Thursday, October 21, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Gastro-something something 

So yesterday I missed all my classes (two of which were the last class before the mid-term) because my stomach was really unhappy. The details are extremely unsavoury so in the name of public interest, I decline to write about them. Suffice to say I was subject to a doctor's appointment that tested (and crossed by several leagues) my comfort zone the results of which were inconclusive.

I was sent to the lab to provide the relevant samples. The phlebotomist was very skilled. I didn't even feel anything. His easy patter also put me at ease. Nice guy that. There are still some samples that I have to drop off at the lab and I think I'll do that later today. The doctor thinks that it's some kind of virus (if that's the case then I'll just have to sit it out) or it could be something to do with the chemical balance in my stomach.

There are some astrologists that assert that your sun sign corresponds to certain specific health problems that you might have:

Virgo, Aug 23-Sept 22: Ailments of the abdomen and intestines, digestive debility.

You know, if you talked to the people that were around me when I was a real small kid this prediction wouldn't surprise them. I was queen of projectile vomiting. Anything that went in, wanted out. One of the oldest restaurants in Germany has a stain on their carpet courtesy of me. Growing up, I had many stomach problems, but that was mainly because I was lactose intolerant but my mom made me drink milk nonetheless. In all fairness, I didn't like drinking milk so my mother thought I was just making excuses.

Right now my stomach is pissed off. If I don't eat I get gastric pains. If I do eat it wants out in the most ungracious manner. It's quite a conundrum. What I'm doing is that I'm eating and staying reeaaaal close to a bathroom. I figure that my body must be absorbing some of what I'm eating. I'm also taking some kind of vitamin and mineral supplement which tastes like Cointreau. It's even 16% alcohol (Cointreau's at 41% alc.). I'll admit there's a slight temptation to have a little more of the supplement than the bottle advises, although the obvious warning on the label about the effects of too much iron in your system is sufficient enough to discourage me from giving in to my inclinations. Mmmm, I like Cointreau, it's so expensive here though.

Right now I'm eating wholegrain pasta in Classico pasta sauce (the one with italian sauages). I'm going insert a little plug here. Classico is the best pasta sauce that I have ever had. Sometimes I augment it with some sauteed garlic and onion and perhaps some ground beef (for the sauces that are meatless) but for the most part it's good enough to use right out of the mason jar. A side benefit is the mason jar that it comes in. They are so convenient. I find that with the other types of commercial pasta sauce I have to work on them quite a while before they are palatable. For Classico, it's right out of the jar and onto my pasta. With nothing scary on the label (i.e. all the listed ingredients are things that I would use to make my own pasta sauce from scratch) it's the hands down best convenience food on the market.

On the pasta episode of Good Eats, Alton Brown talks about how you're not supposed to rinse pasta because it washes away the stuff on the outside of the pasta that allows the sauce to bind to it. I've always been taught to rinse pasta in order to halt the cooking process. Very often, I find that if you don't rinse in cold water then the residual heat will continue to cook the pasta making it mushy and gross. For someone who likes her pasta just a tad underdone, this is a disaster. But I've always trusted AB's adivce. Plus, it makes perfect sense. You want the sauce to adhere to the pasta, otherwise it would be less than Good Eats. The solution? Don't heat up the pasta sauce. So easy! Let the residual heat from the pasta heat up the sauce and not itself! The obvious bonus is that now you don't even need a pot to heat the sauce in and clean up is now -1.

Ugh. As good as my meal was, it doesn't seem to want to stick around. Got to run (in more ways than one).


posted by Joie! at 11:41 AM

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