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!
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Beer and Wine Jelly

Sometimes, patient’s don’t understand what isn’t allowed in the hospital.

Back in med school, I was on the medicine inpatient wards. In medicine, you always have some patients who have been in the hospital for a while. And those patients sometimes are allowed to have a bit more freedoms just because they’re essentially living in the hospital.

My particular patient had been in the hospital for quite a few weeks. He was an overall fairly healthy guy, except for what was keeping him in the hospital. He also loved his sports. And something else with those sports.

I was on call one day, and had to walk into his room later on to see how he was doing now that we had changed around some of his medications.

And there, neatly lined up in the window, was a row of 4 bottles. With beer labels.

Me: Excuse me, sir, but are those yours?

Patient: Yup, the wife took pity on me and brought us something to drink during the baseball game.

Me: Sir, you realize you can’t drink in the hospital, right?

Patient: Good thing I had the wife hide the other two!

And no, alcohol is not one of the freedoms he was allowed.

Hospital Appropriate Spiced Wine Jelly

wine jelly

since alcohol is allowed in hospitals in jelly form

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 1/4 c whit e sugar
  • 1 packet liquid pectin
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

How-to

  1. Bring a water bath canner with lids and jars (this makes about 3.5 C jelly, so plan accordingly) to a boil.
  2. In a small saucepan, measure out 1 1/4 c wine and pour in. Add cinnamon stick, cloves, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 15-25 minutes, or until reduced to 1/3 c liquid. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate, larger pot, pour in the rest of the wine and add in the sugar. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring often.
  4. When larger pot has come to a boil, add pectin and lemon juice. Bring back to a hard boil (once you cannot stir down) and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Strain in reduced wine in order to remove the spices.
  6. Ladle jelly into jars leaving 1/4 in at the top for room. Wipe rims clean, then place on lids with rings. Process for 5 minutes (adjust for altitude- please comment for times).
  7. Remove jars from water bath and let set (don’t touch them!) for 12-24 hours. Store for up to one year (one month in the fridge).

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.