Yesterday was a looooong day. What I thought would be about a six hour day of surgery slowly turned into thirteen hours when Mr. B's surgeon determined he needed to repair his knee along with his ankle/foot!
I'll try to start at the beginning but all of the details have become a little fuzzy. It seems Mr. B minorly (is that a word?) injured his ankle in his college pole vaulting days, which wasn't serious enough at the time to do anything about, but must have weakened it enough that over the years that it was more susceptible to strains and sprains. So about a year ago it was causing him enough pain that he decided that he needed to get it checked out.
A little side note....Birmingham, Alabama is home to the best Orthopaedic Center in the country....The Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center. If you're a sports fan at all, you've probably heard of Dr. James Andrews. He's been called "the most valuable player in all sports". This dude has saved the careers of Roger Clemens, Troy Aikman, Charles Barkley, Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, and most recently (unfortunately) Brett Favre.
ASMOC employs the top Orthopedic surgeons and we were fortunate enough to have one of the best foot and ankle specialists taking care of Mr. B., Dr. Angus McBryde. As I said, Mr. B had his first consultation with Dr. McBryde over a year ago. Doc said he needed to have surgery and to get it scheduled. Ummm. For various business reasons, it kept being put off. About three months ago, I forced the issue and he got it scheduled. Fast forward to Thursday night....the night before surgery. Doc calls the house and wants to talk to hubs. Says "It's been over a year since the last MRI, we need to do another before the surgery tomorrow to make sure nothing has changed." Hubs mentions that he's been having some major knee pain on the same leg so Doc says he'll MRI the knee while they're in there.
So they do and Doc says he's got a torn miniscus and "it's been a long time since he's done a knee, but should be no problem to take care of it." Ummmm. Hubs and I look at each other a little scared! Now, Doc is on the verge of retirement and has been around a while but it's sounding like he a knee rookie???? WTF? And to quote the nurses in the pre-op room, "Dr. McBryde is doing a knee? That's weird." Huh?
So Doc comes in for the pre-op consult and hubs says "So, the nurses think it's really weird that you're doing a knee (chuckle, chuckle)." Doc.."Really? Well, it's been a while. Don't really do them anymore, but I guess I've probably done over 10,000 knees in my time. Should be ok!" I'm like...Holla! 10,000 practice sessions should be fine!
Hubs made it through, but it was much more extensive that we originally thought...a couple incisions in the knee, some major ankle reconstruction....he had two dead tendons...and his two little toes now have pins in them. He's in a hard cast and not allowed to put any weight on the ankle for six weeks. It's tough to not use your leg at all for six weeks. Have I mentioned that Mr. B is 6'7" tall so maneuvering around on crutches is going to be interesting!
It's now been 24 hours and I have to say, he's being a real trooper. He's in major pain, so most of the time he's doped up and sleeping, but he also has to get up and move around every couple of hours to ward off blood clots. Needless to say, he can't function very well by himself. Going to be a real test of our 20 year marriage!!! You all know how men are when they're sick ;)
To make him feel a little better, I made him some of Tyler Florence's Ultimate Roasted Tomato Soup. Who doesn't want some tomato soup when they're feeling pitiful?
I upped the ante a little bit and made some of the topping from Barefoot Contessa's Pappa al Pomodoro....you know the stuff...croutons, bacon and basil.
This was delicious. Here's the recipe.
Roasted Tomato Soup
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 small yellow onions, sliced
Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, optional
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons butter (I only used 2 tbsp)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
3/4 cup heavy cream, optional
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray. If using vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the vine. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.
Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later). Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a splash of heavy cream.
Pappa Al Pomidoro (topping)
2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved
For the topping:
3 cups (1-inch) diced ciabatta cubes
2 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, chopped
24 to 30 whole fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
For the topping, place the ciabatta cubes, pancetta, and basil on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, until all the ingredients are crisp. The basil leaves will turn dark and crisp, which is perfectly fine. Reheat the soup, if necessary, beat with a wire whisk until the bread is broken up. Stir in the Parmesan and taste for seasoning. Serve hot sprinkled with the topping and drizzled with additional olive oil.