Archive | 11:54 pm

The new rubber bands

12 May

After dinner, I tried putting in some of the new rubber bands. None of them broke while I was putting them in, so it may be that these new ones are of higher quality than the ones I’ve had in the past. I would appreciate this very much because I’d rather not have to worry about running out of rubber bands.

After I put the rubber bands in my mouth, I decided to see how far I could open my mouth. The answer, it turned out, was far enough to break the rubber band in the front of my mouth. When the band snapped, it hit my lip, and my lip stung for a little while. I replaced the band with another one, opened my mouth not quite as far as the last time, and the rubber band I had just put in broke. I replaced the broken band again, and decided to keep my mouth shut for a while. However, this apparently wasn’t good enough for the rubber band on the right side of my mouth, which snapped a few minutes later while my mouth was closed.

I guess I’d say that what I’ve seen from these rubber bands isn’t particularly promising so far, but I’m doing my best to be cautiously optimistic.

Culinary triumphs

12 May

I mentioned yesterday that I was making a No-Bake Black Bottom-Peanut Butter Silk Pie when my blender died last night. I had to adjust the recipe a little bit, mainly because I don’t have a pie dish. I just used a cake/brownie pan. I probably wouldn’t have tried this substitution if it required baking, but (as the name suggests) it didn’t. The dessert didn’t finish setting until early morning, so I went to bed without having tried my creation.

During the day I was able to confirm that my blender died for a noble cause. This pie was pretty amazing (and perfect for somebody who can’t chew). I don’t really know what else to say.

For dinner, I made a lasagna using the Cashew Ricotta from Veganomicon (and Follow Your Heart Mozzarella). The taste probably wasn’t exactly like diary-based ricotta, but the cheese was incredibly rich and delicious. I used the new blender to prepare the ricotta, and it seemed to work well, although I never made the recipe with the old blender, so I can’t compare. I was somewhat concerned that the lasagna noodles might require chewing, so I boiled them for a long time before using them, even though they supposedly didn’t need to be boiled at all. I also wanted to make sure that the top layer of noodles didn’t dry out in the oven, so I only baked the lasagna for as long as it took me to clean up the mess that I had made, which I’m going to guess took about 20 minutes. The result was a great meal (plus plenty of leftovers). It was rich, creamy, and delicious, and the noodles were soft enough to cut into smaller pieces and swallow without chewing.

I also wanted to get some vegetables in my diet, so I made a smoothie with some spinach (and frozen blueberries for flavor). I was impressed that the new blender tore the spinach to shreds in just a few seconds. There’s no way my old blender would have done that job so quickly.

Incidentally, I thought about posting pictures of my food. I decided against it because I don’t put much effort into making my food look good. Furthermore, my apartment has devolved into a cluttered mess since the accident, and I’d prefer not to be posting photographs of that mess. Anyway, this isn’t a food blog but a blog that sometimes mentions food, so I don’t see pictures being necessary.

Checking in with the oral surgeon

12 May

Today was my two-week check-in with the oral surgeon, although I’ll actually only have been wireless for two weeks as of tomorrow. I went in to the appointment not expecting much to happen, and the appointment pretty much lived up to expectations. The surgeon asked if I had any problems or questions, and I mentioned to him that I’d need more rubber bands. He looked at my mouth and observed that I had done a good job putting rubber bands in. He asked if I had any more questions, and I mentioned that I had noticed that my mouth seemed to be opening a little bit further on the right side than on the left side. He had me open my mouth and close it a few times, and he told me that it looked pretty straight, but he could see what I was talking about, and that the exercises I’ll start next week will help with that.

The oral surgeon gave me some more rubber bands, “a whole bunch of them”, as he put it. These rubber bands came in a sealed plastic bag, which stood in contrast to the white paper envelopes I had received previously. I’m usually not a fan of plastics, but in this case I appreciated the difference of materials because the small paper envelopes have tended to fall apart in my pocket. The rubber bands inside were different, too. While the old ones were a yellowish color, the new ones were almost transparent. As I left, I hoped that these new rubber bands would be better quality than the ones that had been breaking so frequently over the last two weeks.

I made an appointment to return to the oral surgeon next Wednesday. After that appointment, I will no longer need to wear rubber bands, but the arch bars will remain in my mouth. If all goes well, the arch bars won’t actually be needed, but in case something should go wrong and need rubber bands again, it will be easier if the arch bars haven’t been removed. Also, I expect that after my next appointment, I’ll be able to start chewing soft foods again.

My new blender

12 May

Late this morning, I headed out for Costco to exchange my recently departed blender. I had purchased the old one on February 15th and used it lightly until I broke my jaw and heavily thereafter. Although I’ve gotten to the point where I can go a day without a blender, I wanted to get a replacement today for a recipe I wanted to make (more on that in a later post).

I knew that many stores wouldn’t let me return something that was so heavily used, but I had heard that Costco had a generous return policy. In fact, this was a reason for my choosing to buy the blender at Costco originally. My local Costco isn’t very easily accessible by public transportation, so I’ll usually make us of my City CarShare membership on the rare occasion that I want to go there. For this trip, I reserved a car for 10:45 at El Cerrito Plaza, a little less than a mile from the Richmond Costco, which would open fifteen minutes later. In my past visits, I had found Costco to be exceedingly crowded, so I hoped to avoid the rush by going early.

Costco certainly wasn’t empty when I got there, but it was certainly less crowded than the other times I’ve been there. I didn’t even have to wait in line to make my return, which was a nice surprise. ┬áThe guy behind the counter took a look at the box I was returning, and said, “Uh oh. What happened to the box?” It was certainly a reasonable question to ask, as the box had torn and then been taped along one of the edges. I explained that it had been raining the day I bought it. In fact, there was a bit more to the story. My trip to buy the blender had also been one of the few in which I had relied on public transportation, and I had walked from Costco to El Cerrito Plaza carrying the blender. By the time I arrived, the box was thoroughly soaked, and had torn in a few places. It had taken a lot of tape for me to prepare it for the return. The employee didn’t need these details, though. He asked only one more question, “Are all the pieces in here?”, and I answered in the affirmative.

Much to my surprise, I received a cash refund for the blender. I had paid with an American Express card, the only credit card that Costco accepts, and a card I only have because the $50 discount I received for signing up for it exceeded the $40 annual fee for the first year. I would have been happy to have my card credited, or even to get a store credit, but the cashier just handed me cash, and I certainly can’t complain about that.

I then went to look at the blenders on the shelf, and selected an Oster Counterforms blender. I had done some research last night and seen that it sold for $89.99 on Amazon, but in my Costco store, the price was only $49.99. I didn’t really know what to look for in a blender, but it seemed like a good deal, and I knew that Oster had made the blender that has served my mother well over the years, after she inherited it from her grandmother. The package advertised that this blender could be used for chopping food, but I’m skeptical of this claim.

Just looking at the blender, it seemed like the Oster was a significant upgrade from the old Duet. The price is actually ten dollars cheaper, but it doesn’t have the Duet’s food processor unit. Not only does it have a better blade and a more powerful motor, but the jar seems to be crafted more intelligently. The jar of the Duet was much wider than the blade, except at the very bottom of the jar, and there was a tendency for solid foods to slide down the edge of the jar but not make it to the blade. With the Oster, the sides of the jar slope inwards the whole way, and solids and liquids slide nicely back down to the blade to be further broken apart or mixed.

I’ve used my blender a couple of times this evening, and it does seem like it blends things faster and better than the Duet ever did, but I’ll get to that in a later post about food.

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