Tea and toast

cast from naplesI returned from my trip to Italy (with dear friend Cathy Mihalik) with a new ‘Frutta di Italia’ apron — and a very heavy full-arm plaster cast!

amalfi trailHiking down a steep and beautiful trail (Sentiero Pennino, part mule track, from the wonderful agriturismo in the hills, Serafina, to the town of Bomerano), I slipped on some loose gravel by la grotta di Santa Barbara.

I stuck out my left hand to cushion the fall and — BAM! — broken wrist and a displaced radius bone. (In orthopedic jargon, this very common route to a wrist fracture is nicknamed FOOSH for Fall On Out Stretched Hand).

boneThe next day, in a hospital outside Naples, the orthopedic doctor pulled the bone into place without anesthetic (ouch) and gave me a plaster cast from above the elbow to below the first joints of my fingers.

Still, we continued the trip –fortunately for me, Cathy is a registered nurse–and had a great time. After I got the cast we went to eat cheap and delicious pizza at Sorbillo, the genuine article. Here we are in amazing Napoli the day after the hospital/cast experience:

galleria, napoli

Galleria, Naples

About that cast: “Positively medieval,” my friend Nia called it. The orthopedic nurse in the U.S. updated the description a little, but said she hadn’t seen the like since the 1970s. She cut off the cast, plaster dust flying, and discarded it with a look of disgust. “Some things are better left behind,” she said. The only thing I miss about the cast is the charming picture Cathy drew of a shepherdess and lamb.


The worst part? When  I met with the orthopedic physician at home two-and-a-half weeks after the fall — and learned that the bone had not healed at all. In fact, it looked worse than the day I fell!

I was scheduled for surgery subito (immediately).


Well, I plan to write a post about the frustrations, challenges and amusements of one-handed cooking soon.

But today I am just lazing about, recuperating from yesterday’s surgery and thinking about what a delicious duo Steve made for me when we came home from our 9-to-5 day at the hospital.

I’d had nothing to eat or drink all day and I was a little weak and woozy.

It was very simple but Steve made it perfectly: tea. just how I like it (PG Tips with milk) and buttered toast (multi-grain from our excellent local bakery, Breadfarm).

toastteaMaybe it was because of the trauma or the hunger or the appreciation of Steve’s kindness, or all those things rolled into one.

All I know is, that tea and toast was so delicious it seemed like the best thing I had ever eaten.  And perhaps it was.



Filed under bread and pizza, musings

9 responses to “Tea and toast

  1. Rachel Hunter

    Glad to know you are home now.

    • Martha Dyck

      Just in case you haven’t heard, it’s been an incredible mushroom year! Jim and I have gathered enough chanterelles to freeze, and had them in omelettes, pasta, etc. Didn’t get into the mushroom ID class again.
      You have such adventures! I have enjoyed your blog a lot….
      Martha, from mushrooming last year

      • Phil de Faye


  2. Edie Dillon

    So glad you are home and well. It sounds like a lovely trip, and that you are very brave to have gone on with that wrist not healing and hurting for 2 weeks. Yah, tea and toast is sometimes the best medicine.

  3. sjshigematsu

    Thanks for the post about my sis and your trip, sorry to hear about your wrist and hope it’s finally on the mend.

  4. Joan

    Toby, So sorry to hear about the injury to your poor little polso. Italy leads the world in so many areas, so what is with the decades out of date medical procedure? And it is not as if Naples is some backwater village with four people and six goats! But you are a viaggiatrice forte! I think that toast has unrecognized medicinal properties.

  5. Diane LaDuke

    So sorry to hear about your injury…healing light and love to you…

  6. lemonodyssey

    Thanks to all for the well wishes. Poco a poco (little by little) I am healing!

  7. alex21

    It seems that you broke your wrist very bad?Did you take the cast off?Hope you feel better and dont have any pain.

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