Food for the Love Sick

BLOG POST

Last Monday was Valentine’s Day, a holiday which I had never been to keen on even when I had someone to celebrate the holiday with. I’m not a bitter girl who thinks that it is a lame holiday created by Hallmark to sell candy, cards, and flowers, I have always just had terrible experiences. This year, things changed. Because of my boyfriend, Sean, and mine’s schedules, we had decided to make an intimate dinner for just the two of us the Saturday before Valentine’s Day to celebrate instead of going out and making a big to do. I was running late and Sean was getting hungry, so we decided to speed things up and change our menu around a little. By the time I had showered and made it to Sean’s apartment on the other side of campus, the potatoes were already boiling and only needed a few more minutes before they were ready for the smashing. While we were waiting to add the butter, milk, and sour cream were to the mashed potatoes, Sean and I sat down to open the first part of his present. So that we could easily make more dinners for us, I had gotten him a stove top grill that flips from flat for eggs and things to a griller for meats and vegetables. I thought it would be appropriate to give him that part of the present early so that we could use it to make our fillet mignon! We went back into the kitchen and finished up the potatoes and green beans, while the steaks were searing on the new grill top. We got out another pan and through half a batch of raw mushrooms in sizzling butter to throw on top of the steaks. I had never known this before, but the mushrooms that filled the pan before the heat had shrunk rapidly as they were simmering so we decided to throw the other half into the pan, but this time use olive oil instead. Needless to say, I preferred the mushrooms sitting in the butter! Maybe I had never previously known this because I always hated mushrooms, though I had never had one before. The first time I had mushrooms, I fell in love with this delicious brown rice dish that Sean’s mom made once and felt obligated to try, even though it was packed with mushrooms. Just as the steaks were pulled of the grill, I divided everything up onto two plates, giving Sean the larger portions. Both plates were completely packed when Sean told me to make some room for rice. My eyes lit up when he opened the oven to see two large bowls full of my new favorite food. Though I had really enjoyed the dish before, I was ecstatic to get the rice out of the oven and shovel it into my mouth. I loved the rice, not only because of how much I love food, but because he spent hours before I had come over preparing this dish that he knew I loved so much. He had completely surprised me and gave me the best Valentine’s Day celebration dinner I could have ever asked for because of the amount of thought, effort, and love that he put into making the rice just to make me happy. Sometimes I don’t know if he realizes how much more something like that means to me than a dinner downtown or a fancy gift. He means the world to me and I know that Blog Post #3 was supposed to be the “Food and Love” Blog, but I thought that I would share my first Valentine’s Day experience that I truly enjoyed that can be accredited to the food that was involved.

FOOD BLOG

Though I will probably never be given the recipe for Sean’s mom’s infamous rice dish, I found a recipe that could resemble the flavors of the dish that I love so much! Now you just have to find a significant other to put it all together for you to give you the best Valentine’s Day surprise anyone could ever get!

MUSHROOM AND BROWN RICE SKILLET
Read more about it at http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1850,155165-232194,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com – All rights reserved.
2 ribs celery with tops, chopped coarse
1 lg. onion, chopped coarse
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. brown rice
1 can mushroom stems and pieces, undrained
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 chicken bouillon cubes
In large skillet, saute celery, onion and garlic in butter, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil, stirring to dissolve bouillon. Cover and steam over low heat without stirring 50 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Let stand covered 10 minutes before serving. Fluff rice lightly with fork. 4-6 servings.

The green beans from my dinner were a typical WHOLE green beans which I let simmer in their own juices from the can. Once they are heated and the juices being to boil, I strain the vegetables and put them back in the pot with a squirt or two of Italian Dressing to give them a little flavor. My mom has done this since I was little, probably because that was the only way she could get my siblings and I to eat the ugly, string beans, but even still, I cannot eat them without that extra little flavoring.

Another little secret that my family has always done is the sour cream in the mashed potatoes to keep them light and fluffy. Mia nonna has always done this and when my mom was learning to cook, she stole the idea! This summer in London, I often made mashed potatoes because they were cheap and filling in the most expensive city in the world and I did not want to purchase the sour cream because it would expire. Those potatoes were never as satisfying or as tasteful as they are when they do have the extra ingredient.

Sauteing the mushrooms in butter and then later in oil (when we realized we were going to need more) was interesting because we got to taste the difference between the two. There was definitely a richer flavor with those that were cooked in butter than the rest that were simmering in olive oil. We decided to try the two different oils just to experiment, and because Sean was running low on butter! It ended up being a good thing that I got olive oil previously to put on pasta!

So even though this was supposed to be a blog about food and sickness, I wanted to talk about the fantastic meal that I had with my fantastic boyfriend, Sean. I also wanted to include this funny picture of me when I could not eat any food because I had just had my wisdom teeth removed! I lived off of strawberry popsicles and later pastina and broth!

…Yes, those are giant ice packs on my face!

I also wanted to quickly comment on something Lucia said in class. She had mentioned something about going to dinner at other people’s houses and how people will be wined and dined with a full meal, including cheese as a course. When I was younger and my friends would come over for play dates and stay for dinner, the outsiders were usually thrown off because we always had a large block of cheese just sitting on the table. I never thought it was weird, but I guess that was because I was accustomed to it as my grandparents and cousins always had cheese out on the table as well. My nonno always took great pride in his cheese; he would leave it to age for two weeks before it was set out to be eaten. He leaves the cheese in a large extra fridge in the basement and after one week, he flips the cheese that will sit for another week. We always have a cheese plate with brick cheese and a knife on the side to cut up the cheese with dinner. It is always clear when Nonno comes for dinner because he is terrible at cutting the cheese and does not make a straight cut across the top! It always makes us laugh! I just wanted to take a minute and comment on the cheese with dinner idea that Lucia addressed in class because I found it to be so normal, and I understand that most people do not!

https://springbankcheese.ca/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/1_3_99/products_id/89?osCsid=2d52178e3c0008596195c7566466b629

This is my nonno, who is so incredibly passionate about his cheese! My sister and I are in this picture with my nonno, Guido, at my cousin’s wedding. People will laugh at me when I tell them that my grandpa’s name is Guido because of the stereotypes that Americans hold that surrounds the Italian stereotype of a man named Guido!

As far as actual food that makes me sick goes, my list is endless. Other than the fact that I am an extremely picky eater! I eat with my eyes and am a very texture-oriented eater, but I also have issues with acid reflux and heartburn. I basically have holes in my throat where it connects to my stomach so I constantly have issues with acid coming back up into my mouth when I eat certain things, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002122 . Very spicy things will most definitely trigger my acid reflux, but so do more simple things that most people do not worry about, like ketchup and foods that are spiced with pepper. Nearly everything will cause heartburn so I have to take medicine twice a day at least one and a half  hours before I can eat. This is very annoying and causes serious pain, there are even times when I have to throw up just for the pain to go away. Every two years I have to have surgery on my throat which is very unfortunate considering I am so young. This problem makes things much more difficult because of the amount of attention that I have to give to the food being put into my body. I would add some pictures to this paragraph, but I am not sure you would like to see what it is like to have hiatal hernia, so I thought I would simply include links so that you can decide whether or not you want to have a look!

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://img.medscape.com/pi/emed/ckb/gastroenterology/169972-178393-604.jpg&imgrefurl=http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/178393-diagnosis&usg=__Lqx3mBG5bW4r-X0yyHHITbIqo4g=&h=378&w=359&sz=32&hl=en&start=21&zoom=1&tbnid=9PyUsBQ31HmhAM:&tbnh=126&tbnw=120&ei=WJVlTaysKMKqlAeHltm6Bg&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhiatal%2Bhernia%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D584%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C590&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=132&oei=TpVlTbW0NJGDtges6e2dBg&page=2&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:21&tx=42&ty=61&biw=1280&bih=584

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.health.com/health/static/hw/media/medical/hw/h9991274_002.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.health.com/health/library/mdp/0,,zm2374,00.html&usg=__YnC0Q0hCWr6ypOGhkWH_lUca_vc=&h=300&w=460&sz=39&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=0ObBvwcac8tkiM:&tbnh=106&tbnw=163&ei=lZVlTYXKMI-btwe9-6irBg&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhiatal%2Bhernia%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D584%26tbs%3Disch:1%26prmd%3Divnsbl0%2C241&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=307&oei=lZVlTYXKMI-btwe9-6irBg&page=1&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:14,s:0&tx=97&ty=105&biw=1280&bih=584\

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2 Responses to “Food for the Love Sick”


  1. 1 lucia February 21, 2011 at 1:39 am

    and you know… in Italy we have no idea of what a Guido is!!
    it is so funny!

    as for the mushrooms butter and olive oil.
    if you quickly browse online you’ll discover that olive oil is better fro frying because it stimulates the liver and doesn’t make you as a fat as the usual fried stuff fried in other oils.
    this of course if you can afford frying savory things, because sweet things fried in olive oil don’t really taste good.
    as for sauteeing, butter is always better for the flavor but you can mix in the same pan olive oil and butter for a different and healthier recipe.

    have you ever tried porcini risotto?
    you might like that too.

    all the pictures are so good!!

  2. 2 lucia February 25, 2011 at 12:25 am

    no Caitlin, thanks! i don’t need more pictures!!
    Jee what a pain it must be!!
    the good thing is that you can take medication and at this point i assume that most of the foods that give you reflux, you don’t like them either.


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