Anyway, to alleviate my misery I decided to make banitsa--a cheese-filled pastry dish which is common across the Balkans with some local variations. The Serbian version would be gibanitsa, which is practically the same dish except that it is thicker and greasier. I make it the Bulgarian way because it is much easier.
Both are related to their much more famous cousin, burek, a filled pastry made with thin dough and popular in the Arab world and all over the former Ottoman Empire. It is best when it is eaten with joghurt although some people (especially in Bulgaria) swear by boza, which is an acquired taste (I never met anyone who tried it for the first time as an adult and liked it--I think you need to have grown up with it). When I think of burek and joghurt my immediate association is manual workers eating breakfast, since this combination was a typical grub of the working classes, at least in soc times.
But back to banitsa--here is how you make it (from Wikipedia, I was too lazy to type):
In a large greased baking dish, individual sheets are layered one by one with small amounts of filling and vegetable oil between them. After half of the sheets are placed in the pan, a large portion of the filling is spooned onto the leaves and is then covered with the remaining sheets and filling in the same manner. The pastry is then baked at 200-250 degrees Celsius.And here is the result:
I'm pleased to report that it was yummie and, although I'm still snotty and the headache shows no signs of going away, at least I enjoyed my food. Temporary alleviation of misery: accomplished.