Skip to content

Quiche therapy

Crutching around at home is not as fun as it sounds. Oh sure, I can read, write, knit, email, chat, play the clarinet, sit on the back porch….okay, there are some pluses. Turns out I have a huge perverse streak that fixates on what I can’t do — or, worse, what I could do but with a huge exertion of effort. Case in point: cooking. I’ve spent more time than I want to admit trawling foodgawker and making notes of all the things I want to cook, then getting frustrated and deleting them all. Then I hobble to the fridge on my crutches, and eat yoghurt straight from the jar. It’s not pretty: leaning on the crutches, fridge beeping because I’ve had the door open too long, yoghurt on my jumper…GLAM.

I’m craving yoghurt and vegetables and nuts. That seems healthy until you start craving them in epic proportions.

I don't ask, I just listen. More vegetables, demanding tummy?

Today I thought I’d try some cooking. My bad recovering leg can tolerate some weight, and the crutches just piss me off in the kitchen, so I prop them up in a corner and get around by putting weight on the benches and so on.

I know what this stress fracture needs!

I’ll be the first to admit that I do like to overdo things. You’re not having fun unless you’re weeping with exhaustion and self-pity by the clothesline at the end of it, that’s what I always say. Overambition plus cravings for vegetables, raised to the power of self-congratulation after a successful cup of tea equals lunch! I took all the vegetables I could find and started chopping. The veggie cravings were one thing, but while I was slicing garlic and onions, I realised there was another itch to be scratched (damn oxycodone): the return to normalcy.

The surgery I had was really, really minor; so minor that when I tell people about it I avoid saying ‘surgery’ or ‘operation’ and use words like ‘thingo’ or ‘hospital visit’ or ‘mushrooms’ instead. But the longer effects have been rattling my cage a bit. I’ve been worrying about not being able to run, ride and drive, and I’ve been a bit grouchy about having to give up some plans. Getting behind a knife and slicing up some onions is such a normal, familiar thing it immediately reassured me.

All brought together!

It was still a bit too much: I’m pretty stiff and my bad recovering leg is tired and sore now. An easy peasy recipe, but I think I might have been moving around a bit too much. It’s a really simple crustless quiche (or baked frittata, if you like): some cooked potato and cubed broccoli stalks plus sauteéd onions/chilli/garlic/broccoli leaves plus some sliced cheese, all bound together with a few eggs and baked until set and tasty-smelling.

Things I learned about cooking with a dud leg:

  • If you get into the habit of putting your hands on the edge of the bench to support your weight, you will eventually try to support your weight using the handle of the wok, extended temptingly over the edge of the bench.
  • Your reflexes aren’t as good as you think they are, and even if they were, your leg is still slow.
  • There really is no way of moving a hot dish out of the oven if you already need to support yourself with a hand while unencumbered with a big hot bowl.
  • Your vast and glorious vision for Cooking All The Things was a delusion fed on fatigue and hospital-strength painkillers. Be realistic and maybe give foodgawker a break for a while.
  • You’re probably not ready for kneading bread. No, not brioche either. Put Bertinet down.
  • The smell of frying onions and garlic is a panacea, a mood enhancer and an appetite stimulant all in one. The smell of frying chilli is half glorious, half mace. Try to remember that you can’t get away from the fumes as quickly as you normally do. Either forego the chilli or accept a little cheerful weeping, coughing and snorfing over the sink.

So it’s probably a bit early to be cooking anything too ambitious — but here’s the tradeoff to weigh up: does the psychological/emotional benefit I get out of doing familiar, happymaking things erase the cost of the tired, sore leg? I’ll think about that after lunch.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *