Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why GI exams and food don't mix

Isn't "melena" a euphonious word? It sounds like it should be the name of a Greek muse: Polymnia, Terpsichore, Urania, Clio, Melena. Unfortunately, those would be the muses of religious poetry, dance, astronomy, history... and upper GI bleeding. You see, melena, derived from the Greek for "tar," is the black, tarry stool that results when the iron in blood is oxidized as it moves through the ileum and colon, that is, when blood from the upper GI tract is digested lower down. Peptic ulcers, for instance, may cause melena.

Is your appetite whetted yet? No? Too bad, because we're about to talk about eating. I don't have a photo of what I cooked tonight, despite the fact that I was beyond happy with how it tasted. My propensity to avoid actually following recipes in their entirety worked against me. You see, I made this curry nut sauce, except I didn't have any almonds or sour cream but did have many pistachios, so I used all pistachios and omitted the dairy. Result: a sauce of a hue that I shall politely term "dirty chartreuse." To make matters worse, serving it over broccoli instead of cauliflower brought out the bilious gray-green notes. Without mincing words, the meal was reminiscent of vomit--ridiculously delicious, broccoli-containing vomit, but still, nothing you'd look at and think, "Man, I can't wait to dig in!" It's too bad the sauce turned out so ugly, since it would be perfect "company food," subtle and rich and low-maintenance enough to allow time to compose the other elements of a meal.

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