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

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.

Screamers and Blueberry Muffin Bread

I feel like pregnancy and childbirth always lead to some of the best medical stories.

On my third year pediatrics rotation, we have to spend a day attending any birth where a pediatrician must be present. This can be for emergencies, poor prenatal care, weird contraction patterns, et cetera.

In this case, we had a girl who presented to her clinic visit that day, only to discover that she was in labor and fully dilated. That baby was coming, and it was going to come fast.

Not if she had anything to do about it.

We could hear her screaming all the way down the hall as we walked into her room. For those of you that don’t know, you can only get an epidural up to a certain point in labor, and she was well past that by the time she even showed up to clinic. That resulted in this poor lady having a natural childbirth when she had previously stated she refused to give birth without an epidural.

Now, pain makes you do some crazy things. In this case, pain from childbirth was causing her to try to kick the delivery team away from her as she repeated threatened to “keep that damn baby in.”

This ordeal lasted for about 20 minutes until her mother finally showed up. Her mother was an extremely large woman, to put it nicely. And she was not happy at her daughter’s behavior.

She stomped into the room, pushed the delivery team out of the way, and got into her daughter’s face to scream over the wailing…

“Now you listen to me, you are gonna have that f***ing baby, and you are going to f***ing cooperate with these nice doctors, or I will f***ing rip that child outta your f***ing  va-jay-jay myself. DO YOU F***ING UNDERSTAND ME???”

The baby was born within the next 5 minutes.

The next morning, we visited her room to check on the new little munchkin. The new mom gushed to us that childbirth had been a “wonderful, peaceful, calming experience,” and it was “sent from God” and she would “always have a natural childbirth.”

In the background, her mother glared daggers at us, daring us to say anything different.

Needless to say, we kept our mouths shut. Tightly.

Worth Screaming for Blueberry Muffin Bread

then just pass me one of these and I’ll shut up quickly

Ingredients- Muffin Bread

  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice plus enough milk (I used 1/2%) to make 3/4 c
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • Cooking spray

Ingredients- Streusel Topping

  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter

How-to

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray mini loaf pans (you can also use muffin pans for this or a large loaf pan/jumbo muffin tin- if using either of those, reduce oven temp to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for approximately 30-45 minutes).
  2. Mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add in blueberries.
  3. In a large measuring cup, combine lemon juice and milk. Add vegetable oil and egg and stir well.
  4. Pour liquids into dry ingredients and stir until just combined (lumps are okay!).
  5. Divide batter equally among mini loaves, muffins, or just dump it all into one loaf pan.
  6. Mix together flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon for topping. Cut in butter until the mixture looks clumpy. Sprinkle onto batter.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes (or see note above if you’re using an alternate pan) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool 5 minutes then enjoy!

Surprising Mornings and Waffles

Sometimes it takes a little bit of alcohol for someone to open up.

Then again, a lot of alcohol can lead to discoveries you wish you didn’t make.

I was seeing a former frat boy. Now, there are some frat boys who grow up, there are some that don’t, and then there are those that try to grow up and then revert back to frattiness with large quantities of alcohol.

This particular gentleman had friends in town that weekend, which naturally meant that a lot of drinking would be going on. As the night progressed, he got more and more drunk until he passed out in a stairwell. We managed to get him into a car, where he snored quite happily on the drive home.

Two boys and I managed to carry him and dump him into bed. I crawled in next to him (the guests had taken over the living room and having not served as the DD, I was in no shape to drive home myself) and went to sleep (it’s hard work wrangling drunk boys who don’t think they’re drunk).

The next morning I woke up surprisingly cold. I rolled over to snuggle, only to make an even worse discovery upon realizing that half of the bed was quite damp…

Yup, that’s right, he wet the bed overnight.

Upon realizing that, I immediately jumped out of bed and changed into dry clothes. I wanted a shower as fast as possible, but before driving home I woke up the bedwetter and informed him of what had happened.

His response in an extremely hungover state- “But why do you have to go home and shower?”

Better Morning Surprise Whole Wheat Banana Waffles

I’d much rather wake up to these

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 c skim milk
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 2 overly ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Olive oil spray

How-to

  1. In one bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the middle.
  2. In another bowl, mash the bananas. Add the eggs, skim milk, oil, and vanilla and mix until just combined.
  3. Add liquids to flour mixture and stir until just combined (lumpy is okay!)
  4. Preheat your waffle maker according to package instructions.
  5. Spray waffle maker with olive oil (best to use olive oil in a spray pay so your waffle maker lasts longer!).
  6. Pour 1 to 1 1/2 c mixture onto waffle grids (this varies depending on your waffle maker). Close lid and cook according to instructions (mine says 2-4 minutes and it normally takes 3).
  7. Open lid when done (don’t open early!) and use a fork to remove.
  8. Repeat with rest of the waffle batter, spraying waffle maker every so often with more olive oil as needed.
  9. Serve with maple syrup or fresh fruit.

Makes 14 4-inch waffles (can also use this batter with a Belgian waffle maker)

Note: These freeze very well!  To reheat, first thaw for 30 seconds in a microwave then throw in a toaster for best results.