Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rugae of steel

Yesterday, after I had poured red wine vinegar into my burgeoning panzanella dressing*, I noticed that it looked like this:

Aaaand I ate the salad anyway. Why? Because a. the vinegar was the last addition to the bowl, and I'd have had to start over, b. my only other option was rice wine vinegar, which is both too sweet and too expensive to go sloshing into an Italian-esque dressing, and c. I figured that it couldn't kill me. Now, the reason I waited until today to mention this was, simply, that I didn't actually know whether it would kill me (or lead to a fun night of emesis). But it didn't. I had a lovely five hours' sleep or so. I can gloat about my iron stomach. Consider yourself a gloatee.

Seriously, though, what the hell is that stuff? The Google machine told me that it's a vinegar mother, and it's harmless, and I could add it to my remaining Charles Shaw crapbernet sauvignon to make vinegar. I'm not going to do it, because homemade vinegar is more high-maintenance than homemade sourdough starter, but the knowledge that I could is enough.

All remaining fears thus assuaged, I used the vinegar again tonight to start some overnight red onion pickles, which will appear tomorrow. I also used a teaspoon of it tonight in eggplant salad toasts, from Smitten Kitchen.

I made a kale and apple salad with Dijon vinaigrette to go with this. Delicious. I had a few cloves of roasted garlic kicking around, so I rubbed the toasts with roasted garlic instead of raw; this was a good decision.

Posting is sort of late tonight because I was doing my first shadowing shift in the Bellevue ER. Events of note:

  1. A man thoroughly mangled his hand while using a circular saw and came in, fingers dangling, a lot more calm than I'd be in his situation. When the hand surgeons showed up, they used this awesome portable Doppler flow meter to ascertain whether the more grievously injured digits were still getting blood flow. Cool, huh?
  2. You know how in the computer game The Sims you could have your Sims host a party, complete with guests and clowns and so on, and they'd eventually get bored and just wander about their daily business, completely ignoring the craziness around them? That's the Bellevue ER, except instead of hosts, there are doctors, and instead of party guests, you have drunk people.
  3. One of the residents was either extra hassled or just felt pity for the resident I was following around like a lovestruck puppy, so she had me check a woman for orthostatic hypotension, which meant I actually got to play with the fancy machines. Sure, this involved using a blood pressure cuff, pressing a couple buttons, and reading a monitor, but still.

I also saw a trauma happen, but to be honest, it wasn't as interesting as the row of totally stoned people brought in at once by eye-rolling cops, or the woman who couldn't decide whether or not to lie to the doctors about how she was feeling so she could make it home in time to fix dinner for her kids.

*I didn't notice beforehand because I was multitasking and pouring with one hand**, okay?!?
**Yes, I can open and pour a bottle one-handed. It's the height of badassery, I tell you.

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