COOKING ADVENTURE #31: Haddock with Mashed Potatoes
So, you are probably wondering why I didn’t make Baklava like I said I was going to this week. I’m pretty sure that the title of this post sums things up quite well. Last Friday, while enjoying my blueberry pancakes, my ulcer decided to flare up and try to kill me. I spent the next couple hours in extreme pain in the emergency room waiting for them to give me a G.R. shake. This shake apparently consists of Tums, Pepto Bismo, Mylanta, and Zantac all in one. It stopped the pain for about three hours and then it was back to moaning and groaning and such. It’s been 6 days of eating very bland food so that I won’t upset the ulcer again, plus taking proton plus inhibitor pills to help heal it. I also discovered last week that apparently watermelon is extremely acidic as it caused me to collapse on the floor in pain after eating a slice. So from this experience, I’ve learned a lesson in what foods I can have and what I cannot. And to put it as plainly as I can, it sucks. Big time.
I’ve come to find out that the only way to not upset my stomach is to eat foods that are low in fat, sugar, and sodium content… which means that they pretty much taste like cardboard. My diet the last 6 days has consisted of saltines, graham crackers, scones, bananas, chicken, white rice, and the ever popular chamomile tea. I’m not exaggerating. That’s pretty much all I’ve eaten. After I detoxed from not having coffee for a couple days, I’ve started having very weak coffee in the morning with cream and sugar and that seems to be okay. I’ve also been able to eat canned fruit, which makes me extremely happy.
Gone from my diet however are some of my essential favorites: butter, smoked sausages (including the wonderful chorizo and linguisa), bacon (this is a Greek tragedy), raw fruits (including watermelon) and vegetables, garlic, CHOCOLATE, caffeine, and onion. These are only a few of the things, but I’m pretty sure I’ve made my point. This also eliminates high sugar desserts such as Baklava. And let’s be honest, I’m not going to go to all the trouble to make the thing if I can’t at least try it. And if I tried it, I’d probably go into convulsions. So… I’d rather wait a week to make sure my stomach is a little bit better.
I’ll admit, there really aren’t that many recipes one can make that sound edible in the bland diet arena. Last night… prime example. I had a filet of haddock… but I couldn’t do anything to it. Can’t eat mayonnaise, can’t garnish with bread crumbs, can’t squeeze lemon on it, can’t add spices to it… Which pretty much means I just had fish. Plain, ole, white fish. Hooray. As I baked it in the oven, my kitchen was overwhelmed by a strange scent similar to dish soap. That’s what this thing smelled like.
Now, for a garnish. What’ll it be? White rice, pasta, or mashed potato? Well, seeing as how I’ve gorged on so much white rice that I’m practically made of it, I chose to do mashed potato. But first, I had to wash the sauce pot… which was buried in the sink beneath all the other dishes I’ve neglected to do because I’ve felt too lazy and ill to do them.
After that mountain was moved, I filled the pot with water, selected a couple potatoes, cut them into inch long cubes and tossed them in. Those went on medium high heat for the next twenty minutes or so. Meanwhile, the fish had already cooked… over cooked. It sat on the tinfoil covered pan, curling at both ends, looking dry and crispy. By the time the potatoes were soft, the fish was about room temperature. Delightful. I drained the pot, and then smashed the potatoes into oblivion with a fork. Normally, I’d add butter and a splash of milk. But alas, I could have neither. So instead, I resorted to chicken broth… the other thing I’ve been consuming the last 6 days! Surprisingly, it’s not all that bad. It adds a bit of salt and flavor to the potatoes. It’s just not as wonderful as butter though.
I stared at my very white dinner on the plate and decided, for a bit of crunch, to add a crushed up Ritz cracker to it. I don’t know why on Earth I thought that was a good idea. It somehow just made the meal seem more pathetic.
The one thing I enjoyed most about this dinner was when it was over. I discovered that I apparently can eat frozen yogurt. Hell. Yes. I snapped up a pint of vanilla bean frozen yogurt as soon as I got out of work. I took a tiny taste just to make sure. No crazy tummy rumbling or shooting pain. I’m so happy about this that I could dance… well, if I actually knew how to dance.
Next week, I’ll attempt the Baklava… I promise!