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Day 298: Good Things

October 25, 2007

Todays (admittedly modest) plans were thwarted when L had to make an emergency visit to the dentist for acute toothache as a result of losing a filling somewhere along the way. We began calling the dental office at 8am (after a glorious 2 hours and 50 minutes sleep on my part) and when no one had answered and no voicemail message played an hour and a half later, we called our insurance company. We were told that we could go to any dentist as an emergency visit, but that the maximum payout for treatment would be $50. In dental terms we figured that might buy some Ibuprofen, or a sample of toothpaste, but it probably wouldn’t cover the cost of a new filling. So we decided to drive out to the dentist, on the off chance that their phone was just being temperamental. When we got there we discovered that the office had relocated so we set about tracking down the new location. Our old dentist was already 20 minutes drive from us, but the new office seemed to be somewhere out in the woods of Wisconsin. When we got there we discovered that our old dentist had just moved his practice, but now he had actually retired. The good news was that L could be seen immediately by one of the other dentists in the practice, and he had his cavity filled. The bad news was that despite not being informed of any of the changes, and despite the fact that the insurance company also had no idea about the changes, it seemed to be apparent that we no longer had dental insurance because we hadn’t filed for a change in provider. Obviously we didn’t file to change dentist because we didn’t know that in the last month, ours had stopped working. And then we found out that the only dentist that we can go to who is covered by our insurance is our old dentist back in the town where L works. 65 miles from where we live. That man was locally known as “the laughing dentist” because of his unnerving high pitched laugh which punctuated every word he uttered. The man was kind of terrifying in the same way that clowns are scary. We won’t be going back there. Anyway, so it seemed that L would have to pay out of pocket for the treatment but then a truly nice thing happened. The people at the dentist felt so bad about the situation that they absorbed almost $250 worth of charges, leaving us to pay $23. That was so nice, and so very unexpected.

I am now wading through health plan information to figure out what we need to change to find a dentist that we can actually visit. Getting motivated to go to the dentist is hard enough, but a 130 mile round trip with two wee ones is just never going to happen. It would almost make sense if we lived somewhere ridiculously rural, but we live in one of the two cities in the “Twin Cities”. That’s two cities side by side. That’s a lot of dentists.

Anyway, moving on as I’m boring even myself writing about that, this evening we made Grilled Steak Sandwich… I Mean Salad- No! Sandwich! Awful name aside, this is an excellent meal. It’s quick, easy, tasty, rich and requires minimal preparation or clean up. The steak is briefly marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper, then grilled. The salad is simply tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and red onions with cubes of bread. The bread was supposed to be day-old bread, soaked in water then squeezed dry. In fairness we still haven’t tried the wet-then-dry-the-bread methodology, as we can’t work out why you would do that. Our bread was well-moistened simply by the salad dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

The salad was excellent; it was very fresh and substantial without being stodgy. Unlike many salads, this didn’t feel like a side-dish or a space-filler; it was the highlight of the meal with the steak as a bonus topping. This meal we would definitely make again, or certainly the salad element. The steak was tasty, the marinade was pleasant, but the steak overall was pretty standard. Good but not exceptional. Altogether though, this was a very good meal, and a most welcome break from chicken.

Tomorrow we start a run of 4 versions of various “rolls” which I believe are made in Phyllo/ Filo pastry. They sound interesting, or at least the versions seem very different, which is never a bad thing. First off will be Chipotle Chicken Rolls with Avocado Dipping Sauce. My main ambition between now and then is to get like 6 hours sleep at least. It’s the little things.

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1 Comment

  • Reply The Home Cook October 26, 2007 at 11:57 am

    I’m glad L got his tooth fixed. How nice of them to absorb most of the cost!

    I’ve been meaing to try those chicken rolls with the avocado sauce. I can’t wait to hear if they’re any good.

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