PEAR TREE LOG

pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That was two years ago...he's still in Shanghai and I am still writing. There will be nothing clever, witty, or well written; nothing to impress. It is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.


I have moved over to my new blog: Bramble Rambles - you are welcome to call in and have a read.

Monday, 29 July 2013

I Need Your Help....Please

As soon as Jonathan and Ming Ming head off to London I have to whisk off their bedding, air the room, and prepare it for my older brother and his wife who will arrive the following day.    They will stay with us until the weekend.

My brother has recently been diagnosed with a disease which is making it very difficult for him to swallow, breathe, or talk.     He has lost an enormous amount of weight in the last few months as he struggles to find any food that he can manage to eat.

During his visit I would love to be able to find something that he can eat and enjoy, so I am racking my brains to come up with suitable dishes for him.     Obviously the sweeter dishes are not too difficult to concoct, but I'd really like to have something savoury to offer him.

Does anyone have any ideas at all?      Savoury or sweet, I'd really appreciate your input.

39 comments:

  1. Maybe a creamy risotto or a summery smooth tomato and red pepper soup ... ?

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    1. Hello Vintage Jane, Many thanks indeed, will definitely try the soup.

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  2. Lorrie, My dad was diagnosed and survived throat cancer, but the treat left him with the same problems. The only way he can swallow is to lower his chin on his chest. Although I do not live near him and have not needed to cook for him, I have talked to step-mother. I know he can eat scrabbled eggs, chicken and dumplings, and chicken soup. Chocking is his greatest problem, I believe. I hope this has helped a little. I know this doesn't sound very gourmet.... I know you have enjoyed your son's visit. Bonnie

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    1. Hello Bonnie, Many thanks for your very helpful ideas - chicken is now on the list!

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  3. oh my Elaine... I want to say soup? Is that too obvious or will he not be able to swallow? To be honest, anything slow roasted will be soft... or scrambled eggs, they're yummy... need more info and i'd be glad to help. Ask him what he likes / can / can't eat and i'll think of some things xx

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    1. Hello Dom, Many thanks indeed! If SiL gets back to me I'll let you know. I appreciate your help.x

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  4. Anything custard. Flan. Which I could eat three meals a day. Rice pudding. Too yum. Bread pudding. Not bad. Just cruised the www and saw several recepies for main dish bread pudding. Won't recommend one as I haven't tried them, but as my cookerer friend Ann says, you can't go wrong with cheese and butter.

    Enjoy all your visits!

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    1. Hello Joanne, Many thanks for your ideas, I'll get out there and check out the recipes.

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  5. A red lentil daal would be delish. The daal is creamy and soft ,especially if you grate the onions instead of chopping, and the daal can be spiced to personal taste.
    Jane x

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    1. Hello Jane, Thank you, I'll try that - a moderately spicy flavour could make a welcome change for him. I'll give it a go. x

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  6. A fish mousse terrine, covered in smoked salmon. Cut in slices, he can choose to just have the soft mousse filling leaving the rest of the family to have a full slice. This way he won't feel that he has separate 'invalid' food. It will be nutritious as well.

    Let me know if you require me to send a recipe, my email is on my blog.

    Glad you've had such a lovely time with Jonny and Ming Ming.

    LinX

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    1. Hello Lin, Many thanks, I would love the recipe. I think my brother would enjoy it - and so would we. I sent a message via your blog. x

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  7. How about a sweet potato/yam souffle? My nephew has difficulty swallowing as well.

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    1. Hello Susan, Many thanks. I have added sweet potato to the shopping list, I think the souffle would work well.

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  8. Could I ask what the disease is?
    My brother had a form of motor neurone disease which affected his swallow..
    I wondered how difficult your brothers swallow is?

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    1. Hello John, He has myasthenia gravis, rapidly progressing.

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  9. Types of mash may be tasty
    Garlic mash potatoe
    Etc?

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    1. Hello John, We'll give it a go. Thank you.

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  10. My Mum always found that scrambled egg was a fairly easy meal, but reading through this lovely list of suggestions I'm craving Dahl...yum yum! I also love the idea of the fish terrine. I guess it really comes down to what flavours he likes, and then incorporating those into something easy to manage. I'd keep the portions small though as eating can be exhausting. Most of all, have a lovely time with your brother :)

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    1. Hello KittyKittyWeaselFish, People have been so helpful and creative! I'll let you know how it goes. Many thanks for the tips.

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  11. You have so many good suggestions here that I don't need to add anything. Petal loves his baked rice pudding of course. Sue

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    1. Hello Sue, Thank you! Sending my best wishes to you and Petal, I often think of you.

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  12. You have some great suggestions here Elaine,
    chicken broth, backed custard pudding, soft fish ,mashed potatoes.
    you can even mash his veggie in he mixer like a sort of smoothie..
    pumpkin soup..
    Simple dishes are the best.
    sending best wishes and hope your brother enjoys his time with you.
    val

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    1. Hello Val, Thank you for your very helpful suggestions. I'm really looking forward to seeing my brother again. My instinct is always to feed people - but this time I have to think it all through carefully, so all these ideas are very helpful.

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  13. My first thought . . . a soup . . . maybe a chicken ?

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    1. Hello Lynne, Thank you, I think a good chicken soup has to be high on the list.x

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  14. A good cold Gazpacho (sp?). I imagine cold foods would be calming on his throat. Please do tell him that we all sympathise.

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    1. Hello Cro, I like the idea of that, we'll give it a try. I'll pass your good wishes on to him. Thank you.x

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  15. Hello Everyone, Thank you all so much, the suggestions are wonderful. I am making my shopping list right now - based on these brilliant ideas. Thanks to you I now have a wealth of flavours and light textures which I can offer him. I will let you know how we get on.x

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  16. Fish Terrine recipe
    450g haddock
    ½ onion
    Bayleaf/few peppercorns
    125ml double cream
    2 tabs chopped fresh dill
    2 tabs lemon juice
    S & P
    2½ sheets gelatine
    Approx. 200+g smoked salmon
    " 200g smoked trout fillets

    Cook the haddock with a covering of water, the sliced onion, bay leaf and peppercorns. Poach gently until the fish flakes easily.

    Remove the fish from the pan, reserve 125ml of the poaching liquid. Flake the fish and leave to cool.

    Place the flaked fish, cream, dill and lemon juice in a processor and blend until smooth. Season with S & P.

    Put the reserved liquid in a small pan and warm through. The gelatine leaves soak in cold water, when soft, squeeze out the excess water and add to the warmed fish stock. I don't stir, just shake the pan to incorporate. Stir into the fish mixture.

    Line a 1½ pint terrine or loaf tin with cling film. then line the base and sides with the smoked salmon, leaving some for the top. Remove the skin from the trout fillets and halve lengthways.

    Spoon a third of the fish mixture into bottom of the terrine, smooth, then add half the trout fillets, cover with more fish mixture and repeat the layer of trout, topping off with the fish mix. Cover with the rest of the smoked salmon. Fold the over hanging cling film to seal and chill in the fridge for approx. 3 hours.

    To serve turn the terrine onto a board and slice.

    Hello Elaine,

    Sorry I've had to do it this way, I mistakenly thought my email address was on my blog details. I did think to put my email address here, but for once, thought perhaps not a good idea. Am I getting sensible in my old age? Perish the thought!

    This terrine is lovely with undyed smoked haddock as the filling (with the addition of a little paprika and cayenne pepper) and half smoked mackerel and trout fillets through. I just wasn't sure whether it might not suit, as the flavour might be too strong for you bro.

    If you have any questions, have another look and see if you can find my email address on my blog bumpf and get in touch via there.

    I've just had a thought after I've sat and typed this here, I could have sent it via the Vintage photographer's email link. Ian then could have made himself useful, dragged himself away from twittering/facebooking etc. and forwarded to you.

    It's an easy dish to do ahead of time, allowing you time to enjoy being the hostess with the mostest, which I'm sure you are always.

    Have fun,

    LinX

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    1. Hello Lin, Many thanks for this - I bought fish from the fishmonger, checked on the other ingredients, and will get making it tomorrow morning. I'll let you know how he gets on with it. x

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  17. Dear Elaine....looks like your blogging friends have lots of ideas for you. Keep us posted on your brother's visit.

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    1. Hello Meggie, I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of people - so many helpful and thoughtful suggestions - they have helped me enormously!

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  18. If he's lost a lot of weight, perhaps focus on pureed creamed soups (cream of broccoli, cream of mushroom, creamy chicken and rice, a creamy fish chowder, etc... Even a hearty beef stew that has been pureed and ladled on lovely mashed potato and turnip? If you have a pressure cooker, use that for making your stock as it extracts all the nourishing gelatine out of the bones.

    What about guacamole (not too thick) and fresh homemade salsa on scrambled eggs? Can he tolerate any spice? Can you make homemade ice cream for him with fresh seasonal fruit?

    A wee bit of pampering in the form of lovingly prepared, simple, in season, ultra fresh foods would be in order. Emphasis on flavour will compensate for lack of texture.

    Hope all goes well XO




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    1. Hello Sherry, Many thanks for all your great suggestions. I have chicken stock on the go at the moment - ready to make that creamy chicken soup, and broccoli should it appeal! I love the idea that he may be able to eat a beef stew, pureed, so I have the necessary ingredients ready should he want some. Thanks too for the tip about using flavour to compensate the lack of texture. I will let you know how he gets on with it. x

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  19. My first thought was "loaded" mashed potatoes with salad cream and garlic (ala John Gray). You can add bits of bacon or other meats and also cheeses. Be sure to let us know how things work out!

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  20. Hmm, I haven't thought of anything useful except for maybe hummus. I do hope you have a good visit and some of the above delicacies are enticing to him!! sending good thoughts.

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  21. Wow! What wonderful responses. I don't have anything to add except how great all the responses are.

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  22. So glad you've received so many excellent suggestions. This is one time I truly wish I could be of some use in the kitchen. You're all in my heart.

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Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will try to reply. There may be delays and interruptions, but I will do my best. Somehow, it seems that whenever I pick up my laptop someone comes knocking, the telephone rings, the cats need feeding...

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