Sunday, March 23, 2014


This may come as a shock: being an intern is rough. I absolutely loved my sub-internship*, but it's been an exercise in accepting the fact that cooking healthfully and exercising regularly is hard when you're a junior doctor. I mostly ended up eating Way Too Much Thai Food, oatmeal, and huge bunches of chard cooked with garlic.

There's nothing better than garlicky, tender chard, except for garlicky, tender chard eaten in the presence of someone with no sense of smell. Or kale. Or green beans. How I love green beans (which are called grüne Bohne in German).

I did have time to make some awesome carrot cake cupcakes, sweet potato pie, and pizza with a new crust recipe from Flour Water Salt Yeast. The texture of this crust was worlds better than that of my usual. I can't get away from the white wine and molasses from my old recipe, though. Next time, I'll try the FWSY process with those ingredients included; hopefully it won't much alter the structure of the dough.

The sweet potato pie... well, I remembered the recipe at the time I made it, which was about two weeks ago. At this point, all I know is that I used about a pound and a half of slow-roasted sweet potato, three eggs--yolks directly mixed into the batter, whites whipped until stiff and gently folded in--brown sugar, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, and no flour whatsoever. The crust has oats and wheat bran in it.

To celebrate Match Day** and our three-year marriage anniversary, Andy and I walked the length of Manhattan today (and totally got one-upped as soon as we got home and saw the NYC subreddit), starting at 215th St., heading down Broadway until 60th St., and continuing down 7th Avenue until we hit SoHo.

South Seaport at last! It took us about five hours, including stops for breakfast (diner fare in Harlem), lunch (sushi in Chelsea), and caffeine (once under the overpass just north of Columbia, once in the Financial District). Perhaps doing this walk after a big deadlift day was less than intelligent; my thighs are informing me that victory tastes bittersweet.

*in which we get long coats and pagers and prescribing privileges (with oversight, of course) and pretend to be interns
**Possibly the happiest day of my life: first choice, and I get to stay in New York one more year so as not to abandon Andy while he finishes his PhD!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ay and oh times none

We thought we'd lost our laundry card. We tore our (very tiny) house apart looking for the damn thing, even as I swore up and down that I put it in our usual place and had no idea what happened to it. It got to the point where we borrowed a downstairs neighbor's card because the hamper was bubbling over with socks and my sock drawer was a gaping maw of emptiness. And then I woke up one morning and there it was, sitting on my desk. Not quite Rod Serling material, but still, a deeply bizarre experience for all involved.

I blame sub-I. I also blame sub-I for a. talking in my sleep during a poorly conceived nap today about having to wake up urgently and complete discharge summaries; and b. not blogging at all.

I didn't photograph them, but I brought carrot cake cupcakes* to call today. Precisely one week ago, I brought pastries made of croissant dough filled with blackberry jam or cream cheese whipped with Meyer lemon zest and confectioner's sugar:

The idea for these little guys came purely from the fact that, now that NYUSoM's housing authority has sent a stern e-mail saying that no current NYU medical student will be offered housing next year, thereby neatly squashing my pipe dream of a blissful transition to internship. Andy already created a tornado of Craigslist searches; I'm coping by trying to empty the fridge of half-full jars, jugs, and bottles. The jam is first on the chopping block.

And what better to do with my last day off before a 7-day stretch than to stroll to Union Square, load up on groceries, and make something with too many components.

These carrots are seared in olive oil, then slow-roasted for about 45 minutes until tender; it's a great technique that needn't be dish-intensive if one has a cast-iron skillet. I even managed to coax great carroty flavor out of the rather tough post-winter carrots at the Greenmarket. The mushrooms are tossed in paprika and soy sauce, then slow-roasted. It's all over lentils stewed with juniper and onions.

For the final touches, there's a brown butter vinaigrette, crunchy quinoa clusters (recipe by Mark Bittman), and toasted walnuts. Labor-intensive, yes, but a soothing alternative to the hectic labor of floor medicine.

*Andy apparently loves carrot cake. How wonderful it is to discover new ways to make one's spouse a type 2 diabetic!