Chapter Twenty-Six: Family Style

No church for me. Dad pointed out that while I am required to wear a procedure mask any time I am out in public (particularly indoors or in crowds), it is best to avoid situations where I am exposed to large groups of people whenever possible. Church, of course, would require me to stand for an extended period of time, indoors, surrounded by a large group of people. He suggested that I should stay at the hotel while he, Mom, Mimi and Papa went to church. I took the opportunity to make some more tacos with the leftover meat and fixin’s from last night, to watch a bit of Law and Order, and to do my nebulized meds.

We picked Houlihan’s for lunch, or “nooner” as they call it. Unfortunately, I was still pretty full from the tacos, so I only had a salad. My fullness didn’t prevent me from having crème brûlée for dessert, but it did keep me from finishing it (so Dad had to help with a few bites). I planned to take a nap when we got home, but ended up reading a National Geographic magazine and watching “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Dad instead.

It was decided that dinner tonight would be my pasta over spinach salad recipe, which I adapted to avoid using salt or butter. As a result, the sauce used Smart Balance spread instead, and the only salt added was to the pasta water. Another complication was that we do not have a bowl large enough to serve the salad and pasta family style, the way the recipe was designed. Serving family style allows the heat of the pasta to wilt the spinach when it is poured over the salad, an effect not achieved when serving individual plates.

After dinner, we relaxed and watched TV. Mimi gave me kisses sent from numerous relatives, and updated me on the health of family members back home (as is her custom). I’ll be sending prayers and well-wishes to several great aunts and uncles who have been admitted to the hospital with various ailments since my departure. They’ve all been supportive during my hospital stays, so now it’s my turn to pray for them.

When Mimi and Papa left, I lay down to rest and ended up taking an accidental power nap, after which I remembered to remove my contacts (burning, dry sensations tend to jog one’s memory). I served myself some leftover pasta and had a second dinner, and now I’m finishing my evening meds (IV and nebulizer) and will be going to bed soon.

Tomorrow we’ll be going to Little Italy for lunch, and I’ll be trying hot spinach dip and apple tart recipes for dinner. Hopefully they’ll work out better than dinner tonight. Avoiding such cooking staples as salt and butter is more of a challenge than I’d anticipated, but I welcome cooking challenges as much as I welcome eating challenges, so I will not be deterred.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. linda DiBona
    Apr 26, 2010 @ 07:12:08

    Jamie just introduced me to your blog site when you left for Cleveland…I have enjoyed your detail of events as well as your sense of humor throughout it all….so glad to know you are a foodie….you may need to work on a cookbook as a project during your recouperation….love, Linda


  2. CG
    Apr 26, 2010 @ 00:36:13

    I am confused, why are you avoiding salt?


    • Mark
      Apr 26, 2010 @ 23:34:11

      My grandparents are visiting, and are limited in their sodium intake. Since I’m cooking for them as well as myself and my parents, I need to limit the amount of salt I put in the food. They don’t usually eat much real butter, either, preferring Smart Balance or Olivio or other substitutes, meaning I have to limit my use of butter also.


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