Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feeling Cheeky

Have you ever burned your tongue? How about the roof of your mouth?

I'm guessing you're saying "Yep, I've done both of those."

So, let's go one step further: Have you ever burned your cheek?

Last night, while making dinner, I was attempting - for the second time - to get the black quinoa to turn out correctly. Unfortunately, since we bought this from the bulk section of a Co-op, there were no instructions with it. With the "normal" quinoa, there were directions, though, so the first time I made it, I followed those directions. We ended up with oversized, mostly crunchy, poppy seeds.

But last night I had doubled the cooking time, and added a bunch of extra water. So I was pretty sure that I was on the right track. It had boiled most of the way down, and there was almost no water left, and I figured I should check to see how crunchy it still was.

Like an absolute idiot, I decided to do that by putting a partial spoonful of the stuff directly in my mouth. After all, I was thinking "If I served this to myself on a plate, it would be the same temperature, so why not...?" I think I blew on it, first, but otherwise it went directly from pan to mouth.

I closed my mouth on it, and knew immediately that spitting it out would have been the best option, but I decided to give it a quick run around the mouth to check the texture and then swallow. Why? I may never know.

What happened, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, is that I moved the stuff from on my tongue to over between my cheek and my gums. And it hurt. And I swallowed it and swore some. And I whined a bit about it to Christopher later on in the evening.

Today, I started to feel the "oh, I burned that part of my mouth" feelings. It's the same feeling as when you bite the inside of your cheek, really. That feeling of random pieces kind of sticking out so that your tongue and teeth hit them at weird times. Only this is kind of the entire left side of my mouth including my gums, which means I feel it in my teeth, if that's possible. And - among the weirdnesses - it's causing me to create more saliva than usual, so I keep feeling like I might be drooling in the same way that you do after some trips to the dentist.

I've taken precautions and gargled with antiseptic mouthwash. And I've rinsed out my mouth a lot throughout the day. I suspect that tomorrow - most likely - I'll start to have the "that piece of skin is kind of peeling off" feeling that you get when you've burned the roof of your mouth. And I'm hopeful that the entire weird sensation will be done by the weekend at the latest.

And the next time I'm working with quinoa... well... let's just say that I think I might have to find a new way to test for doneness.

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