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Monday, August 19, 2013

Comfort Foods - No Really!

I've been having dental issues again this weekend.  Luckily my stock of pain relievers is sufficient.  Sadly, it looks like another root canal is in my future.  If there's anything I hate worse than dental work it's not being able to eat comfortably.  Luckily my experience with dental work is as sufficient as my stock of pain relievers, so much so that I am considering writing a cookbook of soft foods that can be eaten while in extreme dental pain.  Here are a few ideas you might want to try next time you have a cracked tooth or need a root canal.

Potatoes.  Mashed.  Obvious, right?  But to make them just a little more substantial, peel a few potatoes (if they are young or are red or white potatoes with thin skins, just scrub them) and cut in chunks.  Place in a pot with water just to barely cover and sprinkle in a little bullion powder.  Simmer until very tender, drain any remaining liquid and return to the stove to dry a bit.  Plop in a nice amount of butter, a pinch of salt, a grinding of black pepper and top with minced fresh or dried parsley or chive.  Stir with a  fork to smash and enjoy, being careful to chew only on the unaffected side!

Take out.  A bowl of egg drop soup from the Chinese restaurant on the corner is just the thing.  If you can chew at all ask for a couple of won tons (or steal them from the Big Guy's bowl of Won Ton soup).  To make this at home heat a can of chicken broth (or water & bullion) to a simmer.  Season to taste with a little soy sauce, hot chili oil or whatever you like.  Beat an egg and drizzle into the soup while stirring gently to make egg flowers.

Congee . . . sort of.  Congee is actually a very small amount of rice cooked in a very large amount of water until it's a thick sort of soup.  Not exactly gruel, not exactly porridge, more like cream of nothing soup.  It's seasoned with bits of meat, vegetable, and other things.  To make a similar version at home add a few spoonfuls of leftover rice to a cup or two of chicken broth or water & bullion.  Simmer until the rice is completely dissolved and the soup is thick.  You can beat an egg and stir this in if you like.  Season to taste (see above) and enjoy.  Remember to let it cool if your teeth are sensitive to heat.

Don't forget the old standbys like oatmeal, cream of wheat, farina or grits.  Just leave out anything that requires much chewing like whole raisins or walnuts.  Remember to let it cool a bit if sensitive to heat.

For something cool try small curd cottage cheese, jello, or pureed anything (think baby food from a jar).  Any cooked fruit (apricots, peaches, apples) can be pureed, sweetened and enjoyed warm or cold.  Or do the same with vegetables such as squash, peas or cauliflower.  Or just grab a few jars from the baby food aisle.  Nobody has to know.

After a day or two of these dishes you will be eager to make that appointment and get back to steak and salads.

Quotable quotes; in the category What Is This, A Joke?

Q. When is it time to go to the dentist?
A. Two-Thirty! (tooth-hurty).