Monday, November 9, 2009

Windy City Cooking: Week 15

(Ed.'s Note- Every Monday--even when recovering from surgery!--Chicago's Jason Hissong writes Windy City Cooking, a column whose title says it all. Enjoy! -Max)


by Jason Hissong
9 November 2009

       This is going to be a bit of a different column. Essentially, it's an extended version of what I do at the end of my columns in the What I've Cooked, What Others Have Cooked for Me, Where I Ate feature. Why? Extraction. I now have four stitched up sockets where my wisdom teeth used to be thanks to Dr. Katabi and his staff at Armitage Oral Surgery.

       Because of said stitches I can't really use the back of my mouth to chew. So I've had to find ways to get all my requisite nutrients and protein/fats/carbs. It's a different way of thinking about food. A challenging way.

       So, what have I made and purchased? Well, I purchased a two pound container of yogurt. That has been my breakfast for the most part. And it's gone after three days. Also, pudding. Both are soft. Both taste good.

       On Thursday night I made my tomato bisque. It's smooth and creamy. It starts with the aromatics- garlic, onion, celery, carrots. I added four cups of stock after sweating the aromatics. To the stock and aromatics I added quartered tomatoes. I used an entire package of small tomatoes I got at Trader Joe's. I think it had eight or nine medium sized tomatoes. Anyway, I added the tomatoes and then after letting it simmer for about half an hour I added a cup of milk, two tablespoons of butter and used my stick blender to puree it all into a smooth, creamy soup. I also added some blue cheese to melt and blend into the mixture. Usually I'd serve this with some bread, but, alas, I can't chew bread.

       I also purchased some hummus. Usually I like to make my own hummus, but it's been a crazy week. Hummus is good because it provides me the protein I need while I can't really chew.

       Also, there is ice cream. I've had two wonderful friends- Ashley and Kara- each bring me ice cream. And I've eaten it all. Because it's ice cream, and ice cream makes everything better. I even purchased some more tonight. Because it's ice cream.

       I made scrambled eggs for breakfast. That experiment worked better in my head than it did in execution. It was fine, but I had to cut each bite further than normal to get the smallest pieces possible without chewing. Or, without chewing much, and definitely with only using the front part of my mouth.

       Mashed potatoes. I made a huge pot of mashed potatoes last night. Mashed potatoes are so good. And so easy. Way easier than I realized. It's literally just boiling the potatoes until their done, draining then adding some milk and butter and mashing them. I also added cheese to mine, because I like the undercurrents of cheddar in the middle of all that starch.

       So it's been an interesting experiment attempting to figure out how to satisfactorily feed myself without chewing. And, a bit fun. I fee like I've eaten way too much. And I don't know if it's always been the healthiest way to go about it. I need to go to the store tomorrow to re-stock on yogurt and some other things, because I think I have three or four more days of eating without chewing.

       The good news is that my mouth now has room for all its teeth. And I look forward to being able to chew again.

What I've Cooked, What Others Have Cooked for Me, Where I Ate

       On Monday I actually brought my lunch to work. Of course, it was leftover Orange Garden from my trip with Ashley the previous Friday night. And, like Panda Express from the outset, Orange Garden is never a good idea re-heated. I had Ashley's leftover fried rice from Orange Garden for dinner on Monday, and I had maybe five bites.

       Tuesday I had lunch with my friend Kara at Cosi. I had the steakhouse Gorgonzola. It's a great combination and one I'll have to attempt myself. For dinner I attended a potluck. I'd like to to thank: Robin for her homemade salsa and chips. Sarah for the steak tacos and guac from Tony's Burrito House. Erin for the relish tray. Lea for the pita chips and hummus. Terry for the walnut and raisin salad. Kim for the taco salad. Elisa for the tamales and salsa. Suzanne and Norah for the spring rolls. Jennifer for the rice and beans. Nadia for the chips, salsa, and hummus, and Anne for the brownies. Apologies if I missed anyone.

       Wednesday I had a Baja turkey sandwich from Au Bon Pain. For dinner I had a bowl of cereal.

       Thursday I cooked for Ashley. We had a risotto dish- again. This time with black beans and blue cheese. It was delicious.

       Friday I had yogurt and cereal for breakfast. And then I fasted. And after my fast, I ate foods without chewing them.

1 comment:

  1. The Mori-Nu Tofu (firm in the blue box) that they sell at Whole Foods is nice and creamy and when you blend it with some fruit and a little honey or sweetener it's a healthy milkshake and the soy is supposed to be great for healing. Great column as always!