Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dinner week of July 11th

This time, the food first, the commentary second.

- a simple food in theory to make... delicious if it comes out right. I pulled a recipe off Epicurious and here's the basics: 4-5 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 1 pepper, thyme and garlic with olive oil in the blender, mix afterward with 3 cups tomato juice and some red wine vinegar and voila! We had it with some crusted bread and sour cream after chilling for a night - perfect!

Garden dinners
- we've had a few of these, I won't get into details on the food other than simplicity - a simple salad with fresh goat cheese or the left over hot dogs (from an earlier post) with salad... the bottom line is that the community garden we have been lent by our lovely neighbor is like an oasis. To be able to sit in the middle of Harlem amongst vegetables growing and a cool breeze on a hot summer night makes just about any food delectable - eating with your lovely wife and unborn little one is the icing.

New York Life
- sometimes this feels like a really hard city to live in: this week I had 3 flat tires in my commute through the Bronx, tried to feel the kindness of strangers when I was not hit by their careening driving patterns, and the clinic was pure chaos - a crappy week overall for other reasons that should not be said here. In clinic this week, I met one patient who helped make life seem less bad for some reason, and we initially connected over food... I won't relate any details that violate HIPPA, but basically his darling little 1 year old came in for a visit, and in asking what she's been eating, he described his home food with some prompting - the peanut sauce seemed unique in preparation and I asked more... apparently, this father was a top student in Mali (about 1/2 of my patients at least are from other countries), and being a top student, he was sent to Russia for his studies where he completed a PhD in sociology, then went on to serve as a war correspondent for the IRC (International Rescue Committee - a refugee organization that I used to volunteer for) and wrote advocacy and journalism pieces for them. He moved to NYC to have the chance at a better life for his family - and now he sells shoes. So here's a guy who speaks French, English, Malian and Russian fluently and has a PhD in sociology who is selling shoes to get by and give his family a better chance. It's funny that I thought I had a bad week after getting a bunch of flats and having a crappy work week as a doctor... it's all relative of course in terms of suffering - one can suffer in riches as well as in poverty, but I am lucky to have such personal examples to serve as inspiration on a near daily basis.

Baby news:
the little one really started moving this week!!! still can't hear a heartbeat with my stethoscope, but he/she is a moovin and groovin - especially when Erin lies down. I'm so excited! Next week we find out boy or girl - don't care which, excited both ways. Had two conversations this week with adolescent patients that felt a little like parenting where they were a boy/girl who didn't have a father/mother to explain life's little joke of adolescence to them and so part of the job fell to me - sweet patients but flash forward in time... actually helped me frame things in a light that was less medical and more sympathetic I think.

More to come this week in food... doing inpatient oncology this week as the senior physician on the floor, so perhaps some neutropenic meals are in order? (bad joke).

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