HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Saturday, February 27, 2010


After being released from the hospital earlier this week, yesterday was the first day I was allowed to put some weight on the broken keft ankle. It was also a full day of poking and prodding with doctor’s appointments at Marshfield Clinic.

Our first stop was with Dr. Lowry, an ear, nose, throat specialist to check on whether prescribed medicine has been helping with the acid reflux problem he accessed some six weeks ago.

I was glad that Kim came along as she could better testify as to whether there was less hacking and coughing going on. Together we ultimately decided that although the situation was far from solved, there had been some improvement.

Noticing my continued hoarseness, Dr. Lowry suggested a speech therapist but I quickly dismissed that as I already have enough on my plate and besides, my “whiskey and smoke” singing voice has already been established as my signature style anyway.

Then it was down stairs to radiology for my artificially induced stress test to determine if my heart is in good enough shape to withstand possible gall bladder surgery within the month.

Now, if you are young, strong and healthy and work out regularly or are a runner, they would wire you up and put you on a tread mill. I went through that ten years ago when I was none of the above but managed to pass anyway - enough to be admitted into Abbott-Northwestern for a quadruple bypass. But when you are dragging a cast on one leg, it pretty much eliminates the standard operating procedures.

So yesterday I was somewhat concerned that they might find some pretty serious crud going on somewhere within my repaired engine as I had done very little to improve diet and lifestyle in the last ten years and cursing the fact that Culver’s had opened yet another outlet less than three miles from the house. Culver’s, if you are not familiar with the franchise, makes a bacon cheeseburger that is absolute KING - and will cure you of Mac and Don’s instantly and seal arteries at about the same speed.

After inserting an IV, I was taken to a small room with a big chair accompanied by a nurse who explained what would be happening and would be in charge of checking my blood pressure every 30 seconds or so.

In comes the tech with a screen and a computer keyboard, the cocktail is shot into my arm through the IV and within seconds I find myself gasping for breath, my heart attempting to launch into orbit, my head feeling like it will implode at any second.

Fortunately this only lasts for a couple of minutes and then the blood pressure readings start to return to what they were pre-test.

Once the test is finished, I am allowed to have the ekg stick-ons ripped off and I am released with the ominous announcement that the results will be available on monday UNLESS initial findings raise red flags, in which case they will telephone me yet that day.

Not getting a call helps ease some dread but I still worry about what they will have to say about the ticker on monday as even though they anesthetized me a week ago and gave my heart a good electrical jolt to get it back in sinus rhythm, my heart beat is running at 41 per minute. Somebody tries to tell me normal is in the 70’s????

Feeling a bit more frisky, I decide to yield to my son David’s request to learn how to make my pizza recipe and we pick up the necessaries after meeting him for a delayed lunch.

I had purchased a pizza making kit for David some time ago but hadn’t shipped it to Brooklyn yet so I presented him with it when we got back to the bungalow.

We got a nice fire going in the wood stove, turned on the computer and keyed in Pandora radio, set up a Beatles station and the lesson began. I wrote out directions as we went through the steps and he did outstandingly well for a first time around. We had some trouble with water/yeast ratio to flour (too dry) but added in a little water as he kneaded the dough.

Ordinarily I roll out dough as soon as it is smooth asnd elastic, but because it was a bit stiff I told David to put a bit of olive oil sheen on the dough ball, put it in the bowl, cover it with a towel and set it on the top of the hot stove (as we were pre-heating the pizza stone at 550 degrees.

I talked him through his first dough roll out and how to continually turn it over and roll from the center out to see where the uneven sides are. He had some trouble getting a "perfect" round - but that takes a whole lotta practice. we used a dinner plate as a template and cut a 10 inch circle, discarding the dough that didn't cooperate in the rolling.

He has wonderful hands for cooking and a good understanding that cooking is an art with his art background.

Then came the hard step - the delivery from the paddle onto the hot stone. I described the move, the location for the tip of the paddle upon insertion and he slide it onto the stone like he had done it thousands of times!

We watched it bake and I knew immediately he had a good one when the crust began to form air bubbles around the outside edge and as it finished baking the outside edge lifted from the stone surface.

We brought it over to the house to share with Kim - and although I am staying away from fats I had a piece (quality control, ya know) and the young man has it down! Now he just needs to practice, practice, practice until rolling out pizza rounds will become second nature.

It was truly a rewarding moment, I feel, for both of us. I LOVE BONDING WITH MY SONS.


1 comment:

mplspckr said...

wow. that pizza looks good!