We’ve been watching all of the back episodes of The Office, having only recently become enamored of it. It’s a really, really funny show. Somewhere alongside of Arrested Development and (I’ve heard) 30 Rock. I look forward to giving that one a shot. A lot of simple dinners and bottles of wine have accompanied this new fascination. One simple dinner as of late involved one of my New Kitchen Gadgets. The pink Himalayan salt block. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of such a thing either, but it’s gorgeous and awesome and really, really heavy. So heavy, in fact, that the airplane people tried to make us pay extra to bring it in our bag. Nine pounds may not seem like much, but it was definitely the heaviest thing in the bag, and they are only allowed to weigh 50 pounds, so it was a sizable chunk. This meant that Chris had to pimp out his military-ness, which is something he completely loathes, but which I find endlessly amusing. We got to take it aboard for free, so um…rock on.
We decided (I decided) to color-coordinate a bit for its blog debut. Thus, we have cubed ahi tuna and sushi rice patties, with a side of sauteed shitaakes and baby bok choy, and a pile of mirin-glazed cippoline onions. Sha-zam!
I hate seafood so millionty much, but I swear that raw tuna is a thing of wonderment. It’s like a beautifully rare prime rib and a honeydew melon all at the same time. And no fishiness, which is pretty much the only reason it gets to enter my mouth. Oh, and it’s beautiful. Pink and luscious, not all salmon-colored like…salmon. Ach, ja.
So, the salt block. Salt lick, as we’ve been calling it. It imparts a sweet, delicate saltiness to all that rests upon it. It can be used to sear, serve, shave, whatever. It’s incredibly versatile, really. And then it can be washed, dried, and re-used. It loses mass, obviously, during this process, but it’s a big ol’ friggin’ hunk of salt, so my guess is that it will be around for a long time. Drying it on the counter, it turns out, leaves salty white streaks everywhere. Like my face after a marathon.
Here’s a tricky lil’ nugget of info; the Austin Marathon is in 4 weeks, and I haven’t run more than 5 miles since the last marathon. So I’m REALLY deconditioned and will probably die during the run, but now that I’ve told everyone that I’m doing it, I am pretty much locked in. I have a fierce sense of pride. And spite. Unless I’m at the doctor or dentist’s office, at which point I become a sobbing little baby. This is what happened at the doctor’s office on Tuesday.
Chris had finally gotten me a walk-in appointment with an arm specialist to deal with the elbow/wrist situation that has been fucking up my program for the last 10 weeks. I’ve lost so much arm tone that I’m starting to get those weird old lady wattles near my tricepticles, and I can only imagine how scarring it would be to see me whisking anything if they develop into full-on flaps of awful. So I went in, he examined it, pointed out the fluid and chunks of elbow cartilage that are floating around in there getting caught in joints, pressing against tendons, selling drugs to children, vandalizing public property, etc. It was productive. He drew on the paper that was covering the exam table with a Sharpie, which instantly reminded me of Macaroni Grill, and I’ll be honest-I was really hoping he’d give me some crayons and tell me to go at it myself. Maybe draw a picture of my pain or something. That’s not what happened. What happened was that he suggested a shot of corticosteroids DIRECTLY INTO MY ELBOW via my funny-bonal region. I froze, but then agreed thinking that I could make an appointment and then avoid it until I matured or until my arm fell off, whichever came first. But then he said, “I’ll get Marty to prep you.” Wha? Yeah. He was going to do it RIGHT THEN. I had had NO TIME to mentally prepare myself. I started to cry. A lot. I really, really don’t like needles. I’d be really unsuccessful at smack-addiction. I cried the entire time that Marty prepped me, the entire time I waited for the doc to come back, the entire time he drew the shot up, and then switched into borderline hysterics when he took the cap off of the harpoon he was planning to stick into my own personal joint. It was HUGE. He stuck me, told me to relax (Come the fuck on, buddy. Are you kidding me? You have a NEEDLE in my ELBOW. I will relax when there is no longer a threat to my person occurring.), then said he was going to “reposition,” which meant digging and thrusting the needle around to no obvious end, while shooting a burning fluid into my body. It was awful. And then it went numb. I was cradling my arm against my body like a newborn babe for the next 10 minutes, while the doctor kept making helpful suggestions like, “move it around to get the medicine dispersed.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Excuse me while I laugh heartily with my deadened limb. I am the kind of person who will cradle an arm against my body for upwards of 24 hours if they prick my finger to take a drop of my blood. This was far worse, and I anticipated having to keep it pressed against my chest for the better part of January.
When I got home, it started to hurt in a way that made me reminisce fondly of the gentle tickle that was the thrusting needle. It was terrible. Chris was very patient. And after the week of pain, it is now feeling much better. It probably won’t help me run that marathon…
Oh, food? Tunatunatunatunatuna. Sorry. I had forgotten this was a food blog.