I know I promised something about cocktails, but I canâ€™t resist a few words on oral surgery first. I had a tooth extracted today and was reminded of the great pureed and soft foods that we take for granted or overlook.
Being a vegetarian chef type gets you into all kinds of conversations, and I recently learned that my dentistsâ€™ two sons are vegetarian. So she expressed interest in trying my food and had some advice for me as a veggie faced with a few days of no chewing. (Dr. Lloyd, if you decided to tune in â€“ hello! You did a magnificent job!)
After she proclaimed that Iâ€™d managed very well, especially â€œfor such a small girlâ€ and before she got concerned about my high blood pressure and ghost-pale face, she suggested cauliflower. Mash it up, she told me, and itâ€™s wonderful. I have an organic head of the stuff waiting in my fridge right now. Iâ€™ll let you know how it comes out. Iâ€™ve heard of mashed cauliflower as a suggestion for carb counters, a kind of mashed potato substitute. It occurs to me now that itâ€™s a nutritious and interesting alternative for anyone.
What Iâ€™ve already made is a smoothie (frozen banana, oat milk, yogurt, peanut butter, and Nutella) and okra stew with fufu. Yes, okraâ€™s not in season, but I cheated and got canned. I sautÃ©ed up some red onion, garlic, cabbage, and carrot, then added canned fire-roasted tomatoes and the okra. I sprinkled on some seasoning and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Pulverized it with my hand blender and it was ready to go!
I made the fufu from a mix. If you want to try it but canâ€™t find a good mix (i.e. one in an international grocery store that doesnâ€™t have potato as its main ingredient), check out this recipe and learn more.
So far, this has been far better than the last time I needed to avoid solid food. That was when I got my tongue pierced. Being a busy college student, I didnâ€™t have time to make elaborate mashed dishes and, as usual, all of the blenders in the dining co-op were busted or missing pieces. I ate an awful lot of bread soaked in soy milk.
I say take a vacation from chewing now and then. Donâ€™t wait until your next major piercing or you need a tooth tugged out of your mouth!