Haven’t you ever felt like Greta Garbo in Grand Hotel (minus the ballet shoes and tutu) and wanted to utter in your best German accent, “I vant to be alone!” Of course you have. Like Marlene, we all need a little space sometimes. And Greta never had to deal with email, texts or twitter.

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You know what I’m talking about. It’s moments when you want the world to back off and give you a bit of space, for crying out loud. Why does everybody, everywhere want something from you yesterday?

So do a Greta and tell everyone politely but firmly that you want to be alone. Hide you cell phone where you can’t see it. Turn off the computer. And close the curtains. Get out the box set of Breaking Bad – or better yet watch Grand Hotel on Netflix.

If folks continue to pester you, allude to some very nasty illness (a tapeworm always makes people run in the other direction) and feign doctor-ordered bed rest. Desperate times require desperate measures. Then curl up on the sofa. It helps if you have a dog to join you (consider borrowing a friend’s if you don’t) and chill.

But hold on. Before the chill phase you’ll need sustenance. You can’t be relaxed on an empty stomach. Plus all that tummy rumbling upsets Greta. I suggest a big ole bowl of Garlic Soup.

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Garlic Soup? Yes, you heard me. We’re talking about 4 cloves of garlic. Your breath? Who cares. You’re alone for heaven’s sake. Plus you should know better than to have friends/loved ones/partners who don’t like garlic. It’s very easy to make and comforting like a hot water bottle or a favorite blanket (note to self: get both of these ready too before the movie starts).

You’ll emerge  a few hours later refreshed and ready to face your inbox. Promise.

Garlic Chipotle Chile Soup

This makes enough for 2 good-sized bowlfuls.

4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 bay leaves
2 cups water
Stale bread, torn off into chunks (about 1/3 cup)
1 egg, beaten well
1/8-1/4 tsp Chipotle powder
Salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil


Parsley, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated

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Place the chopped garlic and bay leaves into a pan and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Taste the broth, add salt if needed and remove the bay leaves.

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While the broth is cooking, place the bread in the bottom of your soup bowl. Add the chipotle powder to the egg and mix well.

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Remove the broth from the stove and carefully pour the beaten egg into the broth, continuously stirring as you incorporate the egg. This is key as you want the egg to form nice ribbons – not big clumps of scrambled egg. Ladle the soup into the bowl on top of the bread. Sprinkle with a bit of parsley, drizzle with a good quality extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of cheese, if you like. Taste and add more chile as desired. Serve while hot and enjoy.

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