If you are expecting a post full of luscious foodie finds or fabulous restaurant reviews then perhaps this particular post is not for you. No …. this is a post from deep within a puddle of foodie despair. For some it may seem like a cry for help, to others it is simply a whinge fest.
At the ripe old age of 43, vanity and dental advice has led me to get adult braces. The 6 Month Smile sounded like a lovely simple option which would result in a beautiful straight teeth after a fairly short period. When the lovely dentist mentioned my deep bite and pointed out that I would need a bit of filling material behind my two front teeth I didn’t give it a second thought, I was just dazzled by the prospect of straight teeth. I did not realise (possibly because I am a numpty) that this would mean that I would be essentially unable to chew for a good chunk of the treatment. Indeed as only my two front teeth make any contact with another tooth my chewing currently is limited to what I can squish with my tongue and the roof of my mouth. I don’t even want to think about the elastics which come into play in a few months (don’t ask).
As well as the non chewing situation it is actually pretty horrid to eat with braces on. Everything feels a bit wrong and anything more sturdy than soup gets stuck in the little blighters. I can’t even seek solace in the bottom of a full bodied and comforting glass of red for fear of staining the nice white wires.
For many of the ‘food is fuel’ brigade the implications are not terribly tragic and I totally understand it if you think that I am being a tad melodramatic about the whole affair. After all half of America seem to be in braces not to mention the legions of British school children who went through this rite of passage. Food wise I am trying to be creative but between you and I it’s a tough gig and I would definitely welcome any mushy recipes from you guys.
So here are my highs and lows of brace life so far:
- There is a total amnesty on the consumption of pudding. A big fat chocolate melty pudding with chocolate sauce and clotted cream is doable and mushable and god dammit I will eat it.
- At the risk of sounding ridiculous – the thought of Christmas without mulled wine is appalling and try as I might mulled cider is not holding the same appeal. I may learn to love it but for now the idea of missing out on that deep red warm hug of winter is more than a bit of a shame.
- A similar Christmas downer is the outlawing of nuts. Crisps I can suck but I can assure you that sucking a crisp in not quite as satisfying as crunching it. I guess the clue is in the name.
- Easter as a festival will be a chocolate fest this year. Chocolate melts in a warm mouth and therefore no chewing required. I have discovered I can motor through a pack of chocolate buttons at break neck speed using the insert, melt, swallow routine. I intend take this to the max this Easter.
- I love soup so trying lots of new varieties will be really interesting PLUS soup is one of the few foods which doesn’t irritate the pants off me whilst eating it. This week I am making a lovely split pea, chilli, lime and ginger soup from Nigella which should shake things up a bit. On the downside I have to pretty much order soup every single time we go out for lunch in a cafe. It might cut down on menu browsing time but it does get a little dull (and its only been a week).
- I have lost weight which is always welcome. In fact it is one of the best diets I have ever been on as is stops grazing in its tracks. Week 1 and I have lost 4lb and no will-power required. Like most diets however it is not one you can stick to for life.
- I am drinking a stupid amount of white wine and not sure if this is an upside or a downside. I am sure it will all calm down or perhaps I will just get through the next 6 months in a wine induced haze.
- Holidays are normally about food – eating out, trying new things. The foodie shine on my upcoming holiday at Ribby Hall, Lancashire is tarnished. Eating out is now preceded with a rising level of anxiety. Why stress about eating out when I can have mac cheese made from teeny tiny ‘soup pasta’ at home.
- The return of nursery food is oddly welcome in autumn. Our household menu is full of mashed potato with cheesy creamy sauces, shepherds pie (with the veg pulverised), soft flaky poached salmon. macaroni cheese, silky soft risottos and lots of soft mashable sponge with custard.
What am I missing and what will I eat when it is all over? Well stornoway black pudding for one. It is nice and soft but oh the carnage of poking black pudding out of my brace for the following 2 days makes it an absolute no no. MEAT – pulled pork is something I would love to eat at the moment or a juicy steak. Cashew nuts will be top of my list as will bread and pizza. Strangely I miss salad and biting into whole fruit. Mainly when it is all over I am looking forward to running my tongue over my teeth and not over a contraption and being able to eat whatever I choose but most of all I am looking forward to having great teeth.
In the mean time if you have any interesting recipes for sloppy food then let me know – be delighted to receive them.