Apollonia and Applesauce

May 27, 2011

There are other reasons for today’s post aside from the remarkable and unintentional alliteration.

Two days ago, I had four wisdom teeth extracted. At least, I hope they were extracted–I was unconscious during the entire process and was not allowed to see my teeth afterward because they had become a bio-hazard. Allegedly I was a very good patient, I have a letter from the surgeon to prove it. Now I look like this and cannot eat solids.

My grandfather is very particular about applesauce. He meticulously selects a blend of Fuji’s, Pink Ladies, and Golden Delicious. He insists upon whole cinnamon sticks as well as ground Vietnamese cinnamon. And the apples must be peeled perfectly, a mere speck of red or yellow is grounds for dismissal of anyone foolish enough to volunteer in this process. His applesauce is delicious.

I am much more laissez-faire, and actually prefer to include the peels (though in this particular instance, this was a mistake). After cooking things down for an hour or so, I pureed it all in a small Cuisinart and had it with similarly pureed oatmeal.

Who to share such humble gruel?

Apollonia is the patron saint of toothaches. She earned this title by having all her teeth knocked out around in Alexandria around 250 AD. Some say her teeth were all pulled out, which sounds, if anything, more painful. She then jumped into a fire, was miraculously unscathed, and so had her head chopped off instead.

While searching for a dining companion I learned that the real heyday for mouth pain was in the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century after the proliferation of refined flour, but before the adoption of nitrous oxide. In ancient Rome, the time of Apollonia, people had fairly decent teeth due to a diet containing relatively few simple carbohydrates.

As you can see, Apollonia is a bit swollen. She is also holding a very large molar in some frightening looking pincers. I gave her an ice pack and some applesauce-oatmeal mush. I told her about the miracles of modern dentures and dentistry. Soon we would both be gnawing on steak and chewing bubblegum.


3 Responses to “Apollonia and Applesauce”

  1. Bobby said

    Sounds like you made her some applesauce she couldn’t refuse.

  2. Nancy Hale said

    As always, your blogs intrigue me to find out more about your dining partners. I found this website to be very informative: http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-apollonia-the-patron-saint-of-dentistry/

    I will say the prayer to Saint Apollonia for your swift recovery.

  3. shelly said

    I’m glad you are back to knawing on crusty bread avec fromage!

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