Queueing Failures

Happy Saint Nicholas’ Day, a.k.a another one of my favorite days of the year. I hope your stockings were filled with exciting presents and delicious chocolates. Today is one of the few days where people actually queue for something in Switzerland. Queueing for restaurants, bakerys, theatres, etc. isn’t a thing here unlike in London, Manhattan, Sydney, you name it. My most recent queuing failure in London was an attempt to eat at the new Thai place in town – Som Saa. We arrived at 18:30, the wait would have been 2.5 hours…  I then inquired at what time one would have to realistically come to grab a table for “normal dinner times”. The answer: 17:00. Seriously?? Who has time for that?!?

Anyways, one thing the Swiss have understood is the uselessness and inefficiency of queuing. Apart from today – my next queuing failure. On Saint Nicholas’ day, Swiss tradition is to eat a Grättimaa – sweet brioche-like bread heaven shaped like a man, the Grättimaa. If you don’t want to make them yourself, the go to bakery to buy these in town is Gilgen. Naively, I went by early afternoon thinking the rest of the world must be working – my was I taken by surprise – there were 2 queues going right out the door past the next shop! And what’s the magic of queues? They attract more and more people, because whatever is at the end must be good. The beauty of it all – some queuers didn’t even know what they were in line for! By the time I finally managed to order, I whipped out my debit card (having just returned from ‘merica where everything is paid for by card) only to hear the words: “Sorry, our card machine is broken today”. MAJOR FAIL. So I queued for nothing…. at least I know how to make them myself and I can decide on the appropriate sugar to bread ratio ;-).

Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Grättimaa

img_1312adapted from SRF

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Happy Thanksgiving Y’all

I hope most of you are lucky enough to dig into a turkey, some stuffing, some sprouts, some mash, a spiced cranberry sauce and most importantly, a slice of pumpkin pie. This will be my 2nd Thanksgiving stateside, actually my 2nd in Manhattan. Last years orphan event in Soho starring a 22 lbs turkey, prepared by Australians no less, will be hard to top, but I’m just as excited.
When I was little we used to always celebrate Thanksgiving in Switzerland thanks to an American family member. Sadly I can only vaguely remember the (extraordinary) extent of the buffet, but I’m told it was out of this world. And me being the difficult child I was didn’t eat any of it. WHAAAAT??? All the goodness I missed out on. Hard to believe with my current appetite and food obsession.

That being said, its high time to catch up on the culinary delights of this holiday, starting with the best part: pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving!

Delicious Pumpkin Pie

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Soul Food

Just about one month ago I traded my scalpel for a stethoscope, a neurological tuning fork and an ECG compass. What was I thinking?!? No, honestly, these past weeks have been fascinating to say the least, I finally feel like a true medic. Ok, let’s not exaggerate, I finally feel like I could become one…… somtime….. once I’ve managed to drag myself ashore from drowning in the sea of internal medicine. I cannot believe med school is only 3 years back…. Coming from 2 years of operating fun times, my present job makes me question my memory – do I have retrograde amnesia for literally all of those 6 years spent at school?   Well, I certainly feel like I do. Maybe I should get myself checked out by a neurologist.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the following before:

“What’s the difference between a physician, a surgeon and a pathologist ?

The physician knows everything and does nothing.
The surgeon knows nothing and does everything.
The pathologist knows everything, but always a week too late.”

My current status: ex surgeon, novel physician = knows nothing and does nothing. Sounds about right. Luckily enough, my previous work experience helped me in perfecting the poker face – a very important asset. Who am I kidding, beginnings are always hard – as long as everyone survives along the way one must embrace each step.
The following recipe made my beginning a lot easier – a homey, warming, hearty pumpkin soup. There is nothing better than coming home to delicious left overs which get better day by day. Admittedly, pumpkin is one of my favorite fruits (who would have thought it’s a fruit…weird right?) – perfect to turn into a curried soup or a spiced pie. Also, perfect to carve for Halloween, although that is sadly still on my bucket list. Anyways, for all you professional beginners out there – buy a pumpkin and treat your soul to some (fruity) goodness. Let me know what you think!

The Medic’s Amazing Pumpkin Soup

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Olfactory Geniuses, a.k.a Furry Besties, and a Hearty Culinary Substitute

Who do you enjoy following most on Instagram (apart from The Medical Gourmet, of course)? Top on my list are The Dogist and Americankennelclub. There is something about the four-legged furry creatures that always manages to brighten my day. I mean, look at the legend below, chilling in Manhattan traffic with no care in the world. Sadly current life logistics don’t allow for my flatmate and myself to have a dog. Maybe I should use a quarter-life crisis as an excuse to commence a dog-walker career :-).

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The Art of Third-Wheeling

This post is dedicated to one of my favorite replacement parents. More specifically, my Monday night chaperones. The best skills I claim to have acquired as an almost infinite single is third-wheeling. It’s kind of like dating, without the hassle of actually having to impress and perfecting your make up. Yes, I have sadly reached the age where most of my friends are happily settled and being single seems to be crime (THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING SINGLE!!). So, hanging out with couples becomes inevtable. Lucky for me, I love third-wheeling – especially with these guys, it’s the perfect excuse to hang out with two of my besties. And they both get to hang out with me. How is that not a win-win situation?
Over the years I feel I have accumulated couples for all occasions – wining and dining, sports, nights out, movie nights, not to forget drunken madness. Which reminds me, my Monday chaperones have also recently, like good parents, put a roof over my drunken head (now that’s probably only a win situation for me…). For that I am eternally grateful – I would not have made it home alive.
Our typical Monday evening entails sweat pants, the one or other youtube video and of course dinner, mostly created from leftover groceries in their fridge, usually resulting in some sort of comfort food. Last week we watched olympics. Now, during the olympics, comfort food is essential – I mean how unsporty and pathetic do those athletes make you feel? It’s like the 5k you just ran to hatch a Pokémon egg (and of course become the next Paula Radcliffe) were not even worth the effort. How is that going to help you towards perfecting the triple back flip screw synchronised diving thing or swinging round the asymmetric bars in gymnastics? And 25m pistol shooting – how is that an olympic discipline?? Anyways, this video of failed Filipino diving will make you feel better. Enjoy it with some red lentil dal. Perfect Monday night.

Red Lentil Dal

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Hazelnut Rolls

T-2 days until I am officially unemployed for 2 months! Scary! Anyone have a guide to leading the life of a pensioner?
In my hospital, tradition calls for junior doctors to spoil their co-workers with a sweet breakfast sometime around their last day of work. Another compulsory “cake baking” moment in the life of a junior doctor, respectively surgeon in training, is after being allowed to operate something for the first time. There is an unwritten rule stating one has to bring a cake after each new surgical achievement. Sneaky, sneaky surgeons. Now, instead of always bringing cake, I figured I could be creative and bring rolls. Who doesn’t like rolls? My personal favorite – cinnamon rolls – would be a tad too intense for my Swiss colleagues to digest at 8 am. So I decided to stay on the safe side and made these hazelnut rolls – NOM. Secret ingredient: a hint of cinnamon, obvs.

Nussschnecken – Hazelnut Rolls

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Summer Salad with an Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

Currently, being the lucky one to have 7 night shifts in a row, *yay*, I have a dilemma (major first world problem) – when do I sleep? Summer has finally arrived, temperatures are rising, skirts and dresses are out on the town, tanning is part of the daily routine and afterwork drinks on a roof terasse are also a must. How am I meant to work at night, get enough sleep and still manage to soak up all of the sun needed to restore my probably depleted Vitamin D levels?? Let alone take part in exciting summer activities such as swimming, cycling, (golfing – don’t judge), BBQ-ing, ice-cream eating and day drinking. Red Bull has helped a bit, but if you have any tips on staying awake 24/7, 7 days in a row, let me know. And no, drugs are not an option.
Lucky for me it is possibly the last set of nights in 2016 as I am starting a new job in October – exciting, but also terrifying.
Anyways, the heat always manages to rob my appetit for warm food. Summer is a time for salads and fruits – so why not combine the two? The other evening I decided to use up some random fruity citrussy ingredients lying about in my fridge and came up with this. Satisfying, refreshing, delish. Perfect as a starter or main (if you add some oven baked/grilled salmon).

Summer Salad with an Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Smoked Salmon and Spinach Quiche

Only 6 months until my favorite time of the year! Meanwhile, most boys favorite time of 2106 started yesterday with the European Football Championship in France. Did you watch the opening game? Are you as excited about it as I am? I even have a Swiss jersey ^^.

Ok, who am I kidding, I don’t think I will watch more than 2 games (despite being a retired middle school footballer). But, lucky for us girls, the season of men free evenings has officially started! Time to hang out, catch up on all the face mask – nailart – yoga – wine&dine – gossip evenings you’ve missed out on over the past two years. Now we are talking. Here is a simple, yet delicious, recipe for exactly one of those evenings. Let it bake while your paint your nails, drink some wine and relax.

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Quiche

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So, agreed, probably not the most beautiful quiche you have ever seen, but it was made with all the love

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Herby Crusted Cod

Happy Sunday, Happy Whitsun – more like yay for having an extra day off work – three-day weekend hello:-)… For most of us, that is – maybe I should have thought about rough working hours before starting my degree, but really, as if I was mature enough to think that far ahead at 17. Also, apparently abiding by the labour law is overrated. Although, compared to junior doctors in the UK, I don’t think us Swiss are doing all too bad. Yet, lack of sleep is still inevitable. How was I supposed to know that 8 hours of sleep was going to be a must in the future? I envy all those who can function on less… how do you do it? Also, how do you not look like someone punched you? And don’t say coffee, there has to be another secret….
Back to the three-day weekend – I hope you have all embarked on an exciting road trip to some warm place in the south and are spending your days at a beach with a cold glass of Rosé to accompany the line fish of the day. Mhmm that sounds wonderful. For all medics who are dreaming of this scenario, here is a recipe to recreate an almost as satisfactory milieu at home. Open your favorite bottle of Rosé, put your feet up, forget all annoying GOMER’s*of the past 12 hours, turn on Netflix, watch something brainless and relax.

Herby Crusted Cod

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Happy Blogiversary

Happy second blogiversary to meee!! I cannot believe The Medical Gourmet is already 2 years old – these past two years have flown by. At this point I could get deep and soppy and reflective, but let me not bore you. For all of you who don’t have a reason to drink some bubbly this evening – use my blogiversary as an excuse;-). And, if you are in search of a delicious dessert recipe to go with your bubbly – you can never go wrong with an indulgent citrusy meringue pie. Well, that’s my plan anyways. Cheers to a great year. Happy Wednesday!

Passion Fruit/Lemon Meringue Pie
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