It’s been a few days, well, four days to be exact, since the….anniversary. It’s not really a pleasant one and I’d like to keep the memories of the incident buried. But since it’s been a year, I might as well remember it.
Last year, 10/10/10, I had undergone my first surgery for appendicitis.
Even if I’m a nurse, the experience of being a patient about to go under the knife is something I’d really not repeat again. Who knew that a really painful tummy ache that made me miss school for a day would develop into a potentially life threatening condition that made me miss my finals.
The most vivid memory from that experience would be me on the operating room table, talking to the anesthesiologist. Because the surgeon didn’t arrive yet, we engaged in small talk for a while. Him asking me about my course, me responding, then the next thing I know, I’m waking up a few hours later, groggy and in my room. The operation was done. I swear it was just like blinking. The first few words I heard was from my anesthesiologist, who told my mom that he had to give me medicine because my BP fell during the operation. Creepy really. But the thought of the whole “blink and it’s done” moment was slightly cool.
The next few days were painstakingly difficult for me. I had no concept on what time and day it was. I couldn’t eat, not that I felt the need to eat. Don’t even get me started on my elimination pattern.
Anyway, my tiny refrigerator was stocked with food I couldn’t eat. Mostly it came from Aunty Nitz’s bakeshop, the bakery that sells really tasty egg pie with a filling like the Macau egg tarts I love. There was no egg pie but there were plenty of individually sliced bread puddings. When my friends and classmates visited me, they were the ones who finished all of it in one sitting. Maybe they were milking my situation for all its worth but no, they care about me. I hope. (They care about me. They care about me. They care about me….)
So to remember the day that my diseased appendix was taken out…I made bread pudding.
And this isn’t like the Aunty Nitz variety, where it was one homogeneous mixture. I wanted to honor the humble pandesal (proudly local Filipino bread) by toasting it with butter first. Then mixing it with the custard mixture. This adds another layer of texture to the otherwise plain bread pudding. This is really simple and pandesal can be substituted for any bread that you fancy. What I really like about it is that it is not cloyingly sweet. So I’d enjoy it while I can.
I’d like to dedicate this post to to Jam (who also shared her lecture notes for my consumption), Riez, Jad, Camille, Juneth, Yana, Floyd and all my friends and classmates who remembered me while is was in it for the long haul. It wasn’t easy but here I am one year later, alive and well, blogging about it.
- 3 large pan de sal
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar + more (to your liking) for the cinnamon sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup melted butter, or enough to butter the bread and grease the ramekins
- 1 tsp cinnamon (or more for the cinnamon sugar)
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease three small ramekins with melted butter
- Using a bread knife, slice the pan de sal into half an inch slices. Brush both sides with butter and allow to toast in an over toaster for 2 – 3 minutes or until crunchy.
- Whisk the eggs with the sugar until fully incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla extract.
- Arrange the toasted bread slices on the ramekins. If pieces are too large, you may slice them in half.
- Pour the milk and egg mixture over bread slices and fill until halfway (or 3/4ths) full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (to make: just mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl until the sugar takes on the cinnamon-y color well)
- Bake it in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes until the top is golden brown.