Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Teen Angst? More like Teen Ache

Being a teenager brings with it a lot of changes. New experiences, new capabilities. Some exciting, some just painful.

Hopes may not be able to be fully realized. That sooo cute boy may not have reached that necessary level of maturity yet. Acne (need I say more?). And that credit card does have an eventual limit.

But these sorts of pains don’t really last that long. New hopes form, boys become less gangly, acne eventually recedes, and the credit card bucket gets refilled for another binge at American Eagle, or Hollister, or The Closet or Abercrombie. Yes, I know them all.

But one special pain seems to last longer. Years. An eternity. A pain that flares up every few weeks (no not that), aches, then recedes a bit, transforming into more of a social pain for the interim.

And I guess you have to do this. God forbid anyone has to go through life looking like Austin Powers. At least from the mouth department. So around this age, girls and boys go through two year of this special teen ache punishment.

There is certainly a law in southern California outlawing bad teeth. It defines you as a social pariah. An outcast. Jerry Springer material. You may be forced to migrate out of the area at some point.

People here polish, whiten, bleach, cap, and do everything imaginable to ensure a glaringly perfect white smile. It’s an obsession. New techniques are discussed almost as frequently as breast enhancement operations and Botox. I think it’s the real reason people here have to wear sunglasses – from the glare off all these polished teeth.

So when teengirl gets her braces tightened every few weeks, with the inevitable ache in the jaw, something easy to eat is called for. After a day or so, it is usually more or less gone, but on that evening, and into the next day, it’s pretty miserable.

With that in mind, I finally got the ingredients together to try the Fennel soup from . The flavors sounded good, and after cooking for a while, everything would be plenty soft.

The soup turned out great. A nice balance, with a good rosemary punch. The only modifications I made (of course I can’t just make a recipe as written!) were the addition of some epazote leaves (I wanted to see if the anti-gas properties of the leaves were really true) and some sausages, which I cooked along with the soup to ensure teenboy didn’t starve. The sausages added their own flavor, of course, but I think the original flavor of the soup still predominated. The epazote leaves, it’s hard to say. They have such a unique flavor. You could tell they were there more as a very slight aftertaste. I served it with just a fresh baguette I had warmed in the oven (although teenboy served his on top of the inevitable rice – where does it all go!?).

The recipe can be found .

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Blogger ilva said...

I don't even like perfect teeth but two out of three children are wearing braces here, mine that is, because of strange teeth. But what a nice person you are 1. because you make special food for them, something I never ever thought about (I'm a mamma snaturata as they say here!) and 2. posting my soup! I like the additions, might try them myself!

1:40 AM  
Blogger surfindaave said...

Ilva, your soup recipe was great! I can't quite imagine what 'snaturata' translates to, but it sounds much too harsh for someone able to express such beauty through your pictures!

1:03 AM  

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