Well we are now week 4 in Zoë’s chemotherapy treatments and the two major symptoms she has experienced are fatigue and loss of taste. It seems like just about everything tastes like cardboard. Her go to breakfast, bagels, and cream cheese, tasted like cardboard. My vegetarian lasagna tasted like cardboard. The ginger ale that I made from scratch just tasted like bubbles. The few things that tasted good to her were ice cream and corn tortillas. Not the most nutritious of dishes. Nothing but the ice cream was sweet enough. Everything but the corn tortillas tasted like cardboard. The reality is that none of us wants to eat cardboard.
It has been frustrating trying to find things for her to eat that did not taste like cardboard. So how do you transform things from cardboard to tasty when you have no taste buds? Easy. Salt. You put salt on everything. Bagels and cream cheese – no problem. Let me just dust it with sea salt. Waffles, no problem, salted butter, salt on the waffles, salted butter, and a little more salt sprinkled on the syrup for good measure. No more cardboard.
Learning to cook for her reminded me of this episode of Restaurant Impossible where the owner had his smell and taste buds destroyed during the war. It is amazing what we take for granted. Everything tastes and smells differently when we lose one of those senses.
I have known that salt can be used to help preserve, cure, roast, and heal. I just never knew it could transform food from cardboard to normal for people who are going through chemo.
It should not surprise me that salt has that transformative power. After all it has been used for centuries to remove black energy from people's spirit. Salt has also been used for purification and healing. There is a folk wisdom that says "Salt does what you tell it to." Himalayan rock salt lamps have been used to remove negative energy from the atmosphere. The salt in the lamps is supposed to increase the negative ions in the atmosphere which are supposed to help people feel tranquil and relaxed.
All I know right now is this -- salt has become my friend. It is helping to keep Zoe happy and full and that is keeping both of us tranquil and relaxed. So maybe the sprinkling of it on her food is increasing the negative ions into our kitchen.