How to please your palate prior to, ahem, a procedure

A mild ‘gross-out’ alert applies to what follows. However, if you or someone you care about is scheduled to have a c****oscopy, as I did recently, I might be able to help you get through the preparations without your palate going into a coma.

I will spare you the details of what you eat – now there’s a euphemism – and what else happens on the day immediately before the procedure. No, it’s the previous day when a bit of creative cooking can help you to eat with a smile on your face.

The list of ‘foods allowed’ provided by the hospital included: white bread products; plain cereals; ripe bananas and stewed peeled pale fruits; white rice and white pasta; cooked peeled carrot; minimal margarine; well cooked lean white meats; eggs; and low fat cheese. But definitely, no full cream dairy products and no dark-coloured foods.

On the day before this day of limited options, I poached three trimmed chicken thigh fillets – you could substitute pieces of a firm white fish – in water to which I had added some diced peeled carrot (x 2), some sprigs of thyme and parsley, chopped celery and salt and pepper. When this was cool enough to handle, I strained the liquid into a bowl, placed the pieces of chicken and carrot in the liquid and discarded the other solids.

Next morning, after a night in the fridge – the bowl, not me – I deglazed the chicken fat from the surface of the liquid, removed the carrot and chicken and used the flavoursome liquid to cook some white rice. Meanwhile, I mashed the carrot and diced the chicken; beat and seasoned a couple of eggs, added some pieces of the chicken and cooked an omelet in a little margarine in a non-stick pan. So, for lunch, I had a dish of tasty rice tossed with mashed carrot and pieces of chicken omelet.

Next, a plan for dinner, in the knowledge that Maggie would be sitting down to a mouth-watering plate of leftovers from a couple of nights earlier, when we had roasted a whole piece of porterhouse (sirloin) beef, served with some delicious vegetables.

I decided to make something akin to a dish of carbonara. While some broken lengths of spaghetti were bubbling away, I heated the rest of the diced chicken and mashed carrot in a little bit of the poaching liquid I had set aside. I added the cooked pasta to the pan, then a beaten egg which I stirred into the dish off the heat. Okay, it didn’t look especially pretty but it tasted good and filled me up, ahead of my day on Starvation Row.

I began and ended this day with a bowl of corn flakes, pieces of ripe banana and non-fat milk. For snacks, I had crumpets (bulkier than bread), lightly cooked to reduce the need for a slather of margarine, then lightly flavoured with Vegemite or seedless jam, also permitted.

So, my palate didn’t recoil unduly in horror and, two days later, I got the all clear from the specialist and Maggie took me home to a nice roast beef sandwich.

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About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our mid-60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. While we are young enough, our priority travel destinations are overseas, although we do spend a few weekends each year exploring south-eastern Australia. As travellers, we are most comfortable with a combination of organised and independent touring. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). All trips from 2014 onwards are documented in this blog.
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