Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What Medical School Looks Like VI

Dear Husband: You know, most husbands would be alarmed to come in and find their wives reading about the treatment of gonorrhea.

Me: It's a good thing you're not "most husbands."

Him: And a good thing you're not "most wives." The things medical school does a person...


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


For this week's vegetarian recipe, I wanted to to use up some tomatoes, preferably in a rice dish. I thought about making jambalaya. I had also found okra for the first time this summer at the farmers market. Maybe I should fix gumbo, that other Louisiana staple? What a dilemma! So I did some research on ye interwebs. When jambalaya is made with roux (flour + fat), that's backwoods Cajun style. When made with tomatoes--a cosmopolitan import--it is Creole style. Gumbo, by contrast, is a soup, often served with rice, thickened with roux--and/or okra. Zut alors! I could make both at once, with a version of this vegetarian jambalaya recipe. Here is "Gumbolaya":

1. Put on some South African jazz, or whatever mood-music you've got lying around.

2. Realize you're short on veggies and send Dear Husband to the grocery store.

3. Mix 2 12-oz. cans of tomato paste with 4 cups vegetable stock. (We used Swanson.)

4. Heat some oil in a pot. Cry softly while chopping two little red onions. Add to the oil with some garlic.

5. Toast 1 1/2 cups brown rice in onion-garlic mixture.* Add tomato-stock broth and a couple bay leaves, broken in half. Stir well and let simmer.

6. Meanwhile, chop okra, cauliflower, and tomato(es).

7. Realize the rice is taking so long to cook because you added too much paste to the broth.

8. Prep side dishes: corn on the cob and black-eyed-peas with ribbons of kale. The latter is super easy: empty a can of black-eyed-peas into a pan (don't drain!). Heat gently while you wash and chop the kale. mix together and cook just until kale is hot but before it changes color.

9. Add vegetables to rice pot. Also some salt, Cajun seasoning, and Herbes de Provence. Taste and stir.

10. Serve hot. Curse softly at the still-hard rice.

*I liked how tomato-y the dish was, so next time I cook it I will boil the rice separately and add to the vegetable mix towards the end. Thankfully, the leftovers were not quite so bad, as the rice had the chance to soak in the sauce. I might also skip the Herbes de Provence, as I suspect the other flavors overwhelm it.

Do you have any tales of meals that worked better as leftovers?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What Medical School Looks Like V

Sometimes medical school looks like reading about gastrointestinal bleeding while relaxing by the pool.
(15 minutes later, it looked like falling asleep next to said pool and nearly sleeping through dinner.)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weekend Getaway to Family, Fabrics, and Fun

Editor's Note: At the end of the calendar year, when work slows down and I have a little free time, I try to catch up with old blog posts. Here's one from a visit to family in Charlotte to celebrate my grandfather's 90th(!) birthday party.

Because I was able to give the clerkship coordinator advance notice, she made the call schedule such that I got off on Friday afternoon and didn't have to report to the hospital until Monday morning. This provided me enough time to fly out to meet my family in Charlotte, North Carolina for a weekend. Left: My cousin did our hair and makeup before the party. Below: The birthday boy as a younger man, effusive, joking, loyal, patriotic, and strong. He spent decades teaching gymnastics, good character, and civic-mindedness with Sokol Dallas. Of course there was cake, beer, cigars, and presents. And a viewing of The Princess Bride!

Before I returned, I asked to see a local museum, and my aunt recommended the Mint Museum Randolph, which is big enough to have a variety of genres but small enough to take in on an afternoon. We saw American glass, porcelain, and textiles. The clothing exhibit was of particular interest; here are some samples.

The American evening gown on the left was made in Baltimore about 1911 and demonstrates a new corset style the placard described as "monobosom." The fan is dyed ostrich feathers.

On the right is a wool Pierre Balmain skirt suit from the first half of the 1960s that I wish I were stylish enough to wear.

Below is an embroidered Mayan traje with a detail to show how intricate the needlepoint can be. I am intrigued by the use of Western numbers and letters as decoration.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that--how soon the visit was over! But it reminded me that there is life outside the hospital and interests beyond medicine. Maybe (hopefully) residency will bring me closer to family, after 16 years away.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What Medical School Looks Like IV

Sometimes medical school looks like a pleasant evening on the back deck,
studying internal medicine after dinner and a day at the hospital.

Friday, August 1, 2014

What Medical School Looks Like III

When you have 12-hour call at the hospital three out of four days and manage only to wash and dry the laundry but not to fold or iron it, may we suggest employing a house cat to sleep on the pile and press it into shape?