What do you give a host who has just had his wisdom teeth out?
July 23, 2005 12:53 PM   Subscribe

What would you bring to a dinner party when one of the hosts just had his wisdom teeth out?

OK, so not exactly a dinner party, but... two of my friends and I will be in San Francisco next weekend, and one of my best friends and his wife, who live there, offered to put us up for a couple of nights. He was supposed to get his wisdom teeth out a few weeks ago, but had to reschedule, and the only day that would work is the day after we arrive.

My visiting friends and I are probably not going to be in the house much, we'll be out exploring extensively. Still and all, normally I would take them out to dinner at least once (even if I weren't sleeping on their floor), but my friend's raw gums will probably make this impractical. In light of that, I'd like to at least cook dinner, or make something cool that my friend can eat in his incapacitated state. Any ideas? Or should I just bring them a fruitcake ;-)
posted by autojack to Food & Drink (20 answers total)
Give them a gift certificate or something that they can eat later. Your friend is probably going to be in bed and won't want much more than liquids.
posted by MsMolly at 1:07 PM on July 23, 2005

Soup would be an obvious choice -- maybe (since you're in SF) some kind of a seafood bisque. Get some sourdough to serve on the side that he can dunk in the broth to soften it. Add maybe a salad of tender butter lettuce and tomatoes/avocadoes, some white wine, voila!
posted by Kat Allison at 1:10 PM on July 23, 2005

Soft foods might be fine (though you should ask, of course, if your friend is indeed up for eating anything more challenging than liquids or mashed potatoes) -- I'm thinking of things like a fish-based soup or casserole, a nice homemade mac & cheese, etc. Watch out for anything with tomatoes and/or spice (which will likely irritate any wounds/stitches) or small bits (like rice or couscous) that could get stuck in the pockets where the wisdom teeth used to reside.
posted by scody at 1:16 PM on July 23, 2005

i'd avoid tomatoes, citrus and anything acidic too. Taking them out for breakfast might be good tho--scrambled eggs, oatmeal, etc.
posted by amberglow at 1:29 PM on July 23, 2005

Depending how brutal the extractions are, your friend may be laid up on the couch for days taking a lot of Vicodin, or he may be uncomfortable but eating within a day or two. I'd make some sinfully fancy dessert where your friend could have some when you make it but also save some for later when he can probably enjoy it more and taste it more. Ideas: flan, chocolate mousse, ice cream, tira misu &c.
posted by jessamyn at 1:38 PM on July 23, 2005

I'd second the gift certificate idea, and maybe tuck it into a box of Ensure or other supplement filled drink. That's the only thing I could really eat for a few days afterward, but I had an unnaturally excruciating wisdom tooth extraction that had me eating really soft foods for nearly two months.
posted by cajo at 2:02 PM on July 23, 2005

Haagen Daz Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream.
posted by y2karl at 2:16 PM on July 23, 2005

I just got my wisdom teeth removed a few a couple of weeks ago. All I wanted to eat was mashed potatoes and white gravy. Although I'm an avid carnivore, I didn't want anything to do with meat. The fleshiness of it matched the obviously fleshiness of my mouth a bit too closely. Lasagne that's REALLY sort (overcooked noodles?) was good, provided that the sauce was really thin. Anything chunky or with tiny bits is no-no. There really are gaping holes back there, and you don't want anything to get stuck.
posted by lalalana at 2:17 PM on July 23, 2005

Assuming s/he's past the opiate-popping stage, a bottle of single malt scotch.
posted by realcountrymusic at 2:22 PM on July 23, 2005

Decent bottle of wine or two might be good?
posted by laukf at 2:54 PM on July 23, 2005

This is really tricky. I know people who had fairly easy extractions that only took until the next day to be out and about -- and I personally had to have all mine extracted from below the gums and I was barely eating two weeks from the surgery. Why not buy them some DVDs or a game console to keep them occupied. I know all I wanted to do was lay around and watch 2001 while flying high on Lady V. A lot of smoothies if you're on a real bent to get something edible.
posted by geoff. at 2:54 PM on July 23, 2005

Homemade applesauce! So easy, maybe just a little tedious (all that peeling of apples), so good, so comforting. You can cook it as long as you like for the desired degree of chunkiness/mushiness. Add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to make the house smell wonderful.

Do they own a blender/food processor? You can make smoothies, especially cold ones (I've made them out of frozen strawberries and fresh banana, but it was difficult to get the frozen strawberries to keep blending). Or milkshakes. The cold might be comforting, too (not sure, as I haven't had my wisdom teeth out).

If you want to really splurge, why not homemade ice cream? If they don't have a maker, maybe you could get one. What's better than fresh ice cream just out of the ice cream maker? It's exceptionally soft, cold, and fresh ingredients make it yummy.
posted by amtho at 3:26 PM on July 23, 2005

Having just had my wisdom teeth removed a couple weeks ago, this situation is immediately familiar to me.

First of all, no alcohol. It'll interact with he pain killers and may dry out the sockets, causing the clots to dislodge which is extremely unpleasant.

Secondly, no foods with small bits that can get stuck in the sockets -- seeds, nuts, noodles, dried fruits, etc. -- basically, anything that can get stuck in a socket and won't dissolve on it's own in saliva is out of the question until the gums start closing over the sockets enough that most of the bits are kept out. (Having to dig them out yourself is irritating, especially when you accidentally stab the healing bone with the tootpick/syringe/etc. that you're using.)

Soups (without the aforementioned problem foods), ice cream, mashed potatoes, etc. are all good.

This isn't really going to be much of an issue, though, because he's really not going to be interested in eating much for the first few days.
posted by nmiell at 3:35 PM on July 23, 2005

Scotch. For later.
posted by leafwoman at 5:15 PM on July 23, 2005

Vicodin and/or Percocet.
posted by Justinian at 5:44 PM on July 23, 2005

All I wanted to eat was miso with soft tofu. That might be an option. (I skipped the seaweed). Also, if you bring small bags of frozen peas as a gift, they can be used as cold compresses. Cheaper than actual cold packs, and he can eat them when he's all healed up!
posted by spinifex23 at 6:06 PM on July 23, 2005

I also recently had my wisdom teeth out. During the height of my pain and swelling I lived on Pea Soup. And it was yummy...
posted by ebeeb at 6:33 PM on July 23, 2005

Thanks for all the great responses, this is all really useful! I did get all four of my wisdom teeth out, but they were simple extractions and I was munching soft fruit and such a day or two later. I suspect that my friend is going to be rather worse-off. I think something for the immediate aftermath, as well as something else for when he's recovered, will do the trick.
posted by autojack at 7:20 PM on July 23, 2005

The chocolate mousse idea is good. Mousse is pretty easy to make and very yummy.
posted by edgeways at 7:33 PM on July 23, 2005

Breath mints won't hurt either...sockets filled with coagulation can be quite odoriferous.
posted by HyperBlue at 9:39 PM on July 24, 2005

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