Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Greens and Squash

Ooops... I wrote this a while ago and forgot to hit post!

In the interest of bringing some of the color back into the word clouds from my blog, I thought I’d share another recipe. I’m onto the “extended” version of my CSA (an extra three or four weeks at the end of the season), and in a few weeks the frozen CSA will begin, and I’m still pretty overwhelmed with the volume of greens and squash I have at my house. It’s also been getting cooler here, which for me means that it is getting toward one of my favorite times of year: soup season! Soup (and stew, and chili…) season is convenient as well, because nothing freezes and thaws quite like a delicious soup, and nothing is forgiving like a stew recipe in terms of absorbing greens and other miscellaneous vegetables. I enjoy these dishes on their own, or over grains. Most recently I’ve cooked up some barley and farrow, and they are really delicious in or under hearty soups/stews! I tried a new one last night, and was thrilled with how it came out. The recipe didn’t call for greens, but that has never stopped me before. I think the chard was a delicious addition… Enjoy!

Peanut Squash Stew
Adapted from Real Simple
1 cup grain of your choice (farrow and brown rice are excellent options)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large onion, yellow or white, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 small green chili, serrano or jalapeno, or whatever you have, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups vegetable broth or water
2 1/2 cups tomato puree or canned diced tomatoes (roughly one 28 oz can)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 medium squash (acorn or other firm squash is best, I used what I think is a buttercup squash), cut into 1”-thick slices
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 16-oz cans black-eyed peas, or 3-4 cups cooked beans
2-3 cups baby chard (I think that’s what I had, I think most kinds of greens would be delicious), sliced into thin strips

Prepare your grain according to the directions. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender. Add the ginger, chili, garlic, salt, and cumin, and cook for another few minutes. Add the tomato puree, peanut butter, broth, and sugar, and stir until blended. Add the squash slices and cook over medium heat until the squash is tender, 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the squash. Add the black-eyed peas and greens and heat through. Spoon over the farrow or rice and enjoy. You can also sprinkle peanuts on top as a garnish…

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The best weeks of med school

From Dose of Reality:

I have to apologize for the long gap since I last posted here. It seems like the days are passing without my really noticing, so I’ll give a brief recap of the past few weeks…

I am loving my OB/GYN rotation! I had been hedging over the past 6 months since I hadn’t gotten to try it yet, acknowledging that I’d really enjoyed being in the OR during my surgery rotation, and that I liked the continuity on my family medicine rotation. I felt like I really couldn’t just say that I wanted to do OB/GYN when I hadn’t really gotten a chance to do it. Now that I’m here, however, it’s clear that the things I liked most about other rotations were the things that make up the core of this rotation. I think that most students have an ah-ha moment when they realize that they are rotating through their future specialty. I know that some have many such moments throughout the year and a few reach the end without one, but usually some elective time solidifies things and these moments present themselves, if later than your average medical students’ anxiety level would prefer. Here are a few examples highlighting how I know that I’ve found my place, in no particular order:

  • Delivering babies is pretty cool. I think most vaginal births are pretty awesome, and as much as I wouldn’t wish a C-section on anyway, they are pretty magical in their own way. One minute, you’re in the OR cutting through skin, fascia, and smooth muscle, and the next minute there is a baby coming out of the incision!
  • The surgeries on this rotation are some of the coolest I’ve seen. Fixing (or at least improving) incontinence surgically makes a huge difference for patients, and the anatomy is fascinating. I love that we still don’t totally understand how it all works!
  • There is a strong research ethic, and the research program includes many of the social and economic determinants that I have come to know and love. I think I’d be well-supported! As much as I love “blazing trails” and “defining my own path,” I worry that in some fields those might be synonymous with “being completely alone and isolated” and “not getting any respect or funding.”
  • The people I’m working with are engaging and entertaining. I have had really good experiences all year with both residents and faculty, so this doesn’t seem like an entirely fair thing to say; most rotations have featured an entertaining cast of characters, and this one is no exception. I like strong personalities, and they are present in abundance!

Suffice it to say I’m really enjoying these weeks, and am wishing I could stay longer…

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


In June one of the blogs I enjoy posted a Wordle image based on her blog. I thought it was a really beautiful example of art meets technology, and decided to do one myself. In June, here’s the word cloud my blog generated:
I repeated this experiment a few weeks ago, and in addition to intuiting that the color has gone from my life, Wordle seemed to pick up on my shift toward the clinical: