As Dr. Seuss said – “Oh the places you’ll go!” Surely, my last two months were not what he had in mind. The busyness linked to the emptying and sale of my mom’s house and a trip to NYC (which I shockingly have not yet blogged about) were not followed by the break I imagined.
Where have I been? A mysterious bug bite landed me in hospital with a raging infection. Once discharged, recovery was painfully (and I mean painfully) slow, with a return to normal in just the last while. June was like a black hole.
There was no writing, blogging, social media – in fact no cooking - and eating was an adventure at times.
In these blog posts, I have not before mentioned the health issues in the last few years that diminish (and sometimes totally shut down) my sense of smell and taste. Not a great state of affairs for someone who loves to cook and eat! Having no/minimal sense of smell can come in handy when there’s a dead skunk in the middle of the road. Not so good when cookies in the oven are beginning to burn.
The hospitalization (maybe the antibiotics? sugar withdrawal?) changed all that – at least for a few weeks. It was as if I had become a super-taster. That did not always turn out to be a good thing, particularly while I was being served hospital food.
I saw two months of hospital food last Fall visiting my mother, and my own experience was in another hospital. Why can they not get the food right? Apart from a fresh banana, so much of it is processed and unappetizing. Is there anyone left who needs convincing about the importance of food to our health – and once hospitalized - to our recovery? Is the food failure a conspiracy to motivate us to beg for discharge? My bedside table began to look like an old country scene with family bringing ginger tea, soup etc. from home.
Sweet Mr. KB indulged me by bringing in any/all foods I craved. Oddly, as a new super-taster, I could take one bite of some things and cringe, wondering how I had ever eaten that before! Coffee was so bitter I thought I may never drink it again. Perhaps some tea with honey? My usual honey tasted awful. Crackers featured weekly on our “Saturday Night at the Movies” menu were blech.
Once home, friends visited with goodies, but mainly Mr. KB dusted off his cooking repertoire. In my new state as super smeller and taster, home cooking almost brought tears to my eyes. How could something smell that fabulous? Though (for a while) it was hard to sit for more than eleven minutes, I tried to eat slowly savouring every bite of delicious meals that I may have under-appreciated before.
Favourites of his repertoire are Scarpetta’s Tomato and Basil Pasta which came into our lives when Scott Conant became involved with the Thompson Hotel in Toronto (a chapter now closed).
Another of Mr. KB’s Italian treats is Orecchiette with Sausage.
But he wowed even one of my visitors the day he was making Ginger Fried Rice.
I am back to drinking coffee now, which sadly is evidence that my smell and taste are once again diminished – though not totally gone. (I was so thrilled to find that those senses were still in there somewhere, but now have to get back to figuring out where and why they are hiding.) I can’t smell that skunk, or a stinky beach, or the garbage, but ginger and garlic crisping up in peanut oil – ah, the beginnings of heaven.
If you missed the link to the recipe, here you go!
Deepest, heartfelt thanks to all, and most especially Mr. KB, my sons and sweet D.I.L. KBK, for all the love and support - the visits, the emails, texting, cards and food and treats. Hoping Dr. Seuss has something better in mind next time!
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