Monday, October 5, 2015

Sputnik, The Dish, Matt's Skin Cancer Op.

On Sunday, Oct. 4, I discovered it was the 58th anniversary of Sputnik. This was the beginning of the Space Race and what gave the US the incentive to rush ahead and start launching rockets although the Russians launched the first manned rocket carrying Yuri Gargarin which made a single orbit of the earth in 1961. Funnily enough we watched The Dish again, which is a favourite movie of mine. It's background is the participation of Australia and their main satellite dish situated in Parkes, in the launch of Apollo 11 and the first landing of a man on the moon - Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin - in 1969, July 20. I just found a disavowal from the actual main tracking station in Australia which debunks the movie The Dish, but admits it is a comedy although wildly inaccurate.  I still think it's a great movie and I thoroughly enjoy it every time I watch it.

Today, being Monday, Matt gets to shower for the first time after his operation. He is to take off all his dressings and then we have to put Polysporin and new dressings on, but not such elaborate ones. I will be interested to see his wounds, particularly those on his leg. The surgeon did a skin flap on his leg. I am not perfectly sure what that is or how it differs from a skin graft. I guess I will find out.
 Luckily I have all kinds of dressing materials which was given to me when I had my hip done and when I tried to return it they didn't want it back. He will end up with a bandaid on his forehead but a gauze dressing on his leg. I will also find out when she wants to see him again, it says 5-7 days on the instruction sheet. We assume he can drive, but don't know, and as she didn't do the graft, we are wondering if he can bowl after all. Luckily he has had little or no pain (where there's no sense there's no feeling maybe?) which is great. They gave him a pain control leaflet and I was surprised to see that they now say addiction to pain medications is unlikely and only about 1% of patients get addicted.  I think docs in England knew that before they did here, I know we used to have to practically twist the arm of our family doctor to get Tylenol 3. I remember they did a research in England and found that even with very strong drugs, once the necessity for them had gone, the patients mostly did not get addicted. I have had a lot of problems with making him keep his leg elevated. I really had to nag him at first.

I would also like to say thank you everyone, from both Matt and I, for the well wishes which poured in from everyone. You have all been so very kind and we are very appreciative.

Sunday lunchtime, around 12:30, we were eating and suddenly the phone went. An Unknown Number. Why on earth do these people call at that time of day? If they weren't political or advertising I assume they would leave a message. I get so teed off - we have a phone for our convenience, not theirs.

I don't eat potatoes very often, I am not all that keen on the ones available in this part of the world, and the ones I do enjoy are not cooked in a calorie conscious manner. Like fries or roasted for instance. However, the picture for this recipe piqued my interest, although as you will see, the calorie count on this dish (which I left in) is very high too.





Cheesy Hasselback Potato Gratin

  • Yield 6 servings







Ingredients

  • 3 ounces finely grated Gruyère or comté cheese
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 to 4 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick on a mandoline slicer (7 to 8 medium, see note)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)
      659 calories; 40 grams fat; 25 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 11 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 61 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 4 grams sugars; 16 grams protein; 140 milligrams cholesterol; 278 milligrams sodium
    • Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Preparation

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine cheeses in a large bowl. Transfer 1/3 of cheese mixture to a separate bowl and set aside. Add cream, garlic and thyme to cheese mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add potato slices and toss with your hands until every slice is coated with cream mixture, making sure to separate any slices that are sticking together to get the cream mixture in between them.
  2. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter. Pick up a handful of potatoes, organizing them into a neat stack, and lay them in the casserole dish with their edges aligned vertically. Continue placing potatoes in the dish, working around the perimeter and into the center until all the potatoes have been added. The potatoes should be very tightly packed. If necessary, slice an additional potato, coat with cream mixture, and add to casserole. Pour the excess cream/cheese mixture evenly over the potatoes until the mixture comes halfway up the sides of the casserole. You may not need all the excess liquid.
  3. Cover dish tightly with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the top is pale golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and return to oven. Bake until deep golden brown and crisp on top, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven, let rest for a few minutes, and serve.

Tip

  • Because of variation in the shape of potatoes, the amount of potato that will fit into a single casserole dish varies. Longer, thinner potatoes will fill a dish more than shorter, rounder potatoes. When purchasing potatoes, buy a few extra in order to fill the dish if necessary. Depending on exact shape and size of potatoes and casserole dish, you may not need all of the cream mixture.

Have a great day

28 comments:

  1. Hi Jo - glad all went off satisfactorily and long may the healing continue. We're into damp mode here ... mind you it's not light yet - but looks very gloomy, they tell me it's warm! I love potatoes ... and we have lots of varieties now ...

    Good luck for continued healing and cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. We are pretty damp round here too I do so miss the taties we got in the UK, and most of Europe come to that. They had so much flavour.

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  2. Glad to here that Matt's surgery went well. A friend of mine told me he has never had a skin graft with his surgeries and just has them 'sewn up'. Potatoes with two cheeses and cream? Yup. Lots of calories. I only prepare dishes like that for the holidays.

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    1. Thanks Denise. The graft was touch and go because there is not much loose skin on the shin. They just sewed up the one on his forehead, but not so easy on the leg. Yes, that is about when I would prepare them.

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  3. Good news about Matt! Glad to hear the good report. And I love potato dishes like this. The creamier and cheesier the better.

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    1. Thanks Stephen. Yet to see what the wounds look like. Trouble is all the cream and cheese also means lots of calories and having lost a lot of weight.......

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  4. Bet Matt is really glad to take that shower. Glad everything went well.
    The Dish is a great movie.

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    1. Thanks, he feels much better for doing so. The scars seem to be coming along well.

      I agree although I just found out that it is actually a load of bunkum.

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  5. Happy to hear that Matt's on his way to full recovery! I might have to make that potato recipe. I love me some tatoes! :D It always surprises me that my hubby isn't convinced that we ever landed on the moon. I think we did, and I saw a documentary where they tried to replicate all the conditions and photos in the dessert at night. They couldn't do it.

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    1. If you do make it JoJo, ensure you have lots of guests otherwise you will eat too much, as would I. No doubt in my mind about them landing on the moon.

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  6. Glad to hear Matt's surgery went well, and that he has little/no pain and is recovering nicely. Also, I'm definitely going to try that potato recipe. You had my attention at Gruyère.

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    1. Thanks Bryan. Your Gruyère comment made me laugh.

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  7. Can't wait to hear your description of his leg wounds! So glad all is going so well, and thanks for that recipe, haha. I added inches to my thighs just reading it!!! Hope you've called to see if he can bowl...

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    1. I can show you picture of the leg wound. I know, dangerous dish isn't it?

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  8. It's nice when better health is reclaimed. I liked the movie, Dish - hmm - junk?!

    Recipe photo looks great, but I'm off of potatoes for a while.

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    1. Not junk, bunk, it apparently didn't really happen like that at all and they were not the main station for the TV pictures either. Just found this out recently. Still love the movie.

      Potatoes are not bad but it's what we add to them.

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  9. Sounds like the skin flap is good news and means they didn't make as big a cut. I'm not a big potato fan but those look pretty good.

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    1. It still looks like a big cut to me Susan. Someone commented it was like a smiley fact.

      I'm the same about potatoes, I can take 'em or leave 'em.

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  10. "No sense, no feeling" haha. Does Matt read your blog? The Aussie govt is talking about making us go the the doctor to get a script for over the counter codeine tablets because people get addicted. Honestly, I don't know why they don't just instigate a proper register so people who take them for legitimate reasons aren't put out. Not that I take them. Pain killers make me feel sick as a dog.

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    1. No, he doesn't read them Pinky. But it's a kind of standard phrase in the UK. Or was. We have to have a script for them here, used not to in the UK but of course I haven't had pills in 40 odd years from there. That's hard if you can't take pain killers. Maybe not much problem yet, but one often needs them as one gets older.

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  11. So glad things are going well! I love potatoes, but not cheese and potatoes for some reason.

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    1. Thanks Yolanda. I am surprised, most people love cheese and potatoes.

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    2. I like mine without cheese, too.

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    3. Well you are allergic are you not Ivy?

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  12. I am glad Matt can finally take a shower. When my hubby had his shoulder replacement, he couldn't wait to take a shower. This was done in 2011 and now you can hardly see the scar. I have not heard of The Dish but will have to put that on my ever growing list:) As for telemarketers....you have rights but most people have no idea because it's not made known. There is legislation in place which is through the Ministry of Consumer Services which is at www.sse.gov.on.ca. I give this to clients all the time because of Collection agencies but they put out rights on everything. When I got a call Friday night at 9:30 from "This is your Captain speaking..."(you probably know the one), I waited until someone came on line and then told them that in our country it is now past 9pm, according to the Ministry guidelines you can only call between 7am and 9pm. All I heard was a click. They never called back after that:)

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    1. So was he Birgit. You are right about scars. I just don't answer the calls anyway, but most of them seem to come from the US. If it's a no name or unknown number/caller I ignore it. Figure friends will leave a message..

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  13. Good news on Matt! Let the healing continue.
    The potatoes sure do look good. It is a whole week's worth of fat, carbs, and calories for me!

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    1. Thanks Maggie. For me too, I won't be in a hurry to make them, but they do look delicious.

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