Friday, September 16, 2011

No whining

Well, just a little bit, mostly because it seems impossible for me to go cold turkey, although I would never complain about turkey.  Well, I would, but I am not comfortable sharing that story.

So, anyway, I have this jaw thing and until I decide what to do about it, I have to not chew, not bite.  All foods have to be soft, fluidy, liquidy or capable of being mushed in my mouth, on the opposite side of the jaw thing, using my tongue against the roof of my mouth, again, on the side opposite of the jaw thing.

I miss chewing so much.  I never gave it a thought, but biting and chewing are...were...a large part of enjoying food.  But, I am doing what the doc recommended.  I even had a burger yesterday by cutting it into really small pieces, like smaller than a half inch, and gumming the stuff into insensibility.  It was tasty, but not the same or right feeling experience.

I have to keep thinking about this, am going to have a smoothie for a snack this afternoon, have been eating cooked cereals,and have made a couple of really tasty meals since Monday or Tuesday or whenever this all happened.

Late last night I made meat loaf in the pressure cooker.  It was interesting.  It was the first time that I had heard that machine make noises, other than the occasional steamy murmuring.  When I opened the cooker, there was a ton of juicy sauce, and a little bit of fat globules floating and glistening on top, which was a surprise because I used 90% lean ground beef.  I guess that shiny stuff was the 10%, but it seemed like a lot.

I ladled out as much as I could, then inverted my big strainer over the top of the cooker pot, lifted and flipped it over so that the juicy stuff could drain into the bowl into which I had ladled the juicy stuff.  Then, when it looked like most of it had drained out, I covered the strainer with a dinner place and flipped again.  There was still some stuff that looked too glisteny to not be fat, so I put some paper toweling dams along the plate edges so that I would not have to clean any overflow from the refrigerator in the morning.

Despite putting crushed tomatoes (canned) into the bottom of the cooker and covering the top of the loaf with a little sauce that I made from tomato paste, water and seasonings, the bottom of the meatloaf burned.  It was weird.  It was a paper-thin layer of burn.  I was able to lift it off with a fork, not lose much of the loaf and it did not impart a burned taste to the meatloaf, not even in the adjoining meaty part.  Weird.

Anyway, it worked out fine and it tastes fine.  Unfortunately, I forgot that I was cooking this stuff just for myself and I made portions generous enough for the two for whom I usually cook.  Someone who is not me is not interested in trying any of these new cooking experiments in mushy stuff.  I do not blame him, but I will have to remember to not use three pounds of ground beef if I make this again.  I will be eating this meat stuff for a very long time, even if I freeze some of it, which I intend to do this afternoon, along with half of the pan of lasagna.  Easy meals coming up.

Today I had a small piece of the meatloaf for breakfast/lunch.  It was really good, even better than the taste I had last night.

More of it was crumbled and put into a small pan of lasagna, along with whole wheat lasagna noodles, spinach, ricotta, canned mushrooms, shredded mozzarella, and I used the juicy stuff, which had overnight transformed into a really yummy tomato sauce (nice because I did not have to make any...yippee!) as the sauce.

I wanted it to have as few carbohydrates as possible, so I put a single layer of noodles on the bottom, filled the pan with the fillings and put another single layer of noodles on top, smoothed on some more sauce, and sprinkled a bit of shredded Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses on top of that.  I tented aluminum foil over the top so that it would not get crunchy and baked it for an hour.

It is fine.  Good even.  The only problem seems to be that even wishing and hoping will not magickally make a dairy sensitivity go away.  I had a three-inch-square piece and the cheeses helped the whole thing move through my system in short order.  So, future pieces will have most of the cheeses ripped or scooped out.  So sad.

In an effort to lessen the carb load, I used whole wheat noodles.  I cooked them until they were as floppy as possible, used lots of sauce and they still are too chewy.  I had to mash them with my fork so that I could gum them down with the rest of the ingredients.  Oh, and there is one section where the edge crisped up despite the foil covering and it is all I can to do cut it off and gnaw away on it.

I prefer to think of this whole thing as sharing and not whining.  I am so good at rationalizing.

I am.  Just ask anyone. 

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