Filed under: food
Because we’re staring down a heckalotta hospital bills suddenly, I am having to revert my thinking back to Cheap. Particularly in the Food Department, because that’s where I spend most of the household money. So, calling upon memory has been entertaining, as well as kind of…whadyacallit…sentimental. It turns out, as much as I like things like roasted wasabi almonds and a perfectly grilled steak, I also like the cheap stuff, probably as much (if not more) than the pricey steaks and fancy nuts. Stuff like, pintos cooked with a smoked hock and a wedge of hot cornbread drizzled with honey. yum! Tonight’s Cheap Fare involves rice. Good old white rice, cooked to a mush with a little chicken broth and served with a smattering of condiments dug out of the fridge. Congee, it’s called in China, or Jook, in Thailand. Typically it’s a breakfast food, but we like it for supper. It is hot and filling, and excels at stretching a bit of meat over 4 bowls, and at using up that handful of cilantro, too much to throw away and not enough for a pico de gallo. Have a handful of peanuts rattling in the bottom of a jar? Throw them on the congee. Got a chicken breast? Chop it up, sizzle it in a skillet so it’s nice and crusty, and sprinkle some on top. A green onion? How about Pork Fu?
I discovered Pork Fu a while back, it’s a funky stuff, akin in texture to fiberglass insulation, with a porky-salty-soya flavor and it’s mighty good in congee. Cheap,too.
Anyway, here’s the recipe:
8 cups water (or 1/2 water 1/2 chicken broth, that’s how I make it)
1-1/2 cups rice
cook the rice in the water/broth for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until it makes a nice thick gruel. Serve in bowls and put out bowls of assorted toppings:
crispy sizzled chopped chicken breast or pork
sliced green onion
chopped pickled cucumbers (sliced cucumbers covered with 1 part water, 1 part vinegar, let sit in the fridge)
coarsely chopped peanuts
anything else you can think of that might be good: seaweed, perhaps, or chopped mushrooms, dried fish…whatever.
snow peas, shredded
So, Terry has to have another surgery on his arm, to repair ligaments that disconnected during the original injury that broke the 2 bones in his lower arm and required surgery to put in plates and so on…Ok, I thought. Ok. So I called insurance to find out what the coverage would be, would it be considered part of the original injury and fall under that co-pay? oh, No! Of course not! It’s Separate! Different! More Co-pay , which does NOT count toward the deductible, but is merely a co-pay, which we have to pay. physical rehabilitation! Which will also require a copay! Separate! Not part of the whole thing even tho the ligament injury was part of the original thing which wound him up in the hospital originally!
I know, we are fortunate to have insurance, and you have permission to reach through the monitor and slap me for being whiney.
Today is filled with visits to the physicians. Terry is seeing the orthopod about his wrist, which has been misbehavin’, acting all wrong, looking strange. The other night he was pretty much convinced that they’d have to break his arm all over again, and start from scratch, and this caused much anxiety. My theory is that HE’S USING IT TOO MUCH BEFORE IT’S READY TO BE USED but then what do I know. It’s only been 6 weeks, he had flamin’ PLATES put in his arm- 2 of them and he’s all “oh, I don’t have time for this” and “oh I think it should be ok” but then he forgets that he’s 45 not 25 (sorry, hon, you know it’s true). I predict they’ll slap him in a cast and tell him to suck it up. Casts are not the optimal thing around these parts, and certainly not in a 115 degree textile mill. I mean, he comes home every night with his sling stinky from the sweat, imagine a cast that can’t be washed. ew.
I get to see The Good Dr. P, on the advise of The Good Dr. H. Dr. H is squirrely about my kidney function, as it’s not “bouncing back like I hoped it would”, said he upon my last visit. He wants me to consult with Dr. P about the possibility of seeing a nephrologist. *sigh*. Like I need another doctor. Plus I have this nasty rash on my hands, which all my internet research tells me Not Much Can Be Done except for stress management therapy. Like I need another doctor. It’s called dishidrotic excema and looks gross and nasty, plus it itches like a (insert expletive). Apparently stress brings it on, and I’ve had it off and on since I was pregnant with Will 22 years ago, but what I want to know is why doesn’t everyone get it because damn, people, LIFE is stress, right?
Between the 2 week trip (when it started), Terry breaking his arm 3 days later, #4 spending a week in the hospital with Gut Bugs right after that, CJ moving away and the inherent criticism (both internal and external) from that incident, my poor hands, they look like someone spilled acid on them. Feel like it, too.
Now is when I’m finally asking Daisy Deadhead for some dermatological advice. I’ve tried the Pharmaceuticals, and the Old Home Remedy of beeswax, lanolin and lavender oil (it always worked before!) and nothing is helping. I’ve tried the Old Tyme Country Doctor remedy that worked so well on #4′s excema of wet skin coated in Crisco and cotton gloves. Nothing. Does anyone have something else that might work?
Other than that, life’s grand. The washing machine is behaving, the dogs only poop on the bathroom floor, and only when they’re too lazy to go back downstairs and out the pet door to poop on the patio. #4 is loving school, CJ called and with the exception of his poor beleaguered truck which is finally revolting against his mistreatment, is doing well in school. Work is kicking Terry’s ass, but what else is new. Some people need to do some serious retiring so Terry can actually DO his job.
*edited a few hours later*
So, apparently Terry popped a ligament in his wrist. This means more surgery, next Wednesday, plus at LEAST 3 more months recovery as well as physical therapy. This explains the weirdness in his wrist.
Also, Dr P said “Oh my goodness” to the rash on my hands, never a good sign, and prescribed me Nuclear Strength steroid cream. And a referral to a nephrologist (unrelated to the rash). *sigh*