Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home Again, Home Again....

We just got home from our week long trip. I can't remember the last time I didn't have the Internet for a whole week...Oh the horror! No, I'm kidding, it was actually pretty refreshing. I said I was going on vacation when in actual fact, our vacation this summer was really a taking care of business type of thing. My boyfriends' Ome had a stroke a couple of months ago and she just got out of the hospital last week. She's doing really well, with the help from a lot of rehabilitation but two major challenges she's still dealing with are the inability to effectively use her left hand and to chew food. This means that the only food she can eat has to be pureed. Seriously.

I've told you many times about what an amazing cook and host Ome has always been and since the stroke she can't cook or eat any real food. Our mission this past week was to visit her, spend some great time with her and cook tasty, nutritious meals that wouldn't have her feeling like she was eating baby food.

Given the circumstances I thought potato leek soup, borscht, chicken stew and cream of mushroom soup would be satisfying enough for Ome to forget about the lack of flavorful food she's had to endure and focus on getting even better. As much as it's possible for someone who loves cooking so much to think about anything else. I really felt for her, she's once again given me more appreciation for food.

There were many new things I learned from Ome this past week. One being that a splash of vinegar at the end of a borscht is essential to balance out the sweetness of the beets. The second was that as a host, sitting in the middle seat of a large table allows you to maneuver the dishes in perfect sync. I think though, the most important thing I learned this week is that we must always be grateful about the little things in life, such as the ability to chew food and chop vegetables. I can't even imagine how frustrating this ordeal has been for Ome but if there's anyone who can handle it, it's her. I can't wait for the day when she's kicking me out of her kitchen and her hostess seat.


foodhoe said...

Hello, just came by from a link on the Blogher roll. Your post was so touching, your Ome is lucky to have such sweet relatives! My father had to eat pureed food for a while and he was very unhappy about it. I hope that with PT she can re-develop the ability to chew again!

Robin Sue said...

Hi thank you for stopping by my blog today. I hope your Ome gets well. I think watching our loved ones age is the toughest thing to do. I like your blog BTW.

~Madeline~ said...

Hi foodhoe,

I'm so glad you found me! Thanks so much for your kind words. It's great to hear that your father no longer has to eat that mush. It must be so hard.

Thanks robin sue,

I'll just have to make your grilled peaches to make me feel better! Preceeded by the Dig Deep of course ;)

White on Rice Couple said...

Thanks for the links of Ome. What an amazing and inspiring person. I do hope she recovers quickly from her stroke.

In the meantime, thanks for the potato leek recipe too. We'll make it soon to celebrate her wonderful influence.

Helen said...

That's a great tip about the vinegar in the borscht - I'll make sure to try that one!

Gabi said...

Oh I'm so sorry about Ome's stroke- I send warm wishes for a speedy recovery! No one who is a such a food goddess like that should ever have to have her food pureed.

Thanks for sharing some of her loveliness!

Thanks also for stopping by my blog and for your lovely comment on my cherry blossom opera cake!
Take care!

~Madeline~ said...

white on rice couple,

Thanks for such a lovely comment. I love your blog.

Hi helen,

It's amazing the difference it makes. Such a great tip!

Thanks gabi,

Thankfully she's a tough cookie, I think I would go crazy! And everyone should check out your amazing cake project, it's stunning.

Anonymous said...

Hi Madeline! Thanks for visiting my blog. I've enjoyed reading your posts as well. Especially this one about Ome. My grandmother has been a huge influence on my cooking, and she just had a major operation. I'm anxiously awaiting for her to recover so we can make coconut cream pie together! She makes the best and has passed down her recipe to me.
My potato salad recipe is up if you're interested. Hint, though: if you want to increase the serving size, don't add too much more vinegar. It'll become too strong. I hope you enjoy it!

~Madeline~ said...

Hi Julia,

Your potato salad looks delicious! I'm sending great vibes for a speedy recovery for your Grandmother. I'm sure you'll be cooking that pie together in no time :)

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