Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Dr O. prescribes congee.

I'm really not good at posting pictures. If it's not sideways teapots, it's something else. The first post with Thomas' picture disappeared into Blogger space so I created a new post. Now I realise it was there all the time, so there are two pictures and posts, nearly identical, but with a couple of minor variations like those 'pick the difference' puzzles they used to have in the newspapers years ago.


Thomas came home on a cold Wednesday to a warm house, but I was out again almost straight away to take William, who had become ill over the previous twelve hours, to see Dr O.

Unusually, there was no wait when we arrived at Dr O.'s rooms late at about six o'clock. However his waiting room looked like eighteen toddlers had had an afternoon party there without any adults present. Dr O. has more toys and books in his waiting room than the average department store toy floor, and none of them are put away. Most are the same ones that were there when I took my now grown-up children to see Dr O. twenty and more years ago.

Dr O. is an eccentric ruddy-faced bearded Welshman. He has an offbeat sense of humour that goes straight over most peoples' heads but that nevertheless serves to set patients at their ease almost immediately. Dr O. checked William out and pronounced 'rotovirus' and 'gastroenteritis' and then proceeded to write out a five day regimen involving dilute fluids and dry crackers and no milk. 'Of course,' he said, continuing to write, 'if you were Chinese, which you are not,' (he added parenthetically and somewhat unnecessarily),' I would be prescribing congee.' I told him we eat congee all the time and not just as a convalescent food. Congee is delicious.


I was ill as well and for a while, with Tracy recovering from the birth, two-day-old Thomas was the healthiest person in the house. Shame he can't cook or clean yet!


For William: boil rice in a lot of water for a long time. The End. How easy is that?

For me and Tracy: boil rice in a lot of water for a long time, adding finely grated ginger, a drop of sesame oil and a dash of fish sauce earlier and chunks of white-fleshed fish and finely sliced squid later. Garnish with chopped spring onion and add chili sauce if you wish.

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