May 10, 2010

Mother's Day brunch | Blog influence | Dental woes

I found this orchid waiting for me in the kitchen on Sunday morning.

My Mother's Day this year was special and — for our family — unusual. We're living in the same city with all three of our children for the first time in ages, and instead of a card and a phone call, our oldest son and d-i-l hosted a Mother's Day brunch. The guest list included my husband and me, our three sons, our d-i-l and granddaughter.

Our oldest son prepared all the food except for a large tray of beautiful stuffed poblano peppers that our youngest son made (based on a recipe from Vegan Brunch).

Noah made his brunch specialties — crispy fried potatoes and tofu scramble. Plus there were lots of extras like bagels and sourdough bread with spreads, orange juice, and strawberries.

This is my (first) plate.

Here's Noah relaxing in the back yard after his workout in the kitchen. It was a gorgeous, sunny day with temperatures in the 70s so we were able to eat outside and lounge the afternoon away.

Not everyone was lazy. Miss E had work to attend to in the garden.

Later in the afternoon, while Miss E napped, Noah went to work and Grandpa babysat, two sons, my d-i-l and I went to Goodwill to see what we could find. I didn't get any kitchen stuff but look at this skirt! I love it.

It was a wonderful day, and I was honored to share it with my beautiful daughter-in-law, a very special mother to a very special little girl!


Blog influence

I often read blogs very early in the morning before I've had breakfast, and that sometimes leads to my wanting to eat whatever I see popping up on the computer screen. Last week while I was catching up on The Airy Way posts, I saw a besan omelet, and stew with dumplings. The omelet looked like something I could whip up quickly so I did. I used mushrooms, carrots and onions for my omelet and it really looked like an omelet until I removed it from the pan, and it broke apart. I enjoyed it but for some reason my stomach was unhappy with my breakfast. :( The inspiration to make stew came in handy later in the week when things started going wrong.


Dental woes ... a cautionary tale
About two weeks ago my husband had dental surgery to receive a dental implant and correct a problem with an old implant that was pressing on a nerve and causing pain. This seemed like it would be fairly routine, but last Thursday morning, he awoke to pain in his jaw, and went to see the surgeon, who said he couldn't see anything wrong. He prescribed penicillin as a precaution. My husband wasn't convinced that all was well but he took his drugs and went to work.

He came home early from work saying he felt unwell, and went to lie down. I went to pick up our granddaughter from school, and brought her to our house for the afternoon as previously planned. I kept checking on Ken every half hour or so. When Miss E went home, about 6, I went to check on Ken again, and was freaked out by what I saw. He looked like he had a tennis ball in his cheek, his speech was slurred, and he had a fever. I immediately called the surgeon, who met us at his office at 8 p.m. where he inserted a drainage tube in Ken's abscessed jaw, prescribed two strong drugs, and sent us to urgent care where Ken could receive IV antibiotics. We arrived at urgent care 9:30 p.m.

As if this weren't enough stress for one night, while Ken was receiving his IV, a disturbed man with a gun called 911 and threatened to kill his wife — who was in labor in the birthing center — and their baby. He was seen on a surveillance camera, and the entire medical center was surrounded by yellow crime scene tape and police officers, and put under a lock-down. No one could enter or leave the complex without a police escort. By the time we left at midnight, we were able to exit through a guarded door, and were offered an escort, which we declined. I still don't know how the situation was resolved — everything was hushed up.

Once Ken got a little of his appetite back, I focused on making soft foods. First I made rice pudding by cooking white rice in the rice cooker with LOTS of water, raisins and a bit of maple syrup. When it was cooked, I mixed in enough soymilk to achieve a soft, creamy texture.

Then I remembered the stew, and cooked potatoes and carrots in the pressure cooker for four minutes. I brought the pressure down and added vegetable broth, cauliflower, miso and chickpeas. I mixed up a dumpling dough flavored with fresh dill and cooked the dumplings in the covered stew pot for 15 minutes. Delicious! And soft.

Ken is feeling a lot better but not completely OK. He visits the surgeon again tomorrow to decide if the implant will have to come out, something I don't even want to contemplate. I don't think I ever want to get an implant. Believe me, this experience has not helped me overcome my fear of dentists.


Pay it forward
There's still one day left to enter the pay it forward contest. Do it.


  1. You've been having an exciting time! Best wishes for Ken's quick recovery.

    Those stuffed poblanos are amazing; what a gorgeous photograph!

    Re the besan omelet, it looks to me like you made it "socca-style" where it comes out very thin and crisp. Less water would make it more of a frittata that you could cut into wedges, which is usually how I do mine. Yours looks tasty--I'm sorry it didn't agree with you!

  2. Cripes, poor Ken! I'm going to share a funny dental story as an antidote. Craig got all 4 wisdom teeth out a few years back. After a weekend of nursing him I had about run out of patience and had started in on the scotch. The poor guy still had his whole face wrapped in ice packs. We were watching tv, and I got up to "get more ice". When I returned Craig started unwrapping his face to apply the new ice. But I had only returned with my scotch now on the rocks. Poor dear.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about Ken. That must have been so painful! I have had my share of dental woes, so I can totally relate. Hoping for a quick recovery.

    That looks like an amazing Mother's daybrunch. I said it before, but you have such a wonderful family.

  4. What a wonderful Mother's Day you had. That skirt is a fabulous find!

    Sorry about Ken, it's amazing how we just know when things aren't right with our body but the doc just gives us pain pills and sends us home. Glad he's doing better.

  5. That brunch looks DELICIOUS! What a sweet way to celebrate Mother's Day.

    I make chickpea flour (besan) and tofu omelets all the time, based on the recipe from Vegan Brunch and they come out perfectly EVERY TIME. You should definitely check out the recipe if you haven't already. Yummm they are one of my favorite things to eat.

    Wow, what a scary time you've had! That sounds like a crazy experience at the hospital. I'm so glad everything worked out okay, and I hope he continues to feel even better.

  6. Zoa,
    The last week was kind of stressful around here, yes! But Mother's Day was nice and calm.

    I made the omelet twice — once with less water and once with the full amount — but I think I should have cut it before attempting to remove it from the pan. I had something else in mind, and I'm stubborn, but it still looked very pretty.

    Pour Craig. I got a good laugh from your story, and even Ken laughed in spite of the precarious nature of his dental health. If I were a drinking woman I'd be laying in a good supply of scotch right about now.

    Ken needs all the sympathy he can get, since my supply is running low.

    And yes, my kids are pretty cool!

    I love the skirt. Now all I need is another nice day so I can wear it! There will be another nice day, right?

    You said about doctors just what I was thinking. They need to learn to listen better. :(

    Thanks for the heads-up about the recipe. I tried it once with bad results but I really should try again! It looks so good.

    The hospital experience was made even more crazy because no one would tell us what was happening! We could hear the security radio, and got bits and snatches from witnesses, but we never knew what, if any, danger we were in.

  7. Oh no! I hope Ken is feeling better and that the surgeon thinks everything is looking okay at his appt. Poor guy!

    What a lovely Mother's Day it sounds like you had. I am sure it was special to be with your kids! I live across the country from my mom, and Mother's Day is always hard--I always wish I could be with her to let her know how loved and celebrated she is!


  8. Beautiful food! It sounds like you had a nice Mother's Day with your children.

    I'm sorry to hear about Ken's dental catastrophe. I'm glad he's feeling better now though! That had to hurt.

  9. Poor Ken! I'm glad he's feeling better, but what a terrible story! Your cooking looks very soothing and healing.

    That IS a real cautionary tale, as I've been contemplating an implant... but I'm not so sure... maybe a bridge instead?

    Happy Mother's Day! I cooked the meals around here on that day, but I did get three phone calls and texts from my far-flung kids.

    (not logged in so it might say I'm anonymous)

  10. Courtney,
    Ken is slowly recovering but the drugs are taking a toll on his stomach.

    Just tell your mom how you feel about her and it will make the separation shrink just a little. :)

    Mother's Day was really relaxing and fun. Ken's no longer in pain, but we'll have to wait and see if this thing really heals.

    I've been contemplating an implant, too, but now I'm not so sure. Ken's had nothing but trouble from his. Google "dental implant complications" and read what actual dentists are dealing with as they try to solve their patient's problems. Scary. On the other hand, maybe your implant will be fine. :)

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  12. I'm so sorry about Ken's tooth! Maybe this can be his excuse to drink a lot of milkshakes?

    I love your Goodwill skirt (you find the best stuff!) and the stuffed peppers look delicious! What a thoughtful brunch!

  13. Mary,
    It could be an excuse to eat a lot of vegan ice cream. :)

    I've been waiting for the weather to warm up so I can wear the skirt — maybe tonight to a benefit auction or tomorrow night to a party! With tights.

  14. Oh! Poor Ken! What a terrible time he's been having and what a scary situation at the hospital. I hope it's all sorted out soon. John has to be sedated if he even has a filling at the dentist!

    However, your Mothers' Day sounds lovely!

  15. Holy cow! I can't believe Ken went through that. Sending my best wishes your way. Something similar happened to my friend when she got her wisdom teeth removed. One of her cheeks stayed swollen and we started calling it Myrtle...until she found it was an abscess. They had to remove a piece of her jaw. Blech.

    Happy Belated Mother's Day! Those poblanos look so super delish!

  16. Penny,
    Ken's just about finished his antibiotic so we'll see what happens. He thinks his jaw is on the mend. This whole episode has increased my dental fears.

    Your friend's story is pretty scary to me — especially since I have to have a tooth removed!

  17. Oh, Andrea, how awful for Ken! I'm so behind on blog reading I've missed this until now. Will look at your latest entry for update. Hope it worked out well. I know what you mean about implants--I'd rather have false teeth, I think.

    But your food looks amazing!

  18. Ricki,
    I know what you mean about being behind in blog reading — I can hardly seem to keep up any more with reading OR blogging!

    Ken is on the mend, off medication and healing slowly but surely. He should be fine.

  19. Well, glad that your celebrations was a successful. I also make a celebration for my best mom last mother's day and I'm glad she love it. Thanks for sharing.



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