Sweet Potato Salad and…’Wanna Be Friends on Facie?’

A couple of years ago, Arabella went to a ‘gathering’ (under 18’s word for ‘party’).  I wasn’t too keen on the idea because I didn’t know the host’s mother very well but acquiesced when I realised the gathering was being held close to home so if anything untoward happened I would at least be close by.

Well something untoward did happen.

Sweet Potato and Baby English Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts

At about 11pm Arabella was in the backyard running around without her shoes and stepped on a broken bottle.  Her foot was slashed open and there was no stopping the blood.  The host’s mother wrapped the foot in a towel and at this point decided against informing me and instead called the paramedics.

The ambulance was parked in the same suburb so it didn’t have far to travel and arrived almost instantly.  They told Arabella that she needed to go to hospital for stitches but because the emergency room was currently very busy it would be better to go home to bed and head to hospital first thing in the morning.  They bandaged her foot, gave her a bill for nearly $800.00 and left saying they couldn’t give her a ride home.

It was at this point that the host’s mother decided to phone me.  I was sound asleep when the phone rang and this vague woman started casually informing me of the slash to the foot and the copious blood loss and the ambulance men who were ‘so gorgeous’ (single mum dating a fireman so men in uniform clearly appeal), and ultimately, how Arabella was stuck for a ride home.  Could I come and get her.

As I drove to the house I couldn’t understand why this silly woman hadn’t phoned me before calling the paramedics because I’ve always held on to the policy that if a child is injured in your care the first thing you do is phone the parents and ask, ‘What would you like me to do?’

I arrived at the house and pretty much carried Arabella out to the car and then into her room once we’d arrived home.

In the morning I took Arabella to hospital and we were taken straight through to a single room and then a very lovely young male doctor from the UK came in to take care of her foot.  He removed the bandages and said it was quite a long and deep gash requiring quite a few stitches and a tetanus shot.  He cleaned her foot and then went to inject some local anaesthetic and that’s when Arabella created the biggest scene saying there was no way she was having any needles in her foot or a tetanus shot without a general.  And I was saying to her, ‘Stop being ridiculous, you’re quite happy to go out and get a piercing, what’s the difference?’  Because Arabella was going through a stage of trying out different places to put a stud.  We’re past that now.

But Arabella wouldn’t back down and so the frazzled doctor left the room and returned about 10 minutes later with a large cylinder of happy gas for his hysterical patient.  He’d had to go quite a distance to get it and I didn’t ask where he got it in case he’d removed it from some poor woman in the labor ward.

Arabella took to the happy gas immediately and wouldn’t put it down.  She started telling the doctor how good looking he was and he was looking quite embarrassed and then she asked if she could put her arm around him while I took a photo of them.  The doctor agreed to be in the photo but asked if she could keep her hands to herself because he was a professional and she a minor.  But Arabella wouldn’t keep her hands to herself.  I managed to take a photo on my phone and I thought we’d hit the low-point but then Arabella asked the doctor, ‘Do you wanna be friends on facie?’  I suggested we turn down the gas and increase the oxygen.

That’s enough gas, Arabella

The doctor sutured Arabella’s foot and she didn’t feel a thing.  When it was all over she honestly looked disappointed, especially when she was disconnected from her cylinder of gas.

Hasn’t quite drained the cylinder

And Arabella and I now have a rule about gatherings, footwear and inappropriate behaviour towards good-looking doctors.

Have you ever made inappropriate advances to a doctor while under the influence of drugs?

Arabella loves salads and this is her favourite and and she even asks me to make her this to take to school.

Sweet Potato and Baby Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts

Sweet Potato and Baby English Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts

Serves: 4 – 6

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  This is an inexpensive salad except pine nuts can be very expensive

  • 500gms sweet potato
  • 2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
  • 250gms baby English spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 punnet tomatoes, washed and halved (I used Strawberry tomatoes)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts


  • 2 tbspns lime juice
  • 2 tbspns soy sauce
  • 1-2 tspns palm sugar
  • 1 small red chilli deseeded and finely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 180C/375F.  Peel sweet potato and chop into bite sized pieces.  Line a tray with baking paper and put sweet potato on tray in an even layer.  Toss in olive oil and season with pepper.  Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until cooked.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Arranged spinach leaves on a platter.  Top with tomato halves and sweet potato then scatter over the pine nuts.

For the dressing:  mix ingredients together making sure palm sugar dissolves.  Pour over salad.




  1. No, but I took a turn for the nurse.

  2. OH MY GOD I am laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants. That is HILARIOUS!!!!!! 🙂

  3. There was NO way he was going to stick a needle inside the gaping hole in my foot.
    That doctor was such a gem!

  4. Dear Charlie Louie,

    Hilarious!! If there’s a gorgeous lady doctor, I wouldn’t mind stepping on a broken bottle 🙂

  5. Ha! She does seem very happy on that gas!

  6. Oh my goodness. Love your stories.

    The salad presentation is flawless, as always!

  7. Loved the story, except the part about the stitches. Poor Arabella–doesn’t seem like much fun, even with a cute doctor. I also really like this recipe. I love how sweet potatoes are finding their way everywhere these days. This looks interesting and tasty!

  8. I agree Arabella… I wouldn’t have liked it either!

    I haven’t done anything inappropriate that I can remember but the anethetist when I got my wisdom teeth out was rather cute.

  9. Haha, I can safely say that I’ve never made inappropriate advances to any medical personnel – I’ve had my share of chances though. I guess most of the people who’ve ended up treating me always ended up being dudes… for shame!

  10. Oh the unpredictable nature of the teenager. ( how nice to be back there with no rules!). I am rather surprised you didnt give that Mother an ear ful. I love sweet potato and pinenuts they really are perfect together.

  11. Classic, the doctor looks like he is finding the whole situation hilarious too!

  12. How funny, but I would have been really annoyed with that mother. Glad it all ended well and with a delicious salad. GG

  13. That gas makes me very ill, so no problems like Arabella! But when I woke up from my general last month, the doctor diplomatically told me I had been quite ‘combative’. I had been restrained to protect my shoulder surgery, so no wonder I woke up swinging when I couldn’t move! My instincts for self preservation us quite well developed 🙂
    I love when the edges of the sweet potato just starts to get over brown and caramelized, yummo!

  14. Lol! Alas – no cute enough doctors around! However, I do remember acting ridiculously enough that they took away my ‘self-administer’ button for the pain meds after surgery once… 😉

  15. I’m sure Arabella would keep you on your toes 🙂
    Never happened to me but then I am likely to kick any doctor no matter how good looking if he came at me with a needle….hate hate hate needles!

  16. My what a funny story! Glad things turned out ok though and from the photo, that doctor does look pretty handsome. 😀 The salad looks great too. 🙂

  17. From now on, I will only refer to Facebook as “Facie”. Thank Arabella for me.
    Excited to have found your blog!

  18. LOL!!! So funny!! She looks so happy in the picture, but wait, the second picture he looked happy too! =) I love the sweet potato dishes and this one sounds delish!

  19. Wonder if the doc though he was on a hidden camera show…
    Fantastic salad and dressing.
    🙂 Mandy

  20. Those photos are hilarious! And look at how red he is turning! 😛

  21. I’m sure in a few years Arabella will be horrified with this post but for now I’m glad she’s taking it so well. 🙂 I have a 27 yr old nephew (never married, no kids) so I’ve had some experiences of my own with him that he’d be horrified if I shared with the world. I don’t even use his name on my LJ posts … he’s “the nephew”.

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