Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Grits with Tasso (Page 656)

RECIPE #1228

  • Date: Friday, October 1, 2010 -- 6pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Teri, Terry, Helen, Charles, Clara, Kendra, Jubin, and Watson
  • Recipe Rating: B

I love grits. Love them. So I have been wanting to make this recipe for years. I had trouble, however, finding tasso, a Cajun smoked pork product. My parents visited about a month ago, and as my mother is also a fan of grits I decided to put more effort into locating the tasso. I gave up finding it in a store and just ordered it online. Locating the tasso was by far the most difficult aspect of making this dish. To prepare it I cooked some stone-ground grits in salted water for quite a while, then added tasso, butter, salt, and pepper, and served. This dish wasn't bad, but I also wasn't super-excited about it. The texture of the grits was very nice, but I didn't enjoy having the chunks of tasso mixed in with them. I found that the tasso detracted from both the texture and the flavor of the dish. It overpowered the subtle flavor of the grits, and the very chewy little chunks didn't go well with the otherwise creamy texture. That said, the dish was still rather tasty. It just wasn't my favorite grits preparation.

The recipe is here.

Three weeks ago now one of my doctors determined that I should switch to a different tumor medication. I have been on the same drug for almost seven years now, so I admit I wasn't super-excited about the change. But the new drug is better -- more effective, fewer side effects. Overall, better. So I agreed to do it. These transitions can be rough though, and in order to start the new drug I wanted to find a window of at least 36 hours when I could lie in bed if I was too sick to do anything else. Turns out, finding that window wasn't so easy.

The last few weeks have been crazy. Last week I was in California to give a talk, and before that I was busy preparing to be gone for a week (and preparing my talk!). I started this week by having my annual teaching observation/evaluation, then today I gave a research seminar. I am giving another seminar on Tuesday. Add to that the usual research, teaching, and other obligations and things have been crazy. Plus, a couple weeks ago I started a second new drug and I couldn't bring myself to start two new medications in the same week. Add to the mix a scattering of house guests and there was just no good time to switch drugs.

But tomorrow I don't absolutely NEED to be at work. I don't have to teach, I don't have any meetings. I have a shitload to do, but nothing that I can't do from home, lying in bed if need be. So this evening, after I gave my seminar, I started my new meds. And tonight I am relaxing like it's my job. I've been watching trashy TV and reading trashy magazines. I took a bath. Right now I am lying on the sofa in front of the fire, snuggled up under two blankets, with a kitten at my feet. And so far, I feel pretty OK. Hopefully the transition will continue to go smoothly, and I will tolerate these meds better than my old one. And in a couple weeks I think my semester will calm down a bit. For now I am just doing the things that need to get done, both professionally and medically, and trying to stay as relaxed as possible. Busy, busy times.

No comments: