Friday, 6 August 2010

A new culinary challenge

After a second bout of 'heroism', I now have a new challenge.

Being entirely sans gnashers in the upper jaw department, with a section of gum only just beginning to heal and the rest a mere eight days into that process, the question is what to eat.

Last night was easy: a tin of Heinz macaroni cheese, which needed no masticatory exercise at all. And yes – I do have my junk food moments (most notoriously, the occasional chicken and mushroom Pot Noodle).

But Sybarite cannot live by tinned macaroni cheese alone, and nor do I have desire to spend the time until my gums start to harden in the consumption of baby food, while there's a basic healthy diet to take into consideration too.

So, a day earlier than usual, I have been contemplating menus – this time, starting by making a list of foods that I could obviously manage with ease: yogurt, soup, rice etc.

Fish will also be easy – white fish grilled, salmon poached or even smoked mackerel. No problem there.

I'm not sure about meat at present – although a trip to the shops this morning saw me handed a sample of fennel salami in the deli and, accepting it without thinking, I then realised that I didn't actually know whether I'd be able to chew it. I managed. But it was wafer-thin.

For the moment, I'm looking at plain yogurt and sliced banana for breakfasts, with fruit juice.

Then soup for lunch: I bought a batch of single portion cartons of gazpacho (ready made, but with no additives) – some are already waiting in the office fridge for me next week. Since The Other Half notoriously doesn't like chilled soups, I'll make a pea and mint one for lunch tomorrow. Seasonal, tasty and edible for the gummy.

But that left me wondering what to do this evening – and I finally settled on making some courgette timbales: add cream and egg, plus loads of basil, to cooked courgette, then blend, pop in greased ramekins and bake in a bain-marie. Easy and tasty – season with plenty of black pepper or even some nutmeg. With that, I'll try some picked beetroot and I'll do some cannellini beans, puréed with lemon juice and virgin oil (a River Cafe idea, that, and lovely it is too). And I should be able to manage some strawberries at some point.

So that makes quite healthy nosh for today. The Other Half can have a timbale and whatever else he wants with it – there's plenty in.

Tomorrow, I'll do some fish – what with, I'm not sure yet.

Sunday is a complete enigma at present, since I usually do something seriously meaty – and I'm not sure (thinly-sliced fennel salami apart) what meat I'm up for eating yet. Mince is one option, but it's not the season for a cottage or shepherd's pie, and I did meatballs last week. Perhaps a really good spag bol?

One thing I'm looking forward to doing is puréed potato, French style: not mashed, but seriously puréed with virgin oil. I could roast a load of bulb garlic first and then purée that with it too, for an extra kick.

And Monday will probably be a mushroom risotto.

So after wondering just what I would be able to eat, I've sussed a number of options already. And health and taste will not have to suffer.


  1. I had a yummy cup of cucumber gazpacho with just a hint of lemon and a dollop of fresh pineapple sherbet the other night. Count on you, Syb, to make this untoothsome experience into a culinary adventure.

  2. Why thank you, Still. One might as well make the most of any given situation.