Thursday, March 19, 2015

Soul and Inspiration - A Loquat For Your Thoughts

Wednesday, Day 11 - If I do nothing else today, I am going to take my walk.  Unfortunately, there is so much more I have to do, and none of it involves cooking. It does involve phoning, not one of my favorite tasks, but unavoidable.  I have to call the lab, I have to call AvMed, I have to call a couple of doctors.

I realize that yesterday's post started out making sense, and then it didn't, with my abrupt stops about loquats and days not ending well.  Now that I've had some time to process the events of my day, let me explain.

I had my iPad with me and was adding to yesterday's post while I was waiting to be called into the gynecologist's examining room.  I was called in before I could finish the post, and once the exam was over, I did not feel up to writing any more, thus the abrupt endings.  Yes, she found a small lump in my right breast, about 1 cm. in size.  It could be nothing, like the lump that was removed from under my right arm nine years ago. On the other hand, it could be something, and it is that second contingency that makes it imperative for me to make those phone calls.

I am an Ashkenazi Jew over 60, with a family history of breast cancer. That I did not know about that family history until two years ago does not change anything - except it gets me just a little more pissed off at my grandmother-who-raised-me, and kept me separated from my paternal relatives.  It might have been useful to know the family medical history. This, then, is the third part of the genetic trifecta - deep, dark Russian depression; my personal worst nightmare, Alzheimer's disease; and breast cancer.

When the PA told me what she'd found, I was so stunned, I did not think to point out the lump on the other side of the same breast.  Since she didn't catch it, maybe it didn't qualify as a lump.  I will point it out to the mammogram tech.  I've set the appointment, and now I wait - again.  My brain, my breast, my blood ... so many tests going on at the same time, so much waiting, so much uncertainty.  

In the meantime, the CPS is doing its thing, but not as viciously as when I am working.  Less stress, I suppose (ha ha, at least until yesterday).  I hurt, I tire easily, but my brain is a little less foggy.  I still lose words.  I think they must be gone with all those single socks from the clothes dryer.

Now, the quick and dirty story of how a loquat tree redirected my tamale dreams.  We have owned this building for a long time, maybe 15 years. Until the last few days, I did not realize we had a loquat tree on our property.  I wrongly assumed that whatever was on the tree was decorative, not edible.  But this week, while explaining the work that would be done on our fence, Rob mentioned that it was not the kumquat, but the other tree that would be removed.  At the mention of kumquats, my heart did a happy little flutter, although I was sure I would have known if I had kumquats growing on my property.  So much did I want to believe those were kumquats, I was already mentally reaching for the cranberries in the freezer, to make my cranberry kumquat relish.  When I went to check, those lovely orange ovoid fruits were NOT kumquats.  One quick google on the iPhone and the mystery was solved.  Loquats - lovely edible loquats.  They taste a bit like an apricot with a touch of lemon - very pleasant.

Obviously, I wanted to find a way to use them; after another google search, I realized that the loquat had limited use in everyday cooking, as most recipes were for preserves or in pies.  One recipe did catch my eye - samosas with loquat chutney.  Okay, I know this recipe was not really about the loquat, but those samosas grabbed me, so much so that I pushed the tamales to the back burner.  Once I got the news about my right bosom, however, the samosas followed the tamales, and now I'm looking at meatloaf.

After all the deep thought and research leading nowhere, I headed to Publix with absolutely no idea of what I was shopping for.  Yesterday's fact-finding tour of my breast tissue had left me disinclined to take on a major cooking project, so there would be no Family Chicken Tamales or Samosas with Loquat Chutney during this cooking cycle.  I figured that once I saw which proteins were for sale, I would be suitably inspired.

After 2 1/2 hours wandering back and forth and up and down the entire store multiple times (I counted it as my daily walk) I had NO inspiration for anything.  It was like my Cooking Muse had moved leaving no forwarding address.  What I finally came up with is - well, it's going to depend on the execution. That's tomorrow's blog post. Tonight, we had grilled dinner franks and beans.  Sometimes simple is best.

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