Thursday, February 20, 2020

Hip Update - 16th Day

I went to see the surgeons PA on 2/18 and she said everything looked good and I go back for a final visit in six weeks.  Here is a chronology of events so far:

2/3 – Total left hip replacement
2/4 – Go home from hospital
2/6 – Go to first therapy session at CORA Therapy in Alcoa, TN (20 mile drive)
2/8 – Take final narcotic drug for pain, I’ve experienced very little pain
2/9 – First short drive of the car, with Bev
2/10 – Drive self to therapy, with Bev along
Continue one-hour therapy sessions three times/week plus exercise at home
2/18 – Follow-up appointment with surgeon’s PA
2/19 – Moved from the walker to a cane at therapy because I can now fully weight my new hip – a major milestone.

Now it’s just a matter of continuing to strengthen the new hip as it heals and increase its flexibility.  I’m really pleased with how it’s going so far and the therapist seems to think I’m a little ahead of schedule – which is good.  I’ll keep the chronology going and provide another update when warranted.  My goal is to be good as new for our next RV trip in mid-April.

I can say that if you have a hip needing replacement, don’t put it off as it is much less painful and easier to recover from than a knee.  Just find yourself a good surgeon, make sure they use the anterior procedure, and plan on about 6 weeks of semi-downtime.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


2/19/20 event date

Monday, February 17, 2020

Lemon Thyme Pork Chops

For this weeks Thursday meal for our friends, we chose Lemon Thyme Pork Chops using a recipe from 12 Tomatoes and hoping the recipients like lemony dishes as much as we do.  I doubled the chops and sauce ingredient amounts to get the recipe below and you can click on the link and go to 12 Tomatoes to get the original recipe and see more great shots like this one.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Murgh Makhana - Butter Chicken

Now that I have a new hip and even though still using a walker, I had to get out of my chair and do something plus I was ready to get back to my around-the-world meals - none since before Christmas and the pre-surgery crash diet started.  For this next one,  I selected India and it seems there are many traditional Indian dishes so I picked Butter Chicken using the recipe from Café Delights and after ordering what is likely a lifetime supply of Garam Masala and dried fenugreek leaves from Amazon over a month ago, I was pretty well set to go.  

Please check out Karina’s blog for some good pics of her process and her dish like this one.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Broccoli Frittata

When the recent big storm and cold front moved through our area, we managed to pick up about an inch of wet snow that stuck to everything making for a nice winter shot to contrast with the inside amaryllis' that are still blooming - they have put on a real show over the past month with the right one having six blooms.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Mediterranean Style Salmon

I had retrieved a piece of salmon from the freezer to have for super but other dishes got in the way and since I was headed for a Monday date with the orthopedic surgeon I was running out of meals.  So in keeping with my belief in eating breakfast food for any meal and any food for breakfast, I decided to have the salmon for breakfast on Superbowl Sunday.  I had already decided on using the recipe for Mediterranean Style Salmon from Chef Dennis on his "Ask Chef Dennis" blog, mostly due to the tapenade.  I changed both the ingredients and the instructions a little – please check Dennis’ site for the original recipe and good pics like this one.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Stuffed Round Roast - Hip Update

My hip surgery came off without a hitch on Monday and the doctor advised that it was in very bad shape.  Here is the amazing part - I had total replacement of a major joint and less than 24 hours after leaving the recovery room, I was home sitting in my easy chair.  What a difference the newer anterior procedure makes.

And now for the roast. While perusing the meat counter at the local Food City recently, Bev spied this Italian Beef Eye Round Roast and decided we had to give it a try.  It is a pounded thin eye of round that has been stuffed with ham, pepperoni, spinach, and cheese then coated wit Parmesan.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Hip Replacement Surgery

The ladies amaryllis' are still showing off.

Well tomorrow (Feb 3) is the big day as I will hopefully wake up in the afternoon with a new left hip and soon be pain free after 14 months with it.

Getting to the required weight wasn't as hard as expected but I had a challenge in the later days when my body went into survival mode due to my low calorie intake.  Since Bev had been suggesting a fast is always good for my body, I ended up doing a five day fast coupled with an exercise routine every three hours to speed up my metabolism.  Before the survival mode, I was losing a pound/day then it dropped to a half pound/day with none on some days, but during the fast, I lost five pounds and since I drink lots of liquid all day long, I’m confident it was not fluid loss.
So far it’s a 60 pound loss and now that I know I can do it, I’m motivated to lose more this coming year, but at a little slower rate.

So I’ll be gone for a couple of days and be back online when I get home, which is usually the day after the surgery - in the meantime, I have a couple of posts teed-up to go.

Wende and family came down Saturday to see me off and Eliza enjoyed a ride on horsey dad.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


Thursday, January 30, 2020

My First Sous Vide Steak

Earlier I had posted about the Sous Vide gadget that I got for Christmas and it's first use on tuna and now it was time to give beef a try.  Coming off my five day fast, I wasn’t ready to try steak yet, but Bev had a nice looking NY strip she wanted to cook and I wanted to try out sous vide on it.  She likes her steak to be between medium rare and medium so I set the water temp at 135F, based on the various meat charts.

Rather than using a vacuum bag, the instructions say an ordinary plastic bag can be used so long as it sunk such that all of the air is removed, which is what I did.

When it came out of the bag after about 4¼ hours, it was at 134F internal temperature but I was very surprise at the amount of liquid remaining in the bag as I expected none so I dried it with paper towel and seasoned with Montreal Steak seasoning. 

I lightly coated a cast iron skillet with peanut oil and when it began to smoke I added the steak and seared it for 75 seconds on each side which made a nice crust as can be seen it the pan.

When I cut into it, I was surprised at the doneness level for 135F as it was totally pink and I was expecting redder - it was a little more pink than in the shot.

However, the main objective was achieved as the doneness was the same from edge to edge with very little well done around the edge as when cooked with a more traditional method.

Many of the charts list 135F at medium rare and mine was well past that but I forgot to check the temp after searing but can’t imagine it went up more than a degree or two.  I think the above chart temps are still too high - 125F will not be a cool red center for rare - I believe the top steak is medium rare - warm red center.

It was tender and had a good flavor but I was very disappointed in the texture as it was more dry than I thought it should be, which explains the juices left in the bag.

So am I tossing the machine – absolutely not as I will continue experimenting by using a vacuum bag next time and only cooking to 130F.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


1/29/20 event date

Monday, January 27, 2020

Chicken Parmesan Ala Karina

Our meal-on wheels entrée for this week was Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti and homemade bread and I used the recipe from Café Delights as my starting place.  I generally followed the ingredients list, except I used Ragu for the sauce and I used a different chicken prep and marinating method.  Please stop by Karina’s site for the original recipe and delicious looking shots.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Beef Stew - Our New Go-To

Dawn breaks over Almost Heaven South on a cold January Day.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cheesy Microwave Cauliflower

In support of my weight loss efforts, for some suppers, I eat only a vegetable such as broccoli or Brussels sprouts and for this meal I chose cauliflower.  I decided to use a recipe from Chef Lea Ann which I got a while back and thought that I’d blogged about but could not find so here it is (again).  Check out Lea Ann’s blog for her original recipe that looks like this.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Sous Vide Tuna

For Christmas, our son Rhett wanted to gift us something we would need for the kitchen, which is a major challenge, since we have plenty of stuff and I don’t like most kitchen gadgets but he actually came up with a good one.  One of the popular cooking methods these days is Sous Vide which means “under vacuum” in French and refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes Soupa)

Continuing with my weight-loss, low-carb, Blue Zone, and around-the-world meals, I made up a pot of Greek Lentil Soup using the recipe from Sarah and Tim on their Curious Cuisiniere blog as it seemed to have the right stuff in it.  Since I had 2 cups of lentils, I adjusted their recipe to get the one below with a couple of other revisions.  Check out their blog for the original recipe and more shots like this.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

New Years Day Supper For Good Fortune

In the South, the traditional New Year's meal for good fortune includes black eyed peas, pork, collard greens, and cornbread.  We chose to forego the collards as I’ve never been able to make any that I liked so we just went with the other three.

Hoppin Johns seem to have originated in the South Carolina Low Country when rice was cooked with black eyed peas and for our meal, we used a recipe that we have made before except I used Kentucky Legends Ham rather than andouille to keep the heat level down.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Heading Toward Hip Surgery

I emerged from my doctor visit on Dec. 19 with a surgery date to replace my left hip and a weight that I needed to achieve.  I was pretty disappointed when I left as I was planning to be at the goal weight (47 lb. loss) by Jan 3 with a hoped-for surgery date in mid-January.  As it turned out the doctor was going to be doing medical mission work most of the month (good on him) and he added 10 pounds to the weight loss goal.  Me at my worst last winter in Tombstone, AZ

Monday, January 6, 2020

Around The World To Peru

Christmas week dishes and the need to lose an additional 10 lbs before my hip replacement, following my doctor visit, resulted in my missing the week for my planned around-the world meal.  After looking harder at my list, I decided to go to Peru where ceviche (low-cal and protein rich) is one of the traditional dishes.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Christmas Dinner With Our Friends – Desserts and Presents

My pretty wife sported her elf outfit for Christmas day - rather than making me a gift, I'd just take I'd take her home as my gift any time.