Thursday, September 18, 2014

only the dumb teeth remain...

My sister and I drove for over an hour through the worst San Francisco morning commute traffic to go to the maxillofacial surgeon this morning.  When I arrived the receptionist asked me if I had eaten breakfast.  Since I had eaten breakfast they were going to have to push back my wisdom tooth appointment for another couple of hours, apparently they didn't want it gracing their faces or ceilings. During that time I met Joe at his work and wandered to the Ferry Building.  It was a good thing I had eaten breakfast since Joe had made me two generous Black Fogs for dessert last night and it took quite a lot of water and buttered toast to get my brain back online.  Finally the hour arrived with heavy steps I returned back to the doctor's office.  They hooked me up with a couple of leads, the blood pressure cuff, and a monitor for my blood oxygen.  I was a little bit nervous about my blood pressure but it was sort of normal for me and not at all alarming

The doctor arrived and I made the mistake of looking at all of his terrifying stainless steel, scary tools; medieval claws, and pliers with jagged teeth, pointy sharp things with ergonomic handles, and more that I didn't want to see (because some things you can never unsee).  A nice Russian nurse gave me a panoramic x-ray earlier and larger than life on the wall was the image of my my teeth looking incredibly straight and regular and strange with two black holes where my sinuses should be. I stared at the silly sinuses for that hour wondering what on earth was in them.

 This is what I remember of my x-ray.  I only had three wisdom teeth. One of them had a root that went into my sinus cavity, I really didn't want a passage connecting my sinus to the back of my mouth. I can hardly wait to see next year's x- rays.

The Doc asked me if I was still awake. I said, "yes" and the next thing I know, they are pulling wads of gauze out of my mouth, and various other objects I can feel but not see.  Like three little pebbles, my teeth sat proudly on the tray.  For a half muddled moment I was completely confused.  A nurse pointed them out.  Can I keep them? I asked.  She disappeared and returned with a little, hermetically sealed, windowed bag, with my teeth clanking inside.

They left as suddenly as they appeared, and it was just me and the monitor with my vital numbers.  My face felt mostly dead.  With strange gaps and odd mounds of flesh I doubted were my own.  I was afraid of drooling.  I sat there for a while, watching other patients get x-rayed, and potential clients getting a tour.   Just as I was about to ask someone what I was supposed to be doing, the receptionist told  me Joe was on his way.  As the nurse escorted me out to Joe's illegally parked car, she pressed a bag of directions, a plastic syringe and a small stack of gauze into my hands.


Once at home, I experienced a small thrill. I love culinary challenges, and a liquid diet would be fun.  My dad actually pureed an entire cheese burger for my mom when she had hers out, using ketchup as the suspending liquid.  She drank it, she didn't have a choice.  I am well enough to cook for myself.

**A Liquid Diet for a Moronic, Masticationally-Challenged Mouth.**

*Ensure-Flavored Smoothy for Lactationally Inclined Mammaries.*

In your blender whirl together milk, yoghurt, ice, Ovaltine, frozen bananas, Brewer's yeast, to taste, and a teaspoon of cocoa powder.

**Said's Oriental Hoo Doo Soup**
(Useful equipment; immersion blender, large strainer, cookie sheet, 2-quart saucepan, and a larger stock pot)

Start the stock first and preheat oven to 350° F

1 packet of Chinese Herbal Soup Mix (the kind with the mysterious dried plant parts with dirty-sounding Latin names)


Leftover chicken parts
Coarsely chopped mirepoix veggies
Small dried Mexican chillies
Coarsely chopped nubbin of ginger


1 quart of water

Low simmer until  you need it.


Put the following on a cookie sheet.

A few unpeeled cloves of garlic
Coarsely chopped;
Sweet potatoes
Red bell pepper
Butternut squash
Glug of EVOO

Roast for an hour.

Strain stock into the stock pot.

Transfer roasted veg to stock pot. Peel garlic and add them, too.

Add 2 cups (or enough to create a pleasing consistency) of liquid of your choice.  Water is fine. This afternoon I used a small pot of Puehr tea.

Thoroughly blend.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Since everything was already hot, serve immediately.

Garnish with a dollup of yoghurt and a drizzle of hot sauce.

This is related to the roasted butternut squash soup I have blogged about over the years.  I got the idea originally from Bittman (I think). All I know is that I certainly didn't invent it.

this blog helped demystify the Chinese soup mix packets.  I love them because they are cheap, supposedly great for recovery, they make wonderful soup base, they are aesthetically pleasing (even though the material usually ends up in the compost, depending on which kind) and they are natural.

**Black Fog**

(Treacherous at night.)
1/2 oz
Chambourd, poured in first

1 Guinness, carefully poured on top.

Sip, even though every fiber of your sugar-loving blood will scream for you to chug.

Now that I have huge holes in the back of my mouth, and am on antibiotics, I will be abstaining. This recipe is here just for your edification and should not be construed as advice.

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I blog about life and soup, but mostly soup.