If you’re going to be vain, you have to have a very high pain threshold.
A few weeks ago I went to a dentist for a long overdue overhaul. While pretty much unable to speak due to my tongue and both sides of my mouth being numb, I decided to mention, through slurred and barely comprehensible speech, that I had been thinking about having my teeth whitened.
The dentist didn’t hesitate before saying, ‘Well; you are very low down on the colour palette’. Very low down? I had no idea my smile was so offensive. And what a sales pitch! Who would walk out without making an appointment with a phrase like that! He went on to tell me that I could purchase a ‘take-home kit’ where I’d get okay results or I could come in for an intensive treatment and end up with a much better result.
Reeling from the ‘low-down’ comment I blurted out that clearly I needed the most intensive treatment available. Ten sleeps. That was the earliest I could book in for the treatment. During that time I became obsessed with my teeth and smiled only reluctantly. Carl asked, ‘What are you doing? There’s nothing wrong with your teeth’. I said, ‘Are you blind? I’m low-down on the colour palette’.
The dental nurse told me it was a procedure involving the application of the peroxide and then they would apply intensive lights to enhance the application that would be on for 20-minute intervals and probably just three applications would be all that was required. ’So bring a DVD because we’ll lie you back in the chair and you can relax and watch a movie’.
Now that sounded like a great day out. I went to the DVD store and selected Blue Jasmine, a movie I’ve been wanting to watch for a long time. Love Cate Blanchett. Anyway, they laid me back in the chair and put the separators in and applied all this stuff and then this light came towards me and connected to something in my mouth. Then they turned it on and told me to enjoy the movie. Only it had already been playing for 10 minutes minus the sound and so I’d missed the set-up. Hate that.
And then they turned on the sound but it was too soft so I couldn’t hear it and they’d put glasses on me to block the bright light but they were fogging up and so I couldn’t even see if Cate Blanchett was on screen.
The first 20-minutes of treatment was okay. They then switched off the light and reapplied the solution and put the light on again. But now I was feeling sensations that weren’t pleasant. Every now and then it was like an electric shock went through the nerve centre of one of my teeth. And it was unpredictable. I couldn’t prepare myself as I had no idea when the shock might occur.
After Round Two they asked me how I was feeling. As I couldn’t talk I indicated that I’d like a pen and a piece of paper. I told them I was getting electric shock sensations in my teeth. They told me I could stop the treatment and go home with some whitening solution to finish off the procedure, or I could do the third round that would give me a better result. If I wasn’t so vain it would have been an easy decision. But that’s the problem. I didn’t want a good result I wanted a great result.
So I indicated that I’d go ahead with the third round. I didn’t get as many electric shocks during that round of treatment but the few I did get lasted longer and were more intense. They did have a very good dental nurse who kept letting me know just how many more minutes I had to endure.
I thought that once the treatment was finished the pain and sensation would finish too. Ahhh, but no. I was advised I’ll have this sensitivity for another 24-48 hours and was told to take some Panadol. In that time I can’t have anything that will stain my teeth. So that’s no tea, coffee, berries, sauce, soy sauce, or tomatoes. And here’s the killer – no red wine. Never mind, I’ll make mine a G&T.
When the nerves in my teeth settle down, I’ll look forward to sharing with you my smile, that is now off the colour palette!
Taking my eyes off myself for just a moment, I realised it’s very nearly Valentine’s Day. My Alfie was due on Valentine’s Day but let me down and arrived over a week later. In this house we don’t do a lot to celebrate the day apart from a date-night that usually involves a movie and dinner. But I do like to cook something those I love will enjoy and these rosewater meringues are exactly what my loved-ones will enjoy.
Rosewater Meringues with Raspberry Sauce and Cream
Makes: 12 meringues (but six serves)
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: Meringues would have to be one of the best desserts for the price ever. They can be made for just a few dollars.
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 2 tspns cornflour
- 1 tspn rosewater
- 1 tspn white vinegar
- 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
- a few drops pink food dye
- a sprinkle of dried edible flowers
- a sprinkle of red edible glitter
For the Raspberry Sauce:
- 300gms frozen raspberries
- 2 tbspns castor sugar
- 2 tspns cornflour mixed in 1 tbspn warm water
For the Cream:
- 300mls thickened cream
Preheat oven to 120C (250F).
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Use an upturned glass and a pencil to create 12 circles approximately 6cms (2.5 inches) in diameter. Turn baking paper over so no one gets lead poisoning!
In a clean, dry bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tbspn at a time. Continue to beat until the mixture is thick and glossy. Add cornflour, rosewater, vinegar, vanilla and food dye and whisk well.
Place mixture into a piping bag with a large star tip nozzle. Pipe 12 meringues onto the circles. Sprinkle with edible flowers and then glitter.
Place in oven for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave in oven to cool completely.
For the raspberry sauce:
Place raspberries and sugar in a saucepan and heat until sugar has dissolved and raspberries are mushy. Remove from heat and put mixture through a sieve to remove all seeds. Return sauce to the saucepan. Add cornflour and water mixture and stir through. Continue to stir over a low heat until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
For the cream:
Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Place cream on the base of one meringue and raspberry sauce on the other then join together.
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