The Challenge: Day Five

Recovered from the stomach issues that left me immobile, I headed to the doctor for a consult on this business. To start, we are trying Prevacid, once a day, capsule. They make a dissolving tablet as well, which would have been a fine thing indeed, but alas, no samples were available of that. Instead, regular capsules that, when opened, reveal a bunch of tiny pellets of the drug. I took a deep breath, then took a mouthful of water and poured the collection in. It took a bit to get them all down, but down they went.

I’ve also been rinsing with chlorhexedrine gluconate, to try and rid myself of this stuff on my tongue. It isn’t doing much for that, but one thing it is doing is killing my taste buds. I noticed the past couple of days while getting some soup down that it tasted like nothing. So I thought this evening, after setting up a couple of servers at the NOC, that perhaps something a bit spicier was in order. This would test the drug and test the taste at the same time. There’s nothing I like more than multitasking.

So I took myself off to Tijuana Flats after finishing up. I’d not eaten anything thus far, and was on the edge of hunger. Dinner: blackened chicken burrito. It came with chips, and I told myself I’d try one or two of those as well, with some of the sweet chile sauce (Mae Ploy) I like so much.

I removed the filling from the tortilla. It looked good. It smelled good. It had been forever since I’d had it.

And I couldn’t eat it.

It appears that one of the other side effects of this rinse is to make the mouth quite a lot more sensitive to things. Like spices. I love spicy food, and can stand quite a high level of heat. But not today. Blackened chicken is, to me, quite mild, relatively speaking, but one small bite set my mouth on fire. The chips were out of the question.

I went to my emergency fallback dinner.

Total cost for dinner: 7.00
Total per diner (1, who couldn’t even eat the majority of it): 7.00

Bummer. Especially since it means yet another day of virtually no calories at all.

The Challenge: Day Four

Some of us went struggling into day four, still bound by gastro demons and heaves that seemed like they would never end. I spent most of the day dozing off and on and working when I could. As I’d eaten nothing much the day before and nothing at all this day, I wasn’t feeling particularly up to life. Still, life does march on.

With some compazine and dramamine in me, and the pain beginning to fade, I got a little bit of soup down the hatch. I still wasn’t feeling at all well, but wanted to make sure that others were eating. As it happened, my mom had taken matters into her own hands and fixed a plate.

More fruit, salad, cheese, and roast beef, with freshly ground black pepper over it.

Total cost: 2.07
total cost per diner (1): 2.07

And me? About half a cup of soup and an equal part of water. It was not a shining example of how to eat in a day. But by the end of the evening, things were looking up and I was feeling (almost) human once again.

The Challenge: Day Three, Part Two

So far for The Challenge, we’d done an Asian-inspired menu and a midwestern/comfort food menu. For day three, I thought a nice Southern meal would be in order: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, cornbread, greens, corn on the cob, and fresh fruit. I took off to Costco to pick up a package of chicken legs, as that’s my favorite piece of the chicken when it’s fried. My mom’s too. In addition, roasting up a couple of legs and throwing them into the mix with the chicken carcasses waiting patiently in the freezer plus some vegetables makes a damn fine stock.

Once back, I poured some more formula down the tube, and not half an hour later realized that I would not, in fact, be able to eat dinner. Nor would I be able to prepare it. My only thought about that time was that it would be a fine thing indeed to crawl under a rock and die to get the pain to subside. Instead, I gave the menu over to my mom and she agreed to stand in for me – a very good thing, since one of my sisters and her boyfriend had agreed to come over for dinner.

Boots kept me company while I spelled out the menu and sat in the recliner thinking about heart attacks, death, and other assorted cheery things.

My mom got right into the kitchen and started rattling some pots and pans. The first thing that had to be started was a soak of the chicken in some buttermilk for a couple of hours. This is classic Southern preparation of fried chicken, and always the way I prepare it.

She broke out her favorite – and she swears, the best – recipe she had for cornbread. Or, in this case, johnny cakes. One sign that you’re looking at someone’s well-loved cookbook is the presence of handwritten notes in the margins.

Thoe ingredients were prepped and waiting their turn.

A few ears of corn on the cob were shucked, and the potatoes peeled, cut, and put on the boil.

It was then time to rescue the chicken from its swim. The oil was heating, and the chicken was pulled from the buttermilk, tossed with some spices, and then dredged in flour.

From there, the chicken went into the oil, which was now nicely heated to 350 degrees.

After about 15 minutes or so, the cast iron skillet went into the oven with a bit of oil to heat for the cornbread mix. Once out, the batter was turned out into the pan, where the edges started immediately sizzling.

Things were coming along nicely, including the chicken.

And finally, dinner was served.

The diners enjoyed it quite a lot, as you can see from the before and after pictures.

I wish I hadn’t been struck by the gastro gremlins. It’s been a long time since I had real fried chicken.

So, what’s our breakdown?

Chicken legs – 0.28 x 5 = 1.41
Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) – 1.325 each x 2 = 2.65
Corn – 1.00
Cornbread – .80
Beans – leftover from day one = 0
Potatoes – 1.00
Fruit (mixture of watermelon, canteloupe, peaches, grapes) – .60
Tomatoes – .20
Buttermilk – 1.00

Total this meal: 8.66
Total per diner (4): 2.17

There were some leftovers, which were eaten by my mom and by one of the boyfriends, who received a doggie bag as he was not in attendance.

The meal looked delicious. Too bad I missed out on it.