I bet we all have an horrific dentist story. One of mine happened at the age of nine when my dentist had to pull two baby teeth and the two teeth underneath those baby teeth that were still secure in my gums. I remember my mom and dad buying me a grey teddy bear before my appointment. I named him Gus. And I remember my dentist swearing because he couldn’t get the teeth in my gums to come out and he called in another dentist and two dentists were saying, “shit” and I was absolutely dumb-founded by these fucking adults who were swearing in front of such a cute kid with a cute little bear and for not being able to just pull the fucking teeth out. And while we’re at it, fuck Gus the grey bear too because he did jack shit to help me out.
Anyway, I haven’t been all that good at seeing a dentist regularly. But a chipped front tooth, a wisdom tooth that needed pulling, and a filling that was about to fall out changed all that. Like a real grown-up, I got me a brand new dentist.
My new fancy dentist is very kind and so are all the ladies who work for him. You can even pick out a movie to watch during your time in the chair. I picked Baby Mama. I have no idea why. Maybe because I started to cry as soon as I reclined-before the dentist even came into the room–and I thought Baby Mama would help me, like Gus was supposed to help me all those year ago. A nice lady held my hand while the dentist froze my mouth parts. I was so embarrassed.
Foodie: Thanths tho muth for holthing my hanth. I donth know why I’m cwying. Iths tho thilly of me!!!!
Nice Lady: Oh don’t worry dear, I’ve seen worse: some people go into full on panic attacks. Some people even throw up!
Foodie: Weawy? Howey Thmokes!
They did everything in an hour and I felt no pain. While I paid, I saw the Beast in the waiting room. He’d borrowed his parents’ car to pick me up. I started to cry again.
Foodie: I crwied in the chair too! I don’t know why I keep crwying!
Beast: Oopsy! And you’re drooling! Let’s get you home.
(In the car at Yonge and Shepherd trying to get home in rush hour.)
Beast: Now don’t say no right away, but I want to take you to go see the cherry blossoms in High Park.
Foodie: I juth had thurgery.
Beast: I know, I know, but I think you’ll love it. Are you allowed to eat tonight?
Foodie: Yeth. I juth haf to eat thoft thingths, like mathed potatothes. So what time doth thith therry blothom thing thstart?
Beast: It’s not a movie: It’s nature! There is no start time!
Foodie: Gif me a break man! I juth had thurgury!
Sometimes the Beast has really good ideas: going to see the blossoms was one of them.
After the blossoms, all I could think about was fish and chips. But that seemed a bit too aggressive a meal right after all the severe dental surgery I just had, so we waited until the next night. Vicky’s Fish and Chips is just south of the Dundas Street West subway stop on Roncesvalles. I’ve never been but every time I walk past the modest facade, I tell myself that I’ll remember to visit, which I never do. They also serve Thai food at Vicky’s. I think that’s a funny combination: Thai food and fish and chips.
The Beast and I met at the subway and walked down the street together.
Beast: I think I’ve been here four or five times actually.
Foodie: Really? How is it possible that we’ve never been here together?
Beast: I come here when I’m on my own for dinner.
Foodie: Is it good?
Beast: It’s not bad. My only complaint is that sometimes the french fries taste a bit…fishy. I think they should just change the oil more often.
Foodie: Should we just get two orders of halibut and chips?
We decided to eat there, which–from the looks of things–not too many people do. But we reasoned that the fish and chips would be soggy by the time we got home. Besides, we were starving and dinner was served about five minutes after we ordered.
Foodie: You were bang on about the fries, but the fish is really good, don’t you think?
Beast: It’s great.
Foodie: I always prefer homemade tartar sauce though.
Beast: What’s this? (pointing to the bottle on our table.)
Foodie: Well, clearly its a squeeze bottle of Kraft tartar sauce or something.
Beast: What’s tartar sauce? Isn’t it just mayonnaise and relish?
Foodie: I think so, but you know what I mean about the homemade kind, right?
Beast: No. If tartar sauce is just store-bought mayonnaise and store-bought relish mixed together, than who cares if it’s homemade or not?
Foodie: Take Chippy’s for example: I don’t know if they make their mayonnaise, but their tartar sauce is far superior to this one. In fact, it’s better than any tartar sauce I’ve had in the city. Remember when your parents brought over fish and chips that one time? The fish and chips were great but the restaurant just had little processed packets of tartar sauce.
Beast: That was from Olde Yorke.
Foodie: Well the Olde Yorke didn’t go the distance. What’s that place that you’re always telling me is so good?
Beast: Penrose on Mount Pleasant.
Foodie: Do they make they’re own tartar sauce?
Beast: I have no idea. But I read somewhere that it’s the only fish and chips place in the city that Barbara Streisand endorses. She loves fish and chips you know.
Foodie: Is it really good there?
Beast: It’s amazing.
Foodie: Can we go?
Foodie: We should get take-out Thai food from this place one night–look how busy it is!
Beast: I was just thinking the same thing. How does your mouth feel?
Foodie: Just fine! I can’t believe there wasn’t any bruising or pain, even after the freezing wore off. There’s just a big hole in my mouth.
I did, however, pretend like I was in a lot of discomfort for a good 24 hours after the dentist–not to get attention though. I did it because the Beast got me flowers and I wanted him to feel like they were warranted. I also decided to make him pancakes on Saturday morning. As you know, pancakes, scones, and breakfast things in general, are not my forte.
But a friend recently gave me a copy of A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenburg–the woman behind the fantastic blog, Orangette. The book is a collection of personal stories and corresponding recipes. I made the chocolate chip and candied ginger banana bread, and her pancakes were next.
Foodie: Oh shit–this recipe calls for buckwheat flour. I don’t have buckwheat flour.
Beast: Wait a second–would you please just make pancakes from the box instead of homemade ones?
Foodie: What’s wrong with buckwheat?
Beast: Why not throw some tabbouleh in there and maybe some wheat germ and ancient grains while you’re at it.
I just used all purpose flour and if you ask me, they came out beautifully, even as beautiful as pancakes in a commercial.
Foodie on Vicky’s: *1/2
Beast on Vicky’s: **
Foodie on the pancakes: ***
Beast on the pancakes: **1/2