90. Pinch Pinch


Mommy made pineapple tarts recently. I think they were part of the food of Mom and Dad’s youth in Malaysia. Now they are part of mine. She cooks the pineapple jam and makes the pastry, and somehow the two come together. Mommy cuts out the little circles of dough, fills them with pineapple filling and crimps the edges. She has this little tweezer-like implement with serrated edges used only for the purpose of pinching the edges of a pineapple tart.

As I watched Mommy pinch the edges on the tarts recently, I remembered being pinched in the hospital. My social worker at The Place, M, asked me once what my first memory was. The first memory that I’m sure wasn’t a dream was a pretty nurse leaning over my bed railing and pinching me with both hands. Ouch – I can still feel it right below my collarbone. Mommy told me the nurses were always very apologetic about pinching me, but they had to do it to see if I could react. Tanpo explained that if they saw that my reflexes were working, that was good, but a defensive reaction (like if you put your arms up to block the pinch) was better in that it indicates neurological activity.

For a while, neither type of reaction was forthcoming. I just remember being pinched and thinking “Oww,” but not being able to do anything about it. My nurse was very encouraging, though. She told me she knew I could do it, and on the third day after my surgery, I did. Time was running out – everyone was hoping against hope that I’d respond within the critical 72-hour period. My lack of response when my family arrived at the hospital was a bit of a downer for them. But on the morning of the 3rd day I snapped out of it (kind of), and I’ve been stirring the pot ever since.

I’m using the phrase “stirring the pot” figuratively, but that’s also probably what I’m most comfortable doing right now – stirring the pot but not preparing things to be put in the pot. Like I’ve said before, I’m not comfortable using knives yet, and knife skills are essential to cooking. So I make things that do not require sharp objects and if I venture into stove-land it’s under heavy supervision (at my request). So I will not be making pineapple tarts or any of my experimental pies soon. But maybe I should go make some of Ms. B’s chocolate chip Oreos. Or maybe I’ll just go eat some Oreos. I’m really into expediency these days.