Tom is quite the cook…Flatties…Today he’s baking…

Mr. Nyala likes it here. It was a delight for Tom to see him again this morning and to be able to take these photos.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

The kudus left, and he stands in our garden forlorn, wondering when he will see her again. As two distinct species, it’s unlikely they will mate and produce offspring.  However, there was a case of the mating of a female nyala and a male kudu. See the scientific article here.

Since I had to go back into the hospital for the surgery on my legs, Tom has thrown caution to the wind and has been eating some of his favorite foods; toast in the morning, muffins from the market’s bakery with coffee, and a bowl of vanilla ice cream at night.

Who am I to tell him what to eat when he spends most of his days and part of his nights taking care of me? I haven’t said a word. In one way, you’d think he’d want to eat a healthy diet after seeing me struggle after the complex bypass surgery.

But after hearing from three doctors that heredity plays the most significant part in our health, and being from a family of longevity, he wanted comfort foods during this challenging time for both of us. It’s not unusual to seek “comfort” foods during times of stress. I’ve always lost my appetite when stressed or worried, but I think I’m more the exception than the rule.  

During these past months, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Tom’s cooking. At present, I am not allowed to be on my feet for more than a minute while holding onto the walker, leaving me unable to cook a thing or make a salad.

He’s the only nyala in Marloth Park. It’s no wonder he was fascinated with the female kudus.

Again, last night he made chicken “flatties” which is a popular item for the braai in South Africa, a butterflied whole chicken well seasoned in a variety of flavors: garlic, sweet and spicy, Portuguese, barbecue, peri-peri (a mix of hot spices) and so forth.  

We often opt for the garlic and barbecue, figuring less sugar was used in preparing the spices. He always cooks two flatties, enough for two dinners, in one large pan, adding whole mushrooms to the pan while cooking along with pre-cooked whole carrots prepared directly on the grill about a half-hour before the flatties are done.

He doesn’t turn the mushrooms in the pan. They cook evenly in the juices, but he frequently turns the carrots cooking directly over the fire to ensure they don’t burn but caramelize for the best-tasting carrots on the planet. 

He steps in a bit closer.

Those who eat potatoes or other starchy vegetables could easily be peeled, cut into chunks, and added to the pan with the mushrooms. At the two-hour mark, the flatties are done, and Tom separates the white from the dark meat and makes up our plates.

He likes white meat, and I prefer dark. One flatties between us in the perfect amount for a meal since they are relatively small. Using my hands, albeit very messy, I take off the skin and bones and thoroughly enjoy the moist, dark meat with the mushrooms and carrots.

Honestly, I never made a chicken, flattie, or otherwise, tasting as good as his. In the future, long after I can cook again, we’ll undoubtedly cut whole chickens into flatties shapes and have Tom prepare them.  

He’s feigning interest in the pellets when in fact, he’s much more interested in her.

We’ve never seen flatties in countries other than those in Africa. But, we certainly can improvise and follow suit wherever we may be. It’s interesting how South Africans cook most of their meals on the braai instead of the stovetop or oven.  

It’s all a part of the commiserating and socialization of people gathering around the grill or open fire of the popular concept of the braai, which is prevalent and cultural here in South Africa, over other parts of the world.

We don’t have flatties every night, but right now, it’s a familiar and easy meal for him to prepare, which we both enjoy. He’s made many favorite recipes lately but commented on the occasion that my version of the meal was tastier than his, but I can hardly agree when everything he makes tastes good to me.

He moves in for the “big sniff,” perhaps realizing that is all he’s going to get.

As for meals for the remainder of the day, I don’t care to eat much in the morning upon awakening and instead drink my fresh squeezed lemon water to start the day. I miss drinking coffee, and perhaps someday I will take it up again, but the lemon water is refreshing now.

When it’s as hot as it has been lately, I’ve had little interest in drinking hot tea. But, by 10:30 am, Tom made my healthful smoothie which the doctor insisted was necessary to increase the amount of protein in my diet.  Protein is necessary to aid in wound healing.

Right now, I’m striving for no less than 100 grams of protein daily, almost twice my usual allotment. Taking the extra protein via a high-quality protein powder and bone broth in a daily smoothie has been an excellent way to accomplish this without having to stuff myself eating foods I don’t feel like eating at this point.

Ms. Bushbuck is too cute for words.

This morning, Tom is baking for himself, using my recipe for an old favorite of his, Coconut Banana Bread. It’s currently in the oven and smelling good. I won’t partake in this due to the flour, sugar, and bananas, none of which I consume, but I’ll certainly appreciate his enjoyment of the recipe. In our old lives, before I changed my way of eating,  I may have had a slice with a cup of coffee in the morning. It was pretty delicious.

Soon, Tom will make my smoothie using the following ingredients:
One scoop bone broth powder
Two scoops of protein powder
1/2 cup purified water plus enough ice to make a thick drink
2 T. cocoa, unsweetened
One whole avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup fresh spinach
Sweetener of choice

This is a delicious and nutritious beverage and meal replacement once the blender whirred for a smooth consistency. After drinking the smoothie, I am full until dinner.

She’s been visiting us daily since we arrived in Marloth Park 14 months ago.

Any improvement in my legs? I’ve noticed a little less pain when walking short distances using the walker from sofa to bed to bathroom. I still don’t put any weight on my left leg, but I seem OK doing so on the right.

We return to Dr. Theo for another complicated dressing change tomorrow morning, considering the drain and pumping VAC system connected to my left leg.  We’ll know more tomorrow. According to the plastic surgeon, I should be able to walk within a week or so.

I can’t wait to get back out on the veranda to see my wildlife friends!

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, April 10, 2018:

Each night when I was able to sit on the veranda, we put out the little cup of flavored yogurt on the stand for the bushbabies.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to do this again soon. For more photos, please click here.

Leave a Reply