow it reaches you.

    As my dad used to say, keep putting one foot in front of the other and breathing in and out. Things will not always be like this. You know that. You say you can’t right now, but do try to listen to yourself, just a little bit. Using that little bit of logical thought to throw in the face of the mishmash of craziness and pain in your head is at least something. Just hang on.

    Eat some of your favorite things and get in the kitchen if you can. We’ll be here.

  17. You’re being called to something greater, beyond your dreams, by something Higher. This is a test. Daily battles may be a struggle but it is meant to be that you win the war. Never forget that, and always be grateful for your blessings. Thoughts are with you.

  18. Depression — my number one reason to cook — hence, I’m packing on too many pounds. Can’t wait to try the Quesadillas tonight for dinner. Thanks,

  19. I want to thank everyone for the comments… I’m hoping to write to all of you individually, but I’ve been not spending much time on the computer lately. I can’t tell you all enough how wonderful it was to hear your words of encouragement. I feel like I’m beginning to get better mentally, though it’s been a rough week physically. Fingers crossed that I’ll be back in the kitchen next week, because I have a lot of recipes swirling around in my head that I want to try and share.

    Again, thank you all so much.

    And Sue, it’s funny, but waterskiing in one thing that I do not miss! 😛

  20. Quesadillas and food in general can uplift the spirit. Peanut butter does that for me, but chocolate does for most. Perhaps a chocolate, peanut butter and banana quesadilla? Either way, get better. Depression can be tough, but just remember that the point of life is to enjoy life, or at least that’s what I believe.

    Get some DVDs for you’re favorite funny show: I’d recommend The Simpsons, Family Guy, Arrested Development, The Office, 30 Rock or Whose Line is it Anyway and sit down and watch like 5 episodes in a row, or hell, watch a whole season! Turn your depression into some kind of addiction! =)

    Feel better!

  21. Oh dear. I can relate. I’ve gone through some pretty major bouts myself. When I look at the smiling picture in the upper right-hand corner of your blog, it’s so hard to picture such a bright and shiny person in a sea of depression. But I know how it is. I hope your desire for cooking returns soon and brings happiness with it.

  22. Robin:

    Keep your positive attitude that “this too shall pass.” And it will. I wish you the best. Will be checking in to make sure you’re keeping on!

  23. i noticed your title bc i was feeling a little down yesterday so i decided to make it my project for today. plus, i already had a little smoked gouda lying around. i substituted turkey bacon for the prosciutto and it was delicious. thanks for sharing.

  24. It’s strange what life throws at us sometimes, isn’t it? This is only my first tiem commenting on your blog, but i just wanted to say that I admire your openness, honesty and strength. Just reading your words is helping me get through a rough time of my own. I hope you’re feeling better mentally and physically this week. And thanks again.

  25. I have conquered depression before and it is a tough battle. ONE DAY AT A TIME is my best advice. And, trust those that care for you when they promise it will get better and not last forever.

  26. Everything I start to type feels like a hollow platitude. I know how depression tricks you into thinking that everything bad is permanent and everything pleasant is fleeting — I’m so glad you’re finding solace in simple things like delicious quesadillas.

    You’re stronger than you think, and brave.

  27. So sorry you are feeling depressed, but no worries with your quesadillas have this drink called Purple and all your depression will vanish zoooop!!! no kidding huh! This is what I do when I am feeling depressed, have a purple and then I am able to focus on the solution rather than the problem and all becomes easy. Purple is a health drink which is made up of 7 fruits juice and is high on antioxidants and you know about antioxidants right? It prevents premature ageing, what else do growing women want huh, LOL!! It also boosts the immune system and endurance levels. If you want more information to check whether what I am saying is right you can get it at . You can get it at GNC and drug stores.

  28. Hi Robin:

    First of all thank you for the awesome site of FP Daily. Lots of porn 😉
    Take care of yourself…Sucks when that happen. I hope you have a good pain management system already in place.

  29. All I feel like doing is sending you an enormous hug, with all my heart in it. I don’t even know you, but I go through rough times once in a while, I totally understand how you feel.

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