After being (relatively) injury-free for the last few months, I’ve done it again. This time, I’ve broken a tooth, and oh my, it is so painful.

And, of course, my dentist can’t get me in until after Thanksgiving.

What this has meant, obviously, is that I can’t eat real food. My diet consists of lots of soft, mushy foods, like oatmeal. I have the diet of an infant.

One very important lesson I have learned is to avoid watching cooking competition shows. Not only does it make me hungry, it also reminds me of all the things that I’m missing.

For instance, one episode of the show I watched featured the competing chefs in a barbecue challenge. I got to watch them not only select choice cuts of beef (oh, tomahawk steak!), but also watch the judges eat their creations. And comment on how delicious the meals were. (The filet mignon was especially juicy and tender. Not tender enough for me to be able to eat it, I’d bet.)

Breakfast challenge: eggs Benedict (yum). Can’t eat that. Fruit salad with lots of fresh apple. Can’t eat that. Homemade granola. Definitely can’t eat that.

Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Wellington. So sad, I won’t be eating that anytime soon.

Bottom line: I’m trying to stay away from food shows. It’s just too depressing.

Now Thanksgiving is coming up, and I usually look forward to the day. Our typical menu includes the turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, cranberries, and pies (pumpkin and pecan). Obviously my choices will be limited. I will be restricted to the mashed potatoes and dressing.

I guess instead of pie I can always eat pudding. The dessert of champions.

My mother, usually so sympathetic, and usually so helpful, suggested that I throw everything into my blender and have a Thanksgiving shake. (She was kidding. I think.)

While this would, in fact, address my issue and allow me to experience all the flavors of a full Thanksgiving dinner, the thought of a turkey-corn-green bean shake is just too awful and gross to contemplate.

Mom also proposed those nutrition shakes. I refuse to bow to this idea. Though if the shake company made them in, say, pecan pie flavor, that just might tempt me.

Until this tooth is fixed, I will just be thankful that I can actually eat the mashed potatoes and not have to suck my meal through a straw.

But I will say this: Boyfriend Billy is going to have to freeze the leftovers. Because once I do get my tooth fixed and can finally eat real food again, I am going to fall on that turkey like a ravenous zombie starved for brains.

Tiny blessings.

Stephanie Ratts GRISSOM is a Herald correspondent.

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