Did I mention that I broke a tooth in Paris?
Did I mention that I am terrified of dental work?
Did I mention that my absolutely worst nightmares involve breaking teeth?
I have memories of going to the dentist as a child, en famille, and sitting in the waiting room listening to my older brother scream in agony as his teeth were drilled, without benefit of novocaine, by an old dentist that shook so bad I wouldn't have trusted him to pour cold coffee.
I remember when two new dentists came to town, and the debate that raged in my high school over who was worse better: Needles Nadrew or Painful Perry.
Needles used novocaine (which none of us had been familiar with up to this point) and Painful didn't.
It was a tough decision: One knew for certain that having that 8 foot needle stuck in your mouth was going to hurt like hell; whether or not you would be in excruciating agony without it was a 50/50 chance.
I have never in my life been willing to take that chance.
My dentist in the US would, first, numb my delicate mouth with a topical deaden-er so I wouldn't feel the novocaine, than give me the shot.
And, if it was serious work, I got the happy gas as well.
She didn't even ask.
There was no choice.
I laid back in the chair and the next thing I knew there was a drill in my mouth…..
The repair was to a filled back tooth that the corner broke off of.
She proceeded to drill out the filling; put a clamp of some sort the size of Australia in my mouth; re-fill and build the tooth back up to normal with epoxy of some sort; counted to 10, took all the stuff out of my mouth and sent me on my way.
I did feel a twinge once or twice whilst she was drilling…..
She saw me twitch, and apologized….
I kept waiting for the excruciating agony to start but it never did.
After a total of 20 minutes I left the dentist's office, looking like a normal person rather than a dental survivor with the usual sagging lips.
She did the work in the amount of time it takes the novocaine to kick in.
I was able to speak without lisping, drink without dribbling, and eat real food.
I don't have to go back for any reason and my broken tooth appears to be perfectly repaired.
Has my fear of dentists led me astray all these years?
Doubtful, but the whole situation did open up new possibilites.
And maybe my nightmares won't be so bad in the future.
As to the eating….
We're still alternating chard and courgette every day; with some tomato thrown in for flavor.
Don't you just love gardens?
Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Yellow Tomatoes
8oz (250gr) chard Swiss chard
1 medium onion
1 yellow tomato
2 cloves garlic
handful fresh basil leaves
2 tsp olive oil
Wash the chard and trim any bad bits. Stack the leaves together and fold over, the long way. Slice into thin strips, about 1/2" (1cm) using both leaves and stems. Chop onion. Mince garlic. Roughly chop tomato. Tear large basil leaves.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chard stems and stir-fry over medium heat 3 minutes, then add the leaves, basil and tomato. Stir and turn until the leaves wilt and it all fits into the skillet. Reduce heat to low and cook until all is tender, another 5 – 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
In addition to the above, for the week of August 21 we have Barbecue Shrimp, Grilled Lamb Chops, Tomato Tart, Pork Chops Diablo, Pasta Salads and more….
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For more recipes visit my internet cook book: Easy Gourmet Dinners