Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Pioneer Pantry - I Can Do The Can-Can Too

Robert and I were watching Food Network this morning, more specifically The Pioneer Woman, one of my favorites.  I am crazy about Ree Drummond, and her recipes.  She's sort of a midwestern Barefoot Contessa, and that's a good thing.  This episode was Perfecting the Pantry, in which she created several dishes, restricting herself primarily to the cans in her pantry.  If you stop by here on a regular basis, you know how I love what I call pantry buster recipes. What caught my attention was her 7-Can Soup.  Maybe another time.  

Now Ree cooks for four children and a cowboy husband.  Those kids work the ranch alongside their dad, and everyone has a healthy appetite.  So imagine my surprise when, viewing the inside of Ree's pantry, I could see that it is organized very similar to mine, including the amounts of food.  I apparently stock enough food to cook for a family of six with healthy appetites.  I cook enough for a block party, but my eating audience is technically 1.75 people.  Yes, I know we are a family of three.

That's why my freezer - my second freezer - looks like this.  Each of those aluminum tins is filled with extras from my cooking sprees.  The good news is that if Ree and her hard-working offspring and her hunky husband ever vacation in Disneyworld, I can invite them all to dinner and there will be plenty of food.

Today, June 13th, is World Wide Knit in Public Day, and as I mentioned in the previous blog post, I have not been doing any knitting for quite a while, and that makes me feel very sad.  As if I wasn't sad enough.  Now I have a Michael's, JoAnn's, and even a Hobby Lobby practically within walking distance of my home (please forgive my mild bent for exaggeration), and I haven't gone to any one of them to pet the yarns for such a long time.  I surely don't check up on Yarn Harlot with the same frequency as in the past, and that's my loss because the Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) is a joy to read. She is inspirational.  She is a knitting genius.  I am a knitting ne'er-do-well.  Must - do - some - knitting.

So, I continue to be a good little soldier with my new medication.  I'm still feeling sad, I get headaches, and I feel a little increase in appetite.  I knew that weight gain is one of the main side effects, so I was sort of prepared for it.  Although it is a weird feeling as I haven't really felt hunger since June 2, 2003, and I'm not sure I remember it (not kidding).  It could be digestive upset.

I am getting just a little concerned that three of my doctors are conspiring to prescribe medications that have weight gain as a side effect.  Ha ha ... can we add paranoia to that list of symptoms?  Look docs, I wouldn't mind gaining back a little, but lack of appetite is not how I lost this weight.  In case you have forgotten, especially you, Doctor Gastroenterologist, my stomach is the size of a postage stamp, and most of my small intestine has been bypassed.  The Laws of Physics (I know there's a pun in there, but there was no way to get around it) cannot be flouted with impunity.  Well, if we accept that the space remaining in my postage stamp stomach pouch and the food that I eat are composed of fermions, they cannot occupy the same quantum state simultaneously.  Oh hell. Google Wolfgang Pauli.  I can't explain what I just wrote.  I don't remember what grade I got in physics, although I could ask my 12th grade physics teacher, who would no doubt remember it because that man has a mind like a steel trap.  I just remember that I was no science genius, although I started college as a biology major.  It took me three years to realize this was hopeless, so I switched majors just in time to save myself having to even attempt college physics.

The point is that my stomach is too damn small to take on the amount of food intake that full-fledged hunger would generate.  So, we shall see how it all plays out - will I snack and nibble my way back up to a size 28?  I think not. When I gained the weight while on Lyrica, I ate a whole lot of milk chocolate.  I can't do that anymore.  I also can't eat ice cream or cheesecake or tapioca pudding due to a late-blooming dairy sensitivity.  I can't drink alcohol, save an occasional half-glass of wine or half of a cocktail.  I can't drink frappacinos or milkshakes or smoothies.  I can no longer chew certain foods as thoroughly as is needed, so I avoid them. Certain foods don't taste right to me anymore, and this is what happened right after surgery, leading me to agree with my PCP that the gastric bypass somehow kicked in again. And while the endoscopy did not show anything alarming, there is some irritation at a critical juncture, and food is going to get stuck.  Medication takes up too much room, leaving little for food.

Yeah, sometime it sucks being me. Like today, blow-drying my hair: it hurts to stand, it hurts to keep my arms up, for any length of time.  It hurts to stand and put on make-up. Crap.

The good part of the day was dinner out with friends.  We went to Bonefish, which is one of my favorite restaurants, and I ordered mussels. These were delicious, and of course I had leftovers. I love mussels, better than any other bivalve, especially when the recipe involves garlic and white wine, which this one did, along with some kind of onion (possibly shallots), fresh herbs and fresh tomatoes.  I'm in a seafood sort of mood now, and I'm playing with the idea of crawfish étouffée and dirty rice.

Good things from the garden: I perused my garden today, as it was the first day in a while that there was no rain.  Some of the plants are coming back from the rain damage.  The mint plant leaves are almost completely denuded.  But the peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes are flourishing.  Nice. I took pictures with my iPhone, but I'm having trouble transferring them to the iPad. I did some research, and can confirm that the broccoli and carrot seeds are sprouting in good numbers, but they are sort of clumped together in bunches, depending on where they floated to.  I see maybe two onions sprouting, darn it.  These photos are from several days back, after the second day of rain storms.

Lost a zucchini blossom

That eggplant is hanging on for dear life

The exposed roots from the eggplant

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