The KBAM Kitchen

KBAM is a just-right acronym for Kicked By a Mule, and the mission of the KBAM Bar and Grill (also known as the Longleaf Bar & Grill) is one tool we have for kicking back.

Buck and I were already hard-core by many peoples’ lights when mantle cell reared its ugly little head. We haven’t darkened the drive-through window of a fast-food joint in more than twenty years. Except for a day boat fresh mullet run through the skillet of a local marina restaurant every blue moon, fried food has been off our list for decades, as well.

We’ve eaten more than our share of grilled and roasted beef and pork over the years. It was great. But our final hunk of roast beast on a plate came last Christmas. Leftovers sat. And sat. The final pork tenderloin, rubbed with garlic, rosemary and olive oil, sat. And sat.  Before 2014 dawned, Buck and I realized that we had lost our taste for beef and pork. And that was it. Seven months later, and neither of us can imagine ever going back. Buck’s long-standing IBS has almost gone away.

We eat plenty of turkey, chicken, and fish, but the emphasis has totally changed. My trusty old Cameron stovetop smokes fresh turkey drumsticks, and then I use them to flavor a pot of beans or collards and kale. I flake off the meat and make sure all those little cartilage swords are discarded, then return the turkey to the pot. That (+beans or +greens) becomes the protein course. We add a pan of cornbread, a baked sweet potato and maybe a sliced tomato or some yellow squash, and have a wonderful, simple dinner.

Ultimate comfort food plus a nutrition powerhouse: "Magic Mineral broth" pot liquor, baked sweet potato, collards and baby kale, and beans.
Ultimate comfort food plus a nutrition powerhouse: “Magic Mineral broth” (thank you Rebecca Katz) pot liquor, baked sweet potato, collards and baby kale, and beans with house-smoked turkey.

Special challenges to ensure Buck gets enough calories and nutrients have arisen now that he is experiencing the immuno-chemotherapy of Rituxan (rituximab) and Treanda (bendamustine) every 28 days. Our trend toward whole grains and mostly-organic vegetables and fruits has accelerated. Our kitchen has become a first line of defense in our determination to be part of the team that restores Buck to health, and (oh by the way) keeps me strong and healthy along the way.

Strategies and tactics, baby. We got ’em. Would love to hear about yours. What helps you make it through the chemo?

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