Going Home and Blueberry Buckle

Sometimes, patients are really excited to go home.

You’d be surprised how many patients never want to leave the hospital. Some people actually like the food, others think that we’re more like a full-service hotel than a place for patient care, et cetera.

Other patients are more normal. And they want to leave.

We were rounding that morning on a patient that had been admitted the previous day. He was approximately in his forties, walking around the hospital room, while his wife sat on the couch.

Patient: So when can I go home?

Me: Well sir, it looks like we can send you home this morning. We just have to finish up the paperwork.

Patient: Well hurry up, since I want to get LAID!

* stunned looks on the faces of the medical team *

To her credit, his wife immediately whipped out her phone, called her sister, and informed her that they needed a ride ASAP.

They ran out the door five minutes later. And his discharge instructions did recommend exercise.

Afterglow Blueberry Buckle

blueberry bucklethe perfect after-bang breakfast

Ingredients (buckle)

  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c white flour
  • 1 c whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 c blueberries (if using frozen, don’t thaw first!)
  • White sugar for dusting
  • Cooking spray

Ingredients (sauce)

  • 2  1/2 c blueberries
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 c water, plus 1/2 c for later
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

How-to

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray.
  3. In a bowl, mix together flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir in blueberries so they are all covered with the mixture (this will help them not sink to the bottom of the cake). Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, mix together sugar and vegetable oil. Add in the egg and stir until the mixture just starts to lighten. Stir in the milk and vanilla.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients with the blueberries in an attempt to keep most of the blueberries whole (some of them will get smushed in the mixing process, but that’s okay!).
  6. Divide mixture between the two loaf pans.
  7. Sprinkle the top of each loaf with cinnamon and white sugar.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (besides parts of blueberries, of course). Let cool for 10-20 minutes before slicing.
  9. While the buckle is baking (or while it is cooling, if you took a recreational break), dump the blueberries, water, lemon juice, and sugar into a medium saucepan. Turn heat to medium high and cook for approximately 10 minutes (you want some of the blueberries to pop, but others to still be a bit whole. It will be boiling. And it might splatter, so wear an apron).
  10. Mix together the remaining 1/2 c cold water with the cornstarch. Stir this mixture into the saucepan. Cook for an additional minute or until desired thickness. (no pun intended)
  11. Let sauce cool for 3-5 minutes, then spoon it onto the buckle. Enjoy!

Block Parties, Part 1, and Fruit Salsa

As a kid, you always have dreams. It takes acknowledging those dreams in front of others to make you realize that they might not be the wisest idea.

 My elementary and middle school years were filled with boy bands and girl bands. From New Kids on the Block, to Spice Girls, to Backstreet Boys, I’m pretty sure that my best friend and I bought nearly every CD the day it was released and wore them out listening on repeat.

That also meant that we felt we could create our own girl band. (And yes, I realize that two people forms just a duo, but we weren’t quibbling with the details here, folks.) We spent hours writing our own songs, designing our album cover art, and recording our music using a pair of drumsticks we found to keep the beat.

Naturally, we needed a place to first showcase our talent. Which happened to be the neighborhood block party.

We announced that year that we’d be hosting a talent show. We might have been the only people to sign up for the talent show, but that’s a different story. Decisions were made to submit two pieces- we’d demonstrate our dancing skills to a choreographed rendition of Backstreet Boy’s “Everybody [Backstreet’s Back]” and show off our chops singing a song we wrote ourselves.

Then, on the day of the block party, my friend wisely made the decision to drop out of the singing portion. I chose to go it alone.

I should probably take this moment to say that I am not the strongest dancer (future stories to follow). Nor is my singing voice the best when I’ve been running around screaming at a block party the entire day. And then there was the rather unfortunate fact that our song didn’t make the any sense, and would not sound good even if Adele sang it, much less two pre-teen girls going through puberty.

We danced. I nearly fell. I sang. My voice kept giving out.

The polite clapping I heard after the performance let me know that I should probably come up with another career choice.

Anyone Can Do It Fruit Salsa

Fruit Salsa

you don’t even need talent to make this

Ingredients (feel free to use whatever fruit you have on hand- this is just what I like in mine!)

  • 1 c blackberries, halved
  • 1 c red grapes, halved
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded (if you do this inside a bowl of cold water, you won’t end up looking like a scene from a crime show- just break it apart and the seeds will sink to the bottom)
  • 1 c strawberries, quartered
  • 1 kiwi, cubed
  • 1 plum, cubed
  • 1 mango, pitted and cubed
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Cinnamon tortilla chips or pita chips

How-to

  1. Cut up the fruit so that everything is in similar sized. Divide into two bowls.
  2. Using a potato masher (or a fork), lightly squish half the fruit.
  3. Combine the fruit back together. Sprinkle on the lemon juice. Fold gently.
  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours (though overnight is better).
  5. Serve with cinnamon tortilla chips, on top of pound cake, et cetera

Commitment and Cinnamon Bread

Sometimes commitment can come too quickly, especially if it’s unwanted.

I was seeing a guy that seemed quite nice. However, if anything, he was a little bit too nice. Not that I have anything against nice guys- I certainly don’t like dating assholes. But on occasion, I do like to date someone who isn’t exactly like me, because I am a big fan of a good debate everyone once in a while.

So here I was, on the third date, seeing what I was quickly realizing was a too-nice-for-my-taste guy.

It would have really been in my favor to realize that on the second date.

At the end of the date, he leaned in to kiss me. And that is when I really realized that he was not the guy for me, since he even kissed too nice. But it was what happened afterwards that really sealed the deal.

Guy: We’re perfect for each other. I want us to be officially dating in a few weeks, engaged by Christmas, and then married by next summer.

Me: gulp (haven’t I mentioned before that I don’t jump into commitment? and I told this guy that! AND HE JUST GAVE ME A TIMELINE.)

Guy: We’ll be so in love! 

Me: gulp (haven’t I mentioned it before that this freaks me out when that is said too soon? and I told this guy that, too! AND I’VE REALIZED I’M NOT EVEN “IN LIKE”)

Guy: It’ll be a dream come true!

Too bad for me it seemed more like a nightmare.

It also made it very difficult to let this guy down easily, as he obviously hadn’t been listening to anything I had said so far (except for “I’m a doctor,” likely. Seems like he had things in common with some of my patients.)

Take Your Time Cinnamon Bread

cinnamon breadbecause who doesn’t need to slow down and breath every once in a while?

Ingredients (this makes two loaves)

  • 6 c unbleached flour (this is approximate- you might use anywhere from 1/4 c more or less, depending  on the day), plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp and 2 tbsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/4 c vegetable shortening
  • 2 and 1/4 c skim milk
  • 1/3 c + 1c sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten

How-to

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together 2 c flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, and yeast.
  2. Using a small saucepan over low heat, melt vegetable shortening. Turn off the heat and add the milk, 1/3 c sugar, and salt. Let cool until temperature is between 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit (use a thermometer- you need the right temp for the yeast!).
  3. Turn the mixer on low using the paddle attachment. Slowly add the liquid ingredients. Turn speed up to medium for 30 seconds, scrape bowl, then turn mixer back onto high speed for 3 minutes.
  4. Switch the paddle attachment for the dough hook. Turn the mixer on low, then slowly add the rest of the flour (taking into account that you might not use all of the flour, or you might need to add a little bit more if the dough seems too wet).
  5. Crank that mixer up to high for 3 minutes to kneed the dough.
  6. Remove dough and place into a glass bowl coated with vegetable oil, flipping dough over once to make sure it’s coated in a thin layer all around.
  7. Place in a warm place covered with a towel for 45 minutes to one hour to allow dough time to double in size (I normally place the oven on 200 degrees when I first start making the bread, then turn off before placing my bowl in there).
  8. Remove dough from your warm place and punch down. Let rest 10 minutes, then divide in half.
  9. Spray two loaf pans with vegetable oil spray.
  10. In a small bowl, mix together remaining 1 c sugar, remaining 2 tbsp cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  11. Sprinkle a clean countertop and your rolling pin with flour. Roll half the dough out into a large rectangle, slightly wider than your loaf pan (I normally aim for about 2 inches here) and 16-18 inches long.
  12. Rinse your hands with cold water, and massage the surface of the dough until slick (this will help create a gooey cinnamon layer). Sprinkle on half the spice mixture. Roll up the bread, fold over ends, and place into the loaf pan seam-side down.
  13. Repeat with the second half of the dough and spice mixture.
  14. Cover again with a towel and place in a warm place to double in size (30-45 minutes).
  15. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (be sure to make sure your oven is empty!!!).
  16. Beat egg with a little bit of cold water. Using a pastry brush, brush tops of bread.
  17. Bake for 40 minutes (bread will sound hollow when you knock on it).
  18. Remove from pans and let cool.

Slice and serve. Be sure to keep in an air-tight container so it doesn’t dry out! If it does, heat up a slice in the microwave for 30 seconds with a little butter, or use to make french toast.

P.S. Do you want a yummy box of treats hand delivered to your door each week? Using this link (http://www.graze.com/us/p/QPKLN96), you can try Graze and your first box is even free! They’ll deliver a box of healthy snacks to your door each week (your other boxes are just $5 each, and that includes shipping, plus you can cancel at any time!). And no, I’m not being sponsored by Graze- I just thought it was a fabulous opportunity and wanted to share it with my readers!

Grandsons and Pumpkin Bread

Sometimes, patients have ulterior motives.

I was trying very hard to discharge my patient, an up-to-this-point very pleasant, easygoing Thai woman.

It just wasn’t working.

We told her at 6am (I was, after all on a surgery month, where rounds start far earlier and thankfully are far shorter) that we’d be sending her home later that day once her paperwork was done.

I was done with her paperwork by 9am, with her discharge order in shortly afterward.

And here was where the trouble began. Now, most people don’t like being in the hospital. Yes, you do have a few people who attempt to work the system, but in general, being in the hospital is NOT like being in a hotel (more stories on that to come in future posts).

First, she wanted refills of every medication she ever took, along with having them hand delivered to her room. Accomplished.

Next, she wanted to stay through lunch, as her family wouldn’t be able to pick her up until the afternoon. Request granted.

Then she wanted both the flu shot and the pneumonia vaccine. Ask and you shall receive.

I kept getting paged over and over again to go into her room and answer questions. (Can I shower when I get home? Well, we let you shower here, so…Can I eat my normal foods? Well, we had you on a general diet here, soo…)

And then the real truth came out.

Patient: So, you no married, no? My grandson, he real hottie for young doctor. He be here soon! Make grandma proud! Nice doctor to marry!

I then had to politely decline her offers to grant me a husband.

Potential In Law Approved Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin breadin case I ever truly find myself in that situation

Ingredients (makes 2 large loaves of bread)

  • 1 overly ripe banana
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/3 c white flour
  • 1 c dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 c water
  • 4 tbsp roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • Cooking spray

How-to

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Liberally spray two loaf pans with cooking spray (otherwise these puppies won’t come out, and you certainly don’t want that!).
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer (though feel free to make this by hand if you so choose), beat together banana, oil, and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time, then pumpkin.
  4. In another bowl, mix together flours, dried cranberries, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  5. With the stand mixer running on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and water (I do flour/water/flour/water/flour).
  6. Equally divide batter between the loaf pans.
  7. Sprinkle each loaf with 2 tbsp pepitas and 1 tbsp sugar.
  8. Bake for 55-65 minutes, rotating one halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  9. Cool bread for 10-15 minutes in the pans, then carefully remove from pans (remember, I said they stick!). Let bread cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap covered by aluminum foil and wait to eat until the next day (or immediately if you cannot wait). Slice thinly (or thickly if you must) and enjoy!

Emailers and Oven Pancakes

Persistence can be a virtue. Other times, not so much.

Remember the guy with the awkward voice? Yeah, the story didn’t end there.

When we had left off, I knew that I didn’t want to see said gentleman again for a variety of reasons…being late, the quick urge to settle down, and that whole voice that was higher than my niece’s.

It soon because obvious he did not feel the same way.

The next day, I had an email.

“Hi, I had a gr8 time last night! We had tonz in common and your super hot. Can’t wait to see you again! Here’s my phone number, what’s yours? Email back soon pls!”

Yes, the typos above are correct.

I then very politely responded back a few days later that I was busy with work (which I was), that I was not interest (also true) and thus unfortunately I did not think (my word choice as I was attempting to be polite) I would be able to see him again, but I wished him the very best in his continual search on online dating.

And then…

“Hey, R U any less busy with work? Would love to see you again! What’s your phone number?”

This time, I chose not to respond, as I had already said I wasn’t interested.

But the emails kept coming…for weeks.

“Hey, call me sometime!”

“Hey, I’m still interested, have you changed your mind?”

“Hey, just wanted to say hi again! Really would love to see you!”

Two months went by. The emails kept coming. I blocked his emails on the online dating website. I blocked his profile name. He changed his profile name and continued emailing. I blocked that but he just did it again.

Thankfully he continually made me a favorite and didn’t change his profile picture, so I at least was able to block him on a fairly quick basis and slightly decrease the annoyance.

I can’t imagine what he would have done if he had my phone number or last name.

Stay the Course Oven Pancake

002

this is one case where persistence and waiting are okay with me

Ingredients

  •  3 tbsp butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c skim milk
  • 1/2 c flour (fluff up flour before measuring)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Fresh fruit
  • Jam or Jelly
  • Powdered sugar

How-t0

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place butter in 10-in oven-safe nonstick frying pan. Place in oven until butter melts (approximately 3-4 minutes).
  3. While butter is melting, beat eggs by hand until they just start to lighten (about 1 minute). Add in milk and beat again until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  5. While whisking eggs, add flour mixture until mixture is smooth.
  6. Once butter has melted, remove pan from oven. Pour batter into center. Place pan back in the oven.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until pancake browns and grows up the side (see picture). DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR FOR FIRST 20 MINUTES (and preferably the first 25). Wait at least 20 minutes to open oven to check and see if the center is set and browning (if you open it earlier, the pancake won’t rise properly).
  8. While baking, heat jam or jelly 30 seconds-1 minute in the microwave until warm. Add in fruit.
  9. When brown, remove pancake from oven. Add fresh fruit and jam/jelly mixture to center. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Serves 2

Mishearings, Part 1, and Carrot Cake Jam

Sometimes my patients don’t exactly hear what I’m trying to tell them.

I had a patient that the previous night had been having a difficult time breathing, and thus I was in his room discussing his care with his nurse. He was lying there calmly sleeping (or so we thought) while we were talking to his wife.

Me: So we’ll keep him on this form of oxygen now and then switch him later?

Nurse: Yeah, I’ll switch him when my shift is done to rest him.

All of a sudden our we-thought-he-was-sleeping patient shot straight out of bed.

Patient (yelling): RECTUM? YOU AREN’T GETTING ANYWHERE NEAR MY RECTUM! NO MA’AM! NOT TODAY, NOT TOMORROW!!

(confused looks shared by everyone in the room)

Me: But sir, we said absolutely nothing about your rectum.

Patient: Yes you did! I heard you! You can’t trick me!

Me: Sir, we were talking about resting you by putting you back on some better oxygen. She said “rest him,” not “rectum.”

Patient: Oh. That makes more sense. But you still aren’t going anywhere near my rectum!!! I won’t allow it!

As promised, we went nowhere near his rectum during the rest of his hospital stay.

You Heard Me Correctly Carrot Cake Jam

Carrot Cake Jam

no misunderstandings with this one

Ingredients

  • 1 lb carrots, peeled
  • 2 pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1 inch thick round fresh pineapple, rind and core removed and cut into large cubes
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 c water
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 6 1/2 c sugar

How-to

  1. Dice carrots in food processor until just barely larger than your desired consistency. Add pears and pineapple and pulse until those are in small chunks.
  2. In a large pot, dump in carrot, pear, and pineapple mixture. Add in lemon juice, spices, and water.
  3. Prepare water bath canner with six pint jars, rings, and lids.
  4. Bring jam mixture to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until fruits and carrots soften and start to release their juices.
  5. Turn off heat and stir in powdered pectin. Turn heat back on and bring to full boil.
  6. Add sugar and bring back again to full boil. Cook for 1 minute, then turn off heat.
  7. Ladle jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch at the top. Wipe off rims then place on lids and rings.
  8. Place jars in water bath canner, bring water back to a boil, and process for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove jars and let cool for 12-24 hours. If jars not sealed within 24 hours, place in fridge and eat within a week.

P.S. This makes excellent holiday gifts!

P.P.S. If desired, you can stir 1/4 c nuts and 1/4 raisins into the jam mixture at the beginning of cooking.

Phobias, Part 1, and Carrot Cupcakes

As a doctor, I understand your phobias. I even have some of my own.

I have a fear of rabbits.

Now, it didn’t help that my childhood friend’s family (yup, the same ones from the graveyard story) had an evil possessed rabbit. And yes, many of you might say that rabbits can’t be evil and possessed. I guarantee this one was. He tried hopping after and sinking his long rabbit teeth into anyone that got near him. On one particular occasion, he even chomped down on her brother’s cheek, wouldn’t let go while the kid went running around the house screaming (can you IMAGINE being a small child running with a rabbit hanging off your head) and literally had to be knocked out so they could detach him.

So, needless to say, I already had a baseline fear of rabbits.

When I was in second grade, my parents took my family to the petting zoo. We normally went to the regular zoo (we never went to the Detroit Zoo, but always went to the Toledo Zoo instead, especially at Christmas!). However, this was my first time at a petting zoo, and I was determined to try to conquer my fear of rabbits.

It was not meant to be.

I was calmly petting the rabbit, attempting to overcome my fears, when all of a sudden he whipped his little head around.

The rabbit bit through my middle finger. As in, you could look at my finger from the side, and see straight THROUGH my finger to the other side. It was like those pinhole cameras you made as kids, except this was my FINGER we were talking about.

Surprisingly, I walked calmly over to my parents, showed them the damage the rabbit had done, and then promptly burst into tears (it HURTS when a bunny bites through your finger!!!).

To this day, I still give rabbits a wide berth whenever I spot one, just in case they become tempted to hop up and bite me.

Rabbit Proof Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes

the only thing I have in common with those wrascally wrabbits…a love of carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 lb carrots, shredded (use that food processor!)
  • 1 overly ripe banana
  • 1/8 c vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 heaping cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c golden raisins
  • 1/4 c pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)

How-to

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Shred carrots. I normally toss them into a food processor and just pulse.
  3. In a mixing bowl or a stand mixer, beat together the banana, oil, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add carrots.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon into the ingredients are evenly distributed. Stir in the cranberries, raisins, and pepitas into the flour mixture (this will prevent them from sinking in the cupcakes).
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  6. Evenly distribute mixture into 12 muffin lined muffin cups (those are pretty moist as the final product, so you’re going to need those liners!).
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve alone or with my goat cheese frosting (recipe to follow!).

P.S. These are quite healthy and great for breakfast, too!

Asthma Attacks and Breakfast Sandwiches

As a doctor, I’m supposed to get all of the details about why you’re seeing me. However, sometimes I really don’t need to get the entire story.

While on a stint in the ED, I had a patient coming in for an asthma attack while I was working the overnight shift. It involved a bit of drama at first, with the patient quite a bit anxious and hyperventilating. It also didn’t help that the woman with him was prancing around braless in pajamas.

When he finally was breathing like a normal person, I started asking questions. Now, it’s normally a sign of poorly controlled asthma if it wakes you up from sleep.  That was not the case.

Me: So, sir, did this asthma attack wake you up?

Patient: Nope.

Me: So you were awake at 3:30am?

Patient: Yup.

Me: And why were you….?

The patient and the woman looked at each other. And then I got it.

Me: Oh. Okay. You don’t need to say anything more.

Patient: Well my fiance here had started in this position and..

Me: Sir, I said I got it. I don’t need any more details. Do you often have asthma attacks during this activity?

Patient: Nope, but this time was different because…

Me: Sir, as I just said, I don’t need the details. The basic story is fine.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a medical code for “sex-induced asthma,” so I had to send him off with the simple diagnosis of “asthma attack.” And you at least have to give the fiance props for spicing things up to a point that her man couldn’t breathe…

Morning After Breakfast Sandwich

Take that, mickey-d’s…just don’t serve to anyone with an egg or gluten allergy!

Ingredients (per person)

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 whole-wheat english muffin, split
  • butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 3 thin slices good salami
  • 1 slice smoked gouda (or whatever other type of good melting cheese you have on hand…even american!)
  • 1 slice tomato
  • salt
  • pepper

How-to

  1. Toast an english muffin in a toaster or toaster oven
  2. Spray a small non-stick pain with butter spray (I know I normally tell you never to do this because it ruins your pans, but I have a specific small egg pan that I use just for this- they’re pretty cheap at your large big box store- and so I don’t feel bad about replacing it more often) and play over medium heat
  3. Crack an egg into the pan and break the egg yolk immediately (I’ll use a spatula or even the egg shell). Sprinkle on salt and pepper.
  4. After 1-2 minutes, flip the egg and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes (or whatever your desired egg consistency is). Top with the slice of cheese so it melts.
  5. Place the salami slices on the bottom of the toasted english muffin. Top with the egg covered with cheese, tomato slice, and the top of the english muffin.
  6. Enjoy! These also are easy to eat while driving on the way to work, or put into a container to eat once you arrive!

Breast Exams and Blackberry Scones

Remember my awkward classmate from my last post?

During your first and second years of medical school, you work with standardized patients who help teach you how to complete a variety of physical exams. These people are paid fairly well for all of the basic exams (heart, lungs, abdomen, et cetera). However, the people that get paid the best are those that are willing to teach the male and female anatomy exams to medical students.

For these exams, you learn how to complete them with a partner. And my partner just happened to be a very sheltered and awkward classmate.

In particular, he had never, to my knowledge, had a girlfriend. And, if I was a betting women, I would put a great bit of money on him never having seen a woman before in a state where she was not fully clothed.

Did I mention that he was my partner for the female anatomy exam?

We walked into the room, and our patient instructor at that point still had her gown covering her. However, she then told us that she wanted us to be “comfortable with the human body,” so she proceed to drop the front of her gown and sit there with her breasts exposed while talking to us about women’s health and the exam before demonstrating everything that we had to do.

She obviously was quite perceptive, since I have never seen someone look so incredibly uncomfortable before in my life. All of the color washed out of his face.

And all of that was before we had to demonstrate our knowledge by performing the exam.

Perfect Shape Blackberry Scones

you won’t want a store-bought scone again

Ingredients

  • 3 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 3/4 cold butter, cubed
  • 1 c buttermilk or sour milk (mix 1 tbsp lemon juice with enough skim milk to make 1 c and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 6 oz blackberries
  • Skim milk
  • Powdered sugar

How-to

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and orange zest.
  3. Cut in butter (like making pie dough) until you have pea-sized crumbles.
  4. Stir in blackberries and then buttermilk or sour milk. If you’d like the nice purple color, mix this with your hands so the blackberries smush a little. Mixture should be lumpy.
  5. Using a tablespoon, place large spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart (you’ll get about 12-16) and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  6. Mix together skim milk and powdered sugar to make enough frosting to drizzle 1 tbsp onto each scone.

Hallucinations and Frittatas

People like to offer me their son’s hands in marriage. Unfortunately, I can never take them seriously.

When I was on my Psychiatry rotation, I did 2 weeks on Psych consults. Now, when most people think of psychiatry, they think of crazy people in a psych ward with soft padded walls. What you don’t realize is that you can only be in a psych ward if you have no other medical conditions, and that many of the drugs that we give patients to treat their medical conditions or relieve pain after surgery can cause “drug induced psychosis.”

Such was the case with one particular patient. For him, the drugs we had to give him to treat his condition had also induced a week of mania. He kept talking very quickly and kept professing his love to his entire medical team, to the point where he had to be restrained in bed to prevent him from constantly hopping out (and potentially injuring himself and others) to run down the hall and hug people.

He also thought that he was the King of England and was head of the United States Navy. I was offered the spot of Princess and my own ship.

The first time we entered his room, he made all of us line up so he could evaluate us, and then he pointed at me.

Patient: You!

Me (questioning): Me?

Patient: You are perfect for my son!

Me (confused): Me?

Patient: You will be a princess!

Me (surprised): Me?

Patient: And you will have both a husband and a ship!

Me (incredulous): Huh?

Patient: He is 35 and has never not failed at a relationship, but you’re going to be a doctor so you will be perfect. Besides, you will be a princess! And have your own ship!

Wife: Unfortunately, he’s not hallucinating about our son’s relationship issues. (to her husband) Honey, our son is 45. And he might have better dating luck if he didn’t still live at home with us or got a job.

We went through this on a daily basis until the son was finally there during one of our visits.

And the wife was totally correct in her assessment.

Meet the Parents Caprese Frittata

no oven required!

Ingredients

  • 10 in nonstick pan with lid
  • Olive oil spray
  • 10 grape tomatoes, chopped in half
  • 2-3 oz fresh mozzarella, diced to the same size as the tomatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Fresh-cracked Pepper
  • Salt

How-to

  1. Spray 10 inch pan with olive oil (put your own in a spray bottle- it’s healthier!)
  2. Place pan over medium-low heat. Add tomatoes.
  3. Mix together eggs, pesto, and milk. Add a few twists of fresh-cracked pepper.
  4. Pour egg mixture on top of tomatoes. Arrange pieces of mozzarella artfully across the dish (this might take 1-2 minutes, but that’s okay!).
  5. Cover with lid and cook for 5-7 minutes or until eggs are set.
  6. Slide out of pan, cut into wedges, and serve! Salt if desired (the addition of the pesto normally means you don’t need it)

Note: If you are using a 12-in pan, increase ingredients to 15 tomatoes, 3-4 oz mozzarella, 4 eggs, 3 tbsp pesto, and 2 tbsp milk. If your eggs are on the smaller size, increase by an additional egg.