One of the many untoward effects of my chemotherapy is that it has afflicted my tongue and delicate esophageal tissues with a highly disagreeable intolerance for anything the slightest bit piquant. At first I rebelled, but eventually, for the sake of my stomach lining, I had to cave. Wine, even really good wine, causes spasms of pain. Delicious tacos: a no-go. Ginger, salt, pepper, garlic, onions, chile: negatory.
Yup. I’m on a Bland Diet. Which poses serious problems, since I don’t know how to drink anything except really good wine, and I don’t know how to cook anything without ginger, salt, pepper, garlic, onions, or chile. And neither does any chef within a 40-mile radius of Austin.
Yesterday I was too lazy to go to the grocery store, and too bushed to go out to dinner, and the thought of another plate of buttered egg noodles made my left eye twitch. Hunger pangs eventually drove me to fish around in the Twisty freezer until I found this: Vegetarian Meatloaf Dinner. I put on a hazmat suit, lifted it out with tongs, and held it at arm’s length for inspection. It appeared guaranteed to have no flavor whatsoever. I turned on the oven.
Here’s what it looked like on the box:
Here’s what it looked like when I took it out of the box:
Here’s what it looked like 45 minutes at 400 degrees later:
I will spare you a description of the “meatloaf’s” flavor and texture, lest you weep uncontrollably for the epicurean in me dying a slow, screaming death.