Great expectations…

It had been a while. A long while, actually. And… if the bird would like to cover its ears… I was really fancying roast chicken. I don’t usually cook much for me, you see. I have cooked at my son’s house pretty much every day for the past decade or so anyway, so coming home to roast a chicken for one doesn’t really cut it.

The dog, of course, would disagree. In her eyes, I am not roasting a chicken ‘just for me’… it is mainly for her, but I might get leftovers. And, on the odd occasion that she has been ill, that has happened. This time it is me who is unwell and I fancied roast chicken.

So, I duly bought and roasted, smelling the enticing aroma as it filled the kitchen. Simply cooked with a little olive oil, seasoning and herbs… nothing fancy. A few potatoes and some carrots… my appetite is not what it should be, so why overface it? Even though the thought of making a nice , fluffy, Yorkshire pudding was tempting. It isn’t as if I am on a diet or anything. On the contrary… having eaten everything I have fancied and still lost fourteen pounds this week, I can not only afford to indulge, I am almost duty-bound to do so.

With apologies and profound gratitude to the bird on my plate, I have to say it looked wonderful. Smelled wonderful… and tasted like the contents of a chemical waste plant. About the same as pretty much everything else I have tried to eat this week. I was devastated. I had just so fancied a bit of chicken…

I expect it is the pills. I’m told it will get worse if I start chemotherapy. Maybe I should have made a curry.

But there was nothing wrong with the chicken… except, I’ll admit, from the chicken’s personal perspective, with which I can currently empathise. The expectation caused the disappointment. Yet why, after a week of such disappointments, should I have expected anything else?

Hope they say springs eternal… possibly, though, not from a roast chicken breast… but in more general terms at least. Maybe that is the problem? That while there is the possibility for things to go in a different direction from the one we expect, we always lean towards the more hopeful sde, rather than accepting that actually, we might not get the change we would prefer?

But maybe it is exactly those limitations that we need in order to truly appreciate what we have?  Did I, whilst volubly bemoaning the morphine-tainted chicken, once think to be grateful I was here and able to moan that the fowl tasted foul? That I was not only here to eat the stuff, but well enough to have bought it and cooked it myself too? And still had the breath, and the luxury of choice, with which to complain about the taste?

Even in the relatively wealthy Western society in which I live, there is poverty. There have been times in my life when any food at all would have been good… so to rail against how a bird tastes to me, when the dog and my friend both thoroughly enjoyed it, seems churlish… and yet the reasoning for that was all too easily forgotten.

It is only ever expectations that disappoint. And they are our own, painted on consciousness by hope and habit, perhaps, but constructed nonetheless out of the chimaera of a future yet to come into existence.

There is nothing wrong with hope… nothing at all. It is the carrot that draws us forward to attempt the impossible and without it, the world and our lives would be a very much poorer and bleaker place. But there is always another side to the blade… and we have to remember that the potential for disappointment goes hand in hand with the expectations raised by hope.

Even so, I really hope the chicken works better cold in a  sandwich…

84 thoughts on “Great expectations…

  1. I cannot know the hell you’re going through, I can only pray that you get through it and you can find some normalcy again.

    What I do know is what it’s like to lose the sense of taste and smell. I lost that in April 2019 when I came down with a mystery flu/virus/whatever that I caught at the doctor’s office when I went for a blood test. The sense of taste return, and most of my sense of smell — but I am still unable to smell my favorite flowers, 4-o’clocks. It is like losing part of myself to be unable to enjoy the things I once took for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is such a silly, small thing, in some ways…but I really did fancy that chicken, Joelle 😉
      In the grand scheme. the loss is a small one, but our lives are made up of the chains of small and seemingly insignificant things. I can really understand hownot smelling your favourite flowers can get to you. x

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s no fun or fair is it, maybe a curry would be the ticket? You need mustard and mayonnaise mixed or pickle to liven the sandwiches fingers crossed! As ever you meet the disappointment with such grace…I see Ani is licking her lips 💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Im hoping the sandwich proves tasty… I will say though that at least you didnt fo what I did as a student and wonder why said roast chicken tasted odd only to discover the melted remains of a plastic bag and giblets deep inside of it….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry that the roasted version did not taste as you remembered Sue but I have hopes for the sandwiches with plenty of seasoning… our expectations are a double edged sword as you say…and at the moment food give you nourishment even when it tastes of cardboard… I am sure that Stu will add some wonderful herbs to the Italian and that Ani is giving you appreciative hugs for her bowl of leftovers… ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How did it smell when it was cooking?
    Go for plenty of mayo on those sandwiches. If taste is missing, revel in the texture. Curry is for when it’s nearing the end of it’s shelf-life. Chicken soup is supposed to be good for you. I’ve never liked its underlying flavour, but now might be the time to go for it.
    I hope your chicken perks up before you’ve finished it (which, in my experience, takes a while when there’s only one of you eating it and a dog (or in my case, two dogs, but they’re both very small). Maybe now your expectations have changed, you’ll find it wasn’t as tasteless as you feared.
    May your taste buds, and your outlook, improve for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Maybe you should try vegan for a while. Vegan food, while laudable, heroic even, is bland in the extreme. You won’t expect it to have any flavour so you won’t be disappointed. And you’ll be doing the planet a favour. When you get your taste buds back (and I’m not going to even consider that you won’t) think what an explosion of sensory pleasure you’ll get from a piece of chicken!


      1. I know 🙂 Just playing devil’s advocate. We don’t have a vegan diet, about 75 grammes of chicken, occasionally pork, once a week at most, but I use cheese in cooking quite often. Mostly what we eat counts as vegetarian since it’s pasta, rice or potatoes with vegetables. leave out the parmesan and you’ve got vegan. Yes, it’s the cuisine des pauvres. Healthy and not cruel.


            1. I would like all food sources to be treated with the respect they deserve.I have a feling it is only our own consciousness of life that shows any difference between the life force ina chicken and that which animates a tree or a pea.

              Liked by 2 people

  7. Disappointment is disappointment, whether it is a big or small and whether we wish to see it differently or not. I think you are holding up well, Sue. Maybe your body will adjust and food will taste better.


  8. It’s been a long time since I cooked a whole bird, chicken or otherwise. Hubby got a cooked chicken for 49p from the supermarket some years ago and we got three meals out of it. The early ones had to be sold before they put the freshly cooked ones out. The number of people waiting for the fresh ones was amazing, and if we’d had a freezer, he would have come away with at least two birds! Our neighbour at the time was there but declined saying they’d had chicken the day before. Wouldn’t have bothered us!!!
    Hopefully your sandwich with mayo will be nice. At the moment I can’t seem to get enough of bacon and mushroom rolls with mayo (no butter to show some willing as the diet is still in play…. ish)
    Love to you and Ani Sue. ❤


  9. Vegan food, bland? Not in my house!

    But you’re right about the expectations/anticipation-disappointment seesaw. Just don’t feel bad that ‘you expected too much, and what do you expect?’ That’s one of those things we tell ourselves and it only makes us feel worse.

    I’ll tell you the story of Christmas present expactations sometime, but not today.

    Keep those expectations high, on the rosy side. You may have to accept less for a while, but the aim is still there…

    Keep up the good work 🙂


  10. I lost my sense of smell when I had a fractured skull. The smell came back but I could smell things for a week at a time. I hope your appetite returns soon. You do need to ‘keep your strength up’ maybe chicken broth with lots of herbs? Best wishes x


  11. I’m so sorry that the chicken was a disappointment, Sue, but you continue to find wisdom in your experiences, to grow and share. I’m glad that you still see blessings in every day. Curry or siracha – go for it!


  12. Once of life’s great disappointments when you’re crook
    and finally find the desire to cook
    is youtr tastebuds tell you it’s the cardboard at the end of a book
    when you danm-well know it was a chook


    1. So am I… I have a real craving to cook and bake at the moment. Childhood learning and favourites coming back for comfort… and I would like to eat and taste stuff if I do x


    1. That one starts shortly with the chemo… but remembering that I am still here to lose my hair, or to wake when I should be asleep…or to have the food I eat taste strange… it does put things into perspective.


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