My mission is now PROTECT THE SOCKETS. There is a fragile clot that forms in the hole the tooth once was, and if it is disturbed it will lead to a painful condition called Dry Socket. I planned ahead and made sure I had plenty of groceries that don’t involve much chewing or will get stuck in the sockets. Foods like:
fruit smoothies (nothing with seeds)
I also have all the ingredients to make three different soups. I posted before about my interest in cooking and creating a cookbook, I thought I’d share the recipes I plan to use this week.
When I’m grocery shopping, I usually pick up a fully cooked rotisserie chicken from the deli. I eat the wings, thighs, and legs while they are hot, then pull off the breasts and any other salvageable meat to save for other meals. I throw out most of the skin, but the rest of the carcass and the bones from the wings/legs goes right in the crock pot with water, garlic, herbs, and seasonings. In the freezer I save odds and ends to throw in there too, vegetable trimmings, the ends of onions, shrimp tails, whatever could add a layer of flavour to the stock.
I simmer the stock in the crock pot for 24 hrs. It’s usually when I get home from work that it’s ready. I set a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer over a pot and strain it all carefully. I put the boiled mush back into the container the rotisserie chicken came in, so I don’t worry about leaks in the garbage. I do a final taste test to make sure the seasonings are perfect, and it’s usually so delicious that you can just drink it as is. It makes a lot of stock so I freeze the leftovers. I never buy stock at the store, it’s not even close.
So that is the secret ingredient in all the soups I make.
I start most soups the same. In a deep soup pot I melt a big lump of butter and fry up chopped onion. How much? As much as I want. Like, a small chopped onion and a few Tbsp of butter. Just wing it. When the onions are getting to be that nice golden colour, I add the next ingredients. Then top off with that delicious stock until everything is submerged and simmer low until everything is cooked. If there is sour cream in the soup, it goes in last when the soup is almost done. I get out the immersion blender and smooth everything out into a silky texture. I taste again, but that stock is liquid gold and I don’t usually have to add any more seasonings.
Here are the ingredients I have assembled for three kinds of soup.
Golden Prairie Squash Bisque:
White Fish Chowder:
cubed fish, I’m using sole
Hungarian Mushroom Soup:
After you’ve been cooking so long, you learn about how much you need. If I wrote a cookbook for beginners, they most definitely need measurements until they get the hang of it. Maybe a cookbook with just recommended ingredients and possible substitutions would be marketable to cooks with more experience. I would read that cookbook. When I read recipes I always change it anyway. One clove of garlic? That’s going to be at least 2. Whipping cream? I’ll use sour cream. 1/2 cup chopped apple, I’m just going to use the whole apple whatever it measures after it’s chopped. How much salt just went in to the water before it boiled? Who knows?
It’s important to point out I’ve learned a lot from failing many recipes. Timing of adding ingredients is important so they cook to the same texture, like add the carrot before the mushroom before the herbs. Some things need to wait their turn, and if the cook is impatient the texture can be off. Without measuring, it’s also easy to get the proportion of ingredients wrong. Like adding too much of something, but then you learn from your mistakes and think, that was WAY TOO MUCH CAYENNE. One time I made a chicken noodle soup, only I added too much macaroni, and for lunch at work the next day it had turned into pasta with chicken flavouring when the noodles absorbed all the liquid. Still tasted good though!
Everybody eats every day. Each meal is a chance to have something amazing, even if you can’t put anything in your mouth that can break apart into small sharp pieces that could affect your healing wounds.