Apr 24, 2011 - 5:25 am
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.
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.