Daily Archives: April 21, 2008

Temper tantrum

Straw-Rhubarb Oatmeal blue bowl

Seattle’s sky is in full-on temper tantrum mode. Friday night: Snow. Saturday: Rain, followed by sun, followed by hail. Sunday: Sun, followed by hail, followed by snow, followed by sun.

I don’t feel much different, honestly. The surgery went fine (or so they said), and barring the sensation that I’ve been hit in the face with a softball, I’m, uh, swell.

But the mushy foods thing is pissing me off. It’s not like there’s nothing to eat – like you pointed out, there’s plenty. Last night I stirred softened, sliced spring garlic into a creamy crimini risotto, and dinner was delicious.

This morning, even, I put a half pound of sliced young rhubarb into a pan with a good cupful of chopped strawberries and a couple tablespoons of sugar, and let the whole thing fall into a bright, bubbly jam on the stove. It took a matter of minutes, and when we stirred it into our oatmeal, the rhubarb’s bite woke me up just as much as a handful of crunchy walnuts ever does.

So I’m not exactly starving. I just have to take very small bites of very soft things.

The problem lies in what I cannot eat.

Molly's macaroons

Yesterday, our neighbor’s daughter brought us big chocolate-swaddled macaroons. My husband tore into his, and as I saw him pull back back from the first bite, I knew macaroons are everything periodontists hate: crunchy and chewy, with flakes of coconut that wander around the mouth, searching for crevices. (Or stitches.) I put mine on a cutting board, chopped off a tiny piece, and poked it into the back of my mouth anyway, between the four molars on one side that still work well. It was nowhere near as delicious there, hidden away from the sweet-sensing tip of my tongue.

And really, what good is a cookie – or a good risotto, or for goodness’ sake, even a good bowl of oatmeal – if you can’t get a good mouthful?

I do not like taking small bites.

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