03 April 2008

I've lost my tongue

received via email

My mouth is dry, my throat crackles and I have no palate. Still.

Cooking is crap. I feel unispired and can barely taste anything that lands on my tongue. So heaven knows what I am subjecting Mr Stickyfingers to when I cook.

Last night I ate some spicy fried chicken. It may as well have been a wedge of cardboard, but for the chilli that I could still feel on my tongue. I could not taste it.

I could conceivably live on frozen convenience foods in this current state.

Now I know what it is like to be a 'non taster'. Now I understand why there are people who just consider food to be fuel and are not bothered much about eating. Now I see why some people can be really skinny. Without flavours to look forward to, I actually don't feel like eating.

I hear myself saying, 'I don't feel like eating, but I know I must'. I can't believe
that I have been saying it, but this is what I'm reduced to.

Yes, I have to eat. My hormones are screwed and my body makes too much insulin. So I have to elevate my glucose levels to prevent myself from falling into a coma. I can only do this by grazing on slow burning/low GI carbs and protein, and exercise, exercise, exercise - not that it will make me slim, but it stops me from becoming morbidly obese.

I'm so frustrated. Perhaps
were I a certain chef, a torrent of expletives would follow.

The fall back position when your tastebuds are crippled is fast food, or perhaps in my case, fast and classic, yet healthy and ethical. I know that my palate is not so necessary to make the basics, so when Mr Stickyfingers completed his exhausting 14km charity run on Sunday - Run For The Kids - I shucked Smoky Bay oysters and prepared some eggs on toast.

It was not extraordinary, but I was assured it tasted good.

Smoky Bay is in South Australia. The sweet tasting oysters are one of my favourites.

The eggs are the Traditionally raised ones from Swampy Marsh as usual, down Warrnambool way. I scrambled them with Smoked trout from Butts of Albury and tossed in some Meredith Goats cheese with dill and home grown chives. The bread is from the wood ovens of The Convent bakery in Abbotsford and we slurped down some cheap French bubbles, which also went into the Beurre Blanc that I sloshed over the eggs and some fresh sorrel. Fast and fresh.

scrambles with Butt's bacon & a piece of roasted stuffed tomato

Scrambled eggs
Some things to remember:

Of the two proteins that make up eggs, the white cooks fastest. For room temperature eggs that means that the whites firm up around the fifty degree centigrade mark. So if you want gooey scrambles you need to cook them over a very low heat.

For extra creamy, smooth eggs, you need to add almost as much cream by volume as the eggs. This also helps to stop the eggs from coagulating too fast.

Do not overload your pan. You are better off making two portions at a time than to try to feed the whole family out of the one serve.

To scramble eggs, melt a generous amount of butter in a medium sized pan over low heat and then add the eggs, loosely mixed.

As the edges start to firm up use a spatula to lift them back into the centre of the pan, continuing until your eggs are close to the desired consistency. This way you are also pulling the whites through the yolks.

Do not be tempted to turn up the heat.

If adding extras like smoked trout & goats cheese as I have, put them in next, and gently distribute through your eggs.

Remove from the stove before the mix is completely firm. The eggs will continue to cook a little longer off the heat.


Jon! said...

I hope you're feeling better soon - in time for the bloggers banquet. Get well and take it easy, Jon!

Anonymous said...

Chin up sticky!
Your food looked delish by the way. On a common theme & in relation to your Gordon photo, I watched his show tonight.
It was truly the first time I thought he annoyed me with the agressiveness of his comments. Whilst I agreeed with his sentiments perhaps he could go about themn in anothet way/
Whether this will make as engaging tv is questionable.
having said this I see a pattern emerging of confrontation, fallout, relationship building & finally reconciliation. Its starting to seem overtly formulaec of late.

Anonymous said...

In my youth scramblers were always made in a pot - dry and nasty. For some long time I have been doing them in the microwave oven. I like a soft creamy mass with a good scoop of spring onions to lift the flavour. However, lately I have been making them in a slow frying pan using wide wooden spatula for the crinkling and turning.

I think Gordon overdoes the Fs on TV. I've heard him speak publicly for a considerable time without using it. I just wonder if his kids are developing potty mouths. Only ever heard my father say the word once, very energetically - when I was about six - as he hit his foot with an ax. Because it was delivered with such conviction, it was a word I remembered for a long time before I ever knew what it meant. It struck me then as a good word to use in times of great stress though I was a late adopter. Being partly of good Irish stock, I generally use "feck". I offend myself less when I swap the vowels ;-)

purple goddess said...

Gobbler, I agree...

Turned him off 10 mins into the programme. His aggressive attitude, and particularly the body language he used when speaking to the Chef... looming over him.. using his bulk to intimidate.. just really pissed me off.

Formulaic indeed. Bah.

In other news, Get some hot lemon juice and brandy into you, Stiki... It'll do the trick.

All this wind and dust in the air is not good for anyone. I can barely taste anything myself.

stickyfingers said...

PG - My mum has told me her Chinese friends swear by boiling three cups of Coca Cola with a knob of old ginger. Yikes - it's a good thing I won't be able to taste it. I'll have to wash it down with your Brandy toddy.

Gobs - I think Gordon has gone from swearing like a fish wife on TV to swearing like a trooper because it's now expected of him. It's unnecessarily torrential now and I would put it down to the direction of the show. I too am in the 'seen it one too many times' camp on those shows.

Pat - I love the story of your dad, and also like the sound of Feck! When I was a kid I never heard the f word. I embraced it whole heartedly as a young adult, but now I rarely use it. I have been known though to yell out "See you next tuesday!!". Am I becoming too gentile?

Jon - I have to bow out of BB#2 we have family commitments which will have to come first this time. Buggery Bollocks what a See You Next Tuesday!!

Y said...

That Gordon thing must be doing the email rounds at the moment. The Chef handed me a printout yesterday and said, Here's a recipe I want you to try out. Made me laugh. Still kinda does.

Hope you get well soon :)

neil said...

Hope you're feeling better now; a breakfast like that would have certainly picked me up, the oysters look wonderful, great pictures, I can almost taste their briny goodness.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sticky,
I watched him last night & got bored within the credits. I am feeling Ramsay-fatigue tm.
Yes its compelling, yes he's mostly right ALL the time BUT..
I'm over it.

Anonymous said...

Yeouch!! Hope you feel better soon!

Squishy said...

Oh see, now I think he's sexy. I would love him to come and boss me around in my kitchen. Great post. Your taste buds will come back and I hope you feel better.

Anonymous said...

Apropos "see you next Tuesday", my old chief reporter used to relate the story of the little ad that slipped into the personals column back in the sedate 1950s. It read:
"Joe, see you when tea is ready. Marjorie."
(Names changed to protect the innocent.)