Alter Boys and Roasted Garlic

For some boys, the attention span does not last long.

I was in 6th grade at the time. Now, the middle school years were pretty rough. I had glasses, braces, and acne. I have a wonderful picture of me in 4th grade, when is when the ugly process started, that people don’t think is me, if that tells you anything.

Anyway, I was at the awkward age of 12. I was at some family function (I think it possibly was an uncle getting remarried, but that’s my best guess) that involved us going to church.

Now, on top of that gorgeous picture I just painted of myself, to this event I was wearing an unfortunate outfit. My mother used to make me a dress every year for Easter and Christmas to wear. Now, my mother was quite a good seamstress, but she always insisted on making the dresses have puffy sleeves.

Back when I was in middle school, I HATED puffy sleeves. HATED THEM.

So here I was, in church with my family, decked out in a floral print dress with puffy sleeves, with braces and glasses that took up half my face (the acne wasn’t as bad as normal that day). We’re in the middle of mass, and we’re at the part where everyone shakes hands and says “peace be with you,” for those non-raised-Catholic folks.

In this particular church, the priest and alter boys would walk around and participate. One of the alter boys made a beeline towards us, shook my hand, and then said, “You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.”

I was flabbergasted and flattered, since obviously it wasn’t true. However, he then turned to my cousin who was standing next to me, and said, “You’re even more beautiful than your cousin.”

Obviously he hadn’t learned too much about manners as an alter boy.

Saintly Roasted Garlic

this garlic has more manners than some alter boys


  • Whole head roasted garlic (you can roast multiple at a time)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut off tops of whole bulbs of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in oven until soft for 35 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Use in sauces or just squeeze out a clove and spread onto a piece of good bread…my favorite!

Suits and Soup

As a physician or physician-to-be, there are only a few occasions where you need to wear a suit. One of them happens to be interviewing.

Over the past few months, I’ve been interviewing for residency in anesthesia. Part of the deal is that you wear a suit, and another part is that you ALWAYS have a hospital tour.

On one particular interview, they took us around the Labor and Delivery floor (your friendly anesthesiologist puts in your epidural). There’s about 15 people walking around in dark colored suits (I like to mix things up and wear brown or grey pinstripe instead of black).

Naturally, there were some laboring mammas on the floor as we walked by (birth doesn’t stop for tours).   Most of the time, they don’t noticed groups of people walking by in the halls.

One mother, however, did. And she did not take it well.  She immediately began screaming, and not because of the pains of childbirth.


That was not exactly the effect we were looking for.

We then had to reassure her husband (she was quite inconsolable and still screaming and sobbing) that we were pretty much the farthest thing from lawyers, and then bring her doctor in to further confirm that we were only a bunch of medical students and that the baby was fine.

I really hope she doesn’t sue for emotional damages.

No Lawyers Required Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

much better at melting snowmen than Campbell’s


  • Olive oil
  • 2 whole bulbs garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Basil
  • 1 c carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 32 oz low sodium chicken broth (can also use vegetable broth)
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 c skim milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off tops of whole bulbs of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in oven until soft for 35 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees. Quarter roma tomatoes and place in greased baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried basil. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes until soft and slightly shrunken.
  3. In a large stockpot while tomatoes are roasting, coat bottom with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add in carrots and onions. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp dried basil. Saute for 15 minutes or until carrots begin to soften.
  4. Mix cornstarch into broth and add to the saucepan. Add in the roasted garlic cloves (you can squeeze them out or use a fork), the roasted tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  5. Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes or until carrots become tender, stirring occasionally.
  6. Using an immersion blender or a blender, puree soup until your desired consistency.
  7. Return soup to stockpot and add milk. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This makes a lot of soup!  Feel free to serve with your favorite grilled cheese, garnish with shredded mozzarella or parmesan, or freeze for later use.