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"And tonight's the longest night"

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(ELO reference)

I guess there are four or five days that still sort of haunt me, although I am getting better with them as I am really starting to get this eating thing down.

Christmas and Thanksgiving of course, require a great deal of patience and, can I say it, fortitude, on my part. Some people just don't get it, this head/neck cancer thing (any cancer thing, to be honest). We all speak of it, so I won't repeat it. We all have horror stories, we all have completely loony comments from others that are probably funny in hindsight, at least to me, but not worth repeating at the moment.

There are those two days, when people seem resigned to gorging themselves, especially Thanksgiving, as if they have no choice in the matter: I am not sure if they do this in deference to the host/chef (If I don't eat enough to kill myself I will have insulted my host/chef/loved one who cooks); or if they do it because it gives them license to do so.

It may, of course, be that the food is THAT good, or that they only get to eat this, um, stuff, once a year, and it is rather good if only eaten in such an infrequent manner. I speak, of course, of cheese balls, and candied yams, and pecan pie, and maybe even turkey, for all I know. I mean, we don't eat turkey on a regular basis.

People eat, and they eat a lot, and that is that. No big deal. But those are two days where I am sort of feeling left out of the loop. I WANT to be engorged. I remember the days of engorgement with a certain degree of nostalgia and even glee and greediness.

And so there are these two days.

And then there is Easter, which is why I bring it up now, as Easter fast approaches (it approaches so fast that where I live I am already nearly five hours into Easter). This is the day of deviled eggs and a big ham and asparagus and more yams (in some sort of sadistic marshmallow mixture), the usual roll suspects, mashed potatoes and ham gravy and, well, you probably have some specialties that I am not including: I know that some folks like oysters, some like clams, and we all have salads, I suspect just in case the other stuff is not cutting it or because Emily Post said that every meal should start with a salad.

Have I mentioned pies? Yes, I mentioned the mince meat pie...but the PIES? I didn't think so.

So there you have it, three big days of eating trauma for the head/neck cancer survivor, especially in the early days, and then you have a choice of New Year's Eve or New Year's Day or both, depending on how you do it: Pork and sauerkraut and black eyed peas (not the band, although if they don't have anywhere to go, they can hang out here as long as they smoke outside), more mashed potatoes and more gravy and some other things I am forgetting (rolls, of course, the ubiquitous rolls), and a glass of something or other to down while making silent resolutions that one's resolution will actually come true this time.

Which leads us to the fifth day, which is Summer.

Yep. Summer.

I love the day called Summer because it seems to last so long. When it is sunny it is wonderful. When it is wet and rainy, it is bountiful. When it is excruciatingly hot, I have an air conditioner and there are baseball games on TV, and drinks of preference in the fridge, and the occasional light meal to get you through.

My grass grows, my plants grow, my entire outlook grows! I can hear the mowers mowing, the weedeaters eating. I can see my neighbors and they can see me, without the encumbrance of fur and leather and ponchos and hoodies and those nasty winter attitudes.

But it is that fifth day. There is that grill.

And it is the longest day.

This will have to be the year where I overcome the grill. I have a problem with meat (if I have to eat it, that is). Surprisingly, to me, I have eaten prime beef (done accidently perfectly). I have even eaten, recently, chicken (my bane, due to its stringiness). I have eaten pork, albeit of the pulled and BBQ'd variety.

None of it really easy, yet. I am getting there.

Still, the notion of cooking on a grill, something I always loved to do unless I could get someone else to do it, I miss it and I fear it, although fear might be too strong a word: I really want to do it but don't want to suck and want to be able to eat what I cook: is that fear or merely the dread of impending disappointment?

I have been known to grill vegetables and fish and I will leave out most of the expletives I might use to describe most of those end results (okay, I will leave them all out). Grilling tomatoes is an art, let me say that. Grilling fish is an even greater art and requires some intelligence with respect to marinade. No one ever accused me of intelligence.

I could go on. And probably will.

But not now. Suffice it that the day called Summer is upon me. I am readying the deck and the yard and the grill and even my head, so that I can get on with it this year for the first time in six. (Years, not attempts.)

I HAVE been grilling over these past several years, as the references to veggies and fish indicate, but I have not been doing such a great job. I have even been grilling meat for the omnivores (among whose tribe I long once again to be on a full-time basis, but without the ring in the nose and the extra set of golf clubs in the grandkids' room).

This may be the year.

Yep, this may be the year.

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Have you ever grilled using a cedar plank? Wonderful for salmon, and for veggies as it is more like baking. Takes a bit of practice to keep the plank from "Burning Down the House" though.

Not sure how you do with potatoes, but I love to cook those on the grill, especially yams, and those little red and white ones. All wrapped wet in foil with a bit of butter.

Happy Easter!

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I have seen the planking done on TV and found it of interest. I wll now have to try it for sure. And will let you know how it goes.

I am good with potatoes in every way I can think of, but not a fan of yams. I do like the reds, and I like the yukons; not sure what your refence to the 'white ones' is. But yeah, foil, butter, and maybe a few other spices as well. I'm with you there.

I will keep you posted.

You, my friend, enjoy this day as well. Whatever else it might be, it is a good time to be with family and friends and to celebrate the fact we are still here and talking about grilling out :)

Take care,

Joe

SASH's picture
SASH
Posts: 284
Joined: Apr 2006

When cooking on the wood plank make sure to put the rough side away from the food so you don't end up with a sliver in your tongue.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Now, wouldn't that be just like me :)?

Thanks Sash, and good to see you, stranger!

Take care,

Joe

buzz99's picture
buzz99
Posts: 404
Joined: Sep 2010

Eloquent and articulate as ever, soccerfreaks! I enjoy reading your posts. As for Easter Dinner, we are not having one. As for grilling, we gave the grill to our son. Buzz eats mostly soup and I don't think soup would do well on the grill. All those little pieces would fall through! Hope this is the year for you. Karen

KareGiver
Posts: 291
Joined: Apr 2011

Since it is the beginning of our journey, we will be enjoying Raisin Bran Crunch for Easter dinner...the only thing that tastes good to my husband "today" (happy to still be able to swallow!) I will show him your post and he will understand.
Take care.

arndog64's picture
arndog64
Posts: 538
Joined: Mar 2011

My husband grilled tri tip this Easter Sunday with beans and deviled eggs. He tried so hard to eat the meal, but just hurt his mouth too much. It's hard to make that change from normal eating habits.... He is finally coming to the conclusion that its time to switch to soups. I always try to make soft foods for him but he wanted tri tip.... FYI tri tip is part of the sirloin that looks like a roast but you bbq and it's tender and delicious.
Happy Easter to all.

KareGiver
Posts: 291
Joined: Apr 2011

You never know until you try!

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I must say that there is little more frustrating than being a hard-headed person trying to will oneself to do something that one, at the moment, cannot do, especially when one has always believed and even COACHED (in my case) that where there is a will there is a way.

Please advise hub to be patient. There is a very good chance that much will come back to him, even if, to be honest, not everything. Any long-term reading of this board shouts out about the successes people have overcoming their frustrations and their cancer!

Best wishes to your husband and his family. As for me, I will mention that tri tip to my wife. As karegiver says in a follow-on message to your own, you never know until you try.

Take care,

Joe

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Almost assuredly, it will not always be Raisin Bran Crunch for your husband. My surgery was in October of '05 (and then there were some curves in the road as well, which I won't get into here), but it seems to finally be coming together for me, and I am hopeful that five years from now, probably even sooner, your husband will be able to laugh while saying, "Remember the Easter when he had the Raisin Bran Crunch dinner?"

And you, too, will laugh. :)

Best wishes to your husband and his family.

Take care,

Joe

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

That is too funny, Karen :). With Buzz's permission, we should take our Cancer Comedy Concert on the road :).

Thank you for the kind words and the well wishes.

Best to you and Buzz, as well.

Take care,

Joe

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

Good thoughts and wishes coming your way this morning Joe...hope all goes well, nothing new or unexpected and it's just another routine....

John

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