Thursday Born

The everyday life of a medical student (who was born on a Thursday).

Third Block! – GI, Endo & Derm

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And so begins our third block! My collection of course books is growing quite rapidly…

This block, at only 4.5 weeks long but only a little smaller than last block, has been fairly intense.  Very long days of lecture, which has made keeping up difficult (I just finished last week, but there’s enough time left tonight that I might be able to catch up through today if I focus). I really like the material of this block, so far. I guess I find Crohn’s Disease and Diabetes more interesting than Pneumonia and Myocardial Infarctions. All of my grades but Cardio from last block are in, and I’m happy with them, especially if the second years really thought that it, the CPR block , was the hardest of the six. I can do this! I haven’t been as good about reading First Aid (the main Step 1 review book that most people at least start with) after I finish each topic as I meant to be. I still haven’t read the Renal and Pulmonary sections, but I have a flight coming up for Thanksgiving and when’s a better time to catch up on some reading than when there’s little else to do? Reading the Cardio section didn’t send me into a panic though, so I’m feeling good about the correlation between what they teach us in school, and what I need to know for the test. I’m not very interested in any of the competitive specialties so I’m not aiming for an astonishingly high score, but I want it to be good enough to feel like I have options when it comes to applying for my residencies. Who knows where I’ll want to be for those 3-7 or more years, but I’d like to have a good shot at getting in wherever it is.

After my exams but before this block began, I had a chance to make some cheese fondue. This was only the fourth time I’ve had it (and all times it’s been home-made), and it was just as delicious as the other times, if not even better. I’ve always used Gruyere and Emmenthaler, but this time I used Jarlsberg instead of the Emmenthaler, and I cut the wine in half and substituted in some chicken stock. We had are it with bread and apples, with some spinach on the side.

But once the block started, it meant meals were going to be less fancy and more centered on “how quickly can I make it and how many nutrients can I pack into it?” Which leads to meals like black beans (canned), and sweet potato (microwaved) on a tortilla (this one was corn), with some cheese and salsa. Very quick to throw together, and one can of beans and one decent sized sweet potato means enough leftovers for 3-4 more meals. Guess what I ate for dinner/lunch most of last week? Sorry about the bad picture. Not the prettiest meal to photograph in the first place, and I’m not always good about turning on enough lights in my room before I take my pictures.

But sometimes, you need to find the time to indulge a little bit. I made a fish soup about two months ago that unintentionally was very close to a Ghanaian dish called Light Soup. It was very good, but I had meant to make something a little creamier and less acidic. Then my roommate made a simple thai coconut soup and I decided to see if coconut milk would give me the consistency and flavor profile I was looking for.  Finally, this past Sunday, I got around to trying this idea. I used this recipe for inspiration, but I cooked my vegetables for a while first, then added the liquids, and then I let it cook until the vegetables were soft. At the end, I added the fish, let it sit for five minutes, and voila! Delicious, wonderful, thai coconut and lemongrass soup! I remember the first time I had a soup like this, and I fell in love with it. Except then I only had it maybe three more times. Well, now I can make it myself! And it’s so easy! Honestly, I prefer it on its own, but my classmate-neighbors overcooked some noodles and didn’t want to eat them, so I’ve been working my way through them.

I confess, it’s still not quite what I was looking for, but it was a happy misstep because I love this soup! Next time I will try making something closer to the first batch, but decreasing the presence of tomato and adding either skinned  zucchini or eggplant, as my mother suggested (I might throw in the skins separately though, because why waste perfectly edible vegetable matter that my diet really needs?). Anyway, I really recommended making a variation of this Thai version. You can make it really quickly like the original recipe, or you can do what I do and let things simmer longer so you can get some other errands done until you get hungry enough and can invite your neighbor-classmates over for lunch.

My ingredient list:

~3/4 of 1 huge yellow onion
~1 cup of carrots
~ 1 tomato
1 container of button mushrooms
1 19oz can of Coconut Soup that specifically said “For Cooking” on the can.
16oz Perch
2 shrimp bouillon cubes
1 fish bouillon cube
~ 2 cans of water (ie, I used the coconut soup can to pour in the water; at some point I decided it was too thin and let it boil off for a bit. I’d say start with a 1:1 ratio, then thin as desired)
~ 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
The leftover ginger I had in the fridge which looked to be close to two tablespoons
My best guess at two tablespoons of lemongrass (don’t chop it up like I did; it’s touch to chew so you want to remove it before you serve)
1 cup and a bit more of frozen chopped red, yellow and green peppers from Trader Joe’s
Handsqueezed juice of 1 lime
Zest of about half of half of 1 lime.
Some extra salt and a bit of black pepper to taste at the end.
When I remember, fresh cilantro leaves right before serving.

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Written by Aba

November 15, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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