Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Procrastination has taken on a new meaning in medical school. I used to think that procrastination was substituting a desired activity for a mundane or necessary task. Reading a magazine instead of doing the dishes. Getting a pedicure (and reading a magazine) instead of grocery shopping. But that's not an option any more. Now I procrastinate by doing those mundane and necessary tasks that keep life running. Like setting up bill pay for my new internet provider. Sending my brother a birthday present. Researching local running groups. That's what I did today in lieu of: listening for five minutes during Biochem; spending my ten minute break between classes previewing the lecture; researching good examples of Motivational Interviewing online.

And so what am I doing right now? Procrastinating, I suppose. Trying to make a little sense of this whirlwind by "talking it out." I am used to being busy. In my old life (which seems so far away, despite the fact that I was a regular working stiff until just two months ago), I woke up at 0700 to lift weights, studied, cooked, went to class, went to work. Usually all in the same day. And tumbled into bed at midnight and did it all over again in the morning. But, I used my brain in different ways, I had responsibilities, I fit into the societal fabric more intricately. This busy-ness is a different beast. My first week of studying from morning coffee to goodnight meditation was exhausting in an entirely new way. It all seems a bit more manageable on Day 13 and I imagine this trend will continue. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

One down, 198 more to go.

On Friday I made my first incision. I was absolutely terrified leading up to Anatomy lab, terrified that I would faint or do something stupid or realize that I was in the wrong place and that I shouldn't have spent the last four years (10, 20?) of my life on this path. And up until the moment that I picked up the scalpel I felt lightheaded and worried. And then I made that cut and realized that I was in exactly the right place.

What an amazing gift we have all been given, to study the body in sickness and health, life and death. I will try not to forget how lucky I am, even when I am exhausted and frustrated and confused over the next four years. I am resurrecting this blog and keeping the name, because while I used to plan my day around cooking and eating, now I have 18 hours per day to cram as much information as possible into my head. And that's going to take some planning. So here's to surviving the first week, and looking forward to the next 198.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Challenge: beer.

So, the secret ingredient for Saturday's cookoff was beer, chosen by the chooser of ridiculous ingredients, Nate. I'm sure you'll be surprised to see the winner:

Yes, that is ice cream. Bailey's ice cream, actually, with Jameson marshmallows and Guinness syrup. Quite good, although a bit of a sugar overload. Mr. Chef, Josh, thinks that the winner, Christian, is a pastry chef in disguise.

And something a little more expected, beer can chicken. This was my entry, along with some fizzy beer margaritas and although it barely got an honorable mention, I was super pleased. Not counting the trek to the Bayshore to get a new propane tank, it was very easy to make, the skin was perfectly crispy and the chicken itself was full of spice and not dry at all.

Adventures in easy Japanese food.

I would like to say that this chicken katsu recipe is from my favorite new cookbook, "Let's Cook Japanese Food," but all of my katsu skills are courtesy of the katsu master, Kiko's mom.

Omelet with chicken tomato rice. This was surprisingly good, although I have yet to make an omelet that isn't a bit overcooked. Unfortunately, we lost our appetites a few minutes into Slumdog Millionaire as the protagonist was zapped with a car battery.

Not actually Japanese food, but leftover Easter brunch made into mu shu. The pancakes were surprisingly easy, but Nate didn't really appreciate the collard greens in lieu of cabbage.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I couldn't let another Easter go by without lamby cake, so here are the remnants, trapped under a cheese dome.

All alone in Mendocino.

Don't be scared, we're still married. It was just so nice to be away from the hubub that was Phoenix the week before the wedding.

The best burgers ever. Really.

Ignore the bratty girl in front and admire the view.

Why can't you find this at Walgreens?

When we own a winery and are making the best late harvest muscats in Sonoma, we will have poppies like this in our charming terrace boxes.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Last night we finally tried Farina. It was very busy when we arrived at 8:30 PM without a reservation, but we were seated at the focaccia bar within twenty minutes. Luckily, we had stopped at Minimum (my new favorite bar) on the way there to have a glass of cava and cheese plate, so the wait wasn't painful.

The focaccia bar is awesome. There are lots of old marble blocks acting as counters and attractive young chefs make pasta and focaccia. We were there during the Festa del Pesto and I was very excited to try the pesto that Shaina has been raving about. Nate, however, was absolutely insistent that we try the ravioli filled with veal and sweetbreads, and I backed down.

The star of the night was something they called Focaccia di Recco, two thin layers of dough filled with Stracchino and baked until crispy. Oh Stracchino. When I lived in Italy, my host mom would often pull the aluminum foil wrapped package of Stracchino out of the fridge, and we would slather it on hard dusty rolls from the bakery downstairs. It's sour and smooth and a little astringent. A great snack cheese. Like Laughing Cow but less fake (maybe) and more complex.

My attention kept drifting away from the conversation and towards the enormous pasta roller three feet away. Then I was mesmerized by the girl chef rolling out dough for Focaccia. Nate said, at one point, "I hope someday we win the lottery so you can go to cooking school." See, this is why I love him.