April: a usually wonderful month of the year – flowers start reappearing from their winter sleep, chestnut stands slowly transform into ice cream stands along the lake, winter jackets can finally do what they do best (live in the attic), one can leave work in daylight and even go for a run before the sun sets. Technically so much to love – everyone seems to be in a happy mood now that the cold has passed. Or so we thought it had passed….. last weekend the warmth decided to take a leave of absence making way for some spring snow. How rude!
The snow did not stop me from embracing the supposed spring season – it is finally asparagus time again! A delicious unique vegetable which has the questionable side note of adding a peculiar smell to ones pee. We can count ourselves lucky that not all produce does that….. I wouldn’t want to know what aubergine urine could smell like…. or how about egg? Anyways, in keeping with the season with a hint of snow, I attempted a warming spring pasta dish using six ingredients: asparagus, cream, lemon, garlic, parmesan and, of course, pasta. Turned out yums – perfect for a mid week meal and freezable lunch!
Lemony Asparagus Cream Pasta
For the next 6 weeks fate has decided to give me a new challenge: learn to cook with one hand. How come? After a wonderful girlie weekend filled with fresh mountain air, snow, saunas, steambaths, delicious food, excellent company and a terrifying but harmless mass collision on skis, we decided to end the fun with a bang: sledding. Sounded like a great idea. Proved to be a great idea, however, only until two of us lost control, flung ourselves off the sled in an attempt to brake, as one has learnt to as a child. We successfully came to a grinding halt. Sadly, three of our bones were none too pleased with the speed of our stop. Where did the two junior doctors, who clearly don’t know how to sled, end up? Their favorite place: the ER. Diagnosis? Fractures, to be precise 3 of them, fairly divided between the two of us (mine being the fractured wrist). The best part: we got matching green casts! Needless to say, we sure did end our holiday with a bang and a great story. Also, note to self: never go sledding again.
Now, as for one-handed cooking – it’s really not that easy. I miss my left hand! But, never give up and accept the challenge. Here my first successful one-handed dish. Simple (even with one hand), heart warming and delicious.
Cauliflower, Brussels Sprout and Bacon Gratin
Monday seems to be the least appreciated day of the week, especially in late Autumn. On Monday morning it’s especially hard to motivate oneself to leave the toasty duvet cocoon one has been working on all night. Understandable, all that nightly effort gone to waste! The cold wet weather currently passing by is definitely nothing to be enjoyed outside – a front row seat from under the covers more than suffices.
UNLESS, like today, your alarm wakes you to a Winter Wonderland! YAYS, Winter has arrived! Getting up was so much easier and filled with excitement, mainly because my blind self had to stand right in front of the window to confirm that the white haze I saw upon awakening was actually snow and not some post-cocoon-hallucination. Snowman time! Fireplace time! Ice skating time! Turkey time! Also, warming comfort food time! Comfort food of the day – roasted sweet potato and carrot soup – a delicious alternative to the usual pumpkin. Let me know what you think.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
inspired by bbcgoodfood
I thought working in the ER would give me more time to advance on my culinary skills. Ha. I wish. (For once in my life) I was wrong. Shift work is tiring. The random free time you have, you actually need to recover from the inhumane hours. So, sorry for that!
But, to return with a scrumptios bang, I present to you a recipe for BBQ ribs ala moi (inspired by Jamie Oliver). On my recent trip to the big apple, one must-have american dish I didn’t indulge in is ribs. Ok, hate to break it, I also didn’t have cheesecake….. Whaaaaat was going on in my head?? How could I miss out? Honestly, I don’t know what happened. Well, instead of waiting for my next trip, I decided to recreate possibly the best ribs I have ever had – if you are in NYC or there soon don’t miss out on Georgia’s Eastside BBQ! Next time I think I have to double the sauce.
(Oven) BBQ Baby Back Ribs
(There is no way to make delicious, bbq-sauce drenched, ribs look beautiful)
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
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 :-).
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
So, agreed, probably not the most beautiful quiche you have ever seen, but it was made with all the love
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
This past month has been insane – I can’t believe it’s already March. It started with two days out of my usual surgical routine, namely in the life of an Anesthetist, because why not. A perfect base specialty for going into emergency medicine – a potential career goal after (hopefully) successfully becoming a surgeon. It continued with a few crazy days of Fasnacht (= my local carnival), the highlight! Have you been? If not, add it to your bucket list. Apparently it’s even listed in 1000 Places to See Before You Die, the city goes insane, who thought Swiss people could actually have fun? Fasnacht lasts for just 3 days, but what glorious days these are. One calls them the “drey scheenschte Dääg” (= three nicest days of the year). I don’t think I would go that far, but they are fun. In a nutshell – parades of giant burning wood pieces, booze, confetti ALL OVER, parades of crazy people throwing oranges, flowers, alcohol and again, confetti, at you, flour soup (ew), booze, cheese tart, cellar bar hopping, booze, more confetti, amazing brass bands, schnitzelbängg (satirical poetry), crazy costumes. Also, very little sleep. Retrospectively it would have been wiser to take the days off work before my 10 day shift……
Now, after all this booze, my roommate and I were not in the best of states, understandably. Ideal culinary hangover cure? 1. Bacon, 2. Garlic, 3. Bacon, 4. Garlic, 5. Alcohol (always), 6. Panko breadcrumbs. Turn that into something crispy and satisfying? You end up with Chicken Kiev. There is a debate going on whether this dish is of American, Ukrainian or Russian origin…. honestly, who cares, thank you to whoever invented it, it’s delicious.
P.S. Apologies for the picture – blaming it on the hangover.
Chicken Kiev with BACON
If you are Swiss – stop reading here and wait for my next post. If not, please continue.
Sit back, close your eyes, and try to imagine how a typical Swiss winter weekend is spent. What did you come up with? Let me guess: waking up to blue sky and sunshine in a remote wooden chalet amongst meters of powpow. The day is started with freshly baked bread and hot chocolate, before taking to the slopes (mind you, by this time it’s probably only just gone 08:30 am). After a full days of skiing you slide into the local après ski bar for a glas or two of mulled wine before returning to your chalet and pampering yourself, especially your muscles, in the in-house sauna or steam-bath. Showered, relaxed and changed you gather around the fireplace and commence with an apéro, probably consisting of some bubblies, Hobelkäse and Bündnerfleisch. And dinner? Well, cheese of course. There’s nothing like melted cheese served with potatoes, grilled veggies, garlic and meats, a.k.a Raclette (wohooo low carb!!). The food-belly will be painful, but worth it – no better way to digest than with a sip of Kirsch whilst enjoying fire number two, before heading to bed. And tomorrow? Well, naturally, REPEAT, with cheese fondue instead. Sound about right?
Now, what on earth do the Swiss do when it snows and rains all day? Get all dressed up in ski-gear and watch ski-racing from the sofa, prior to commencing the daily apéro a few hours early? Exactly right. Also exactly how I spent my past weekend (minus the ski-gear, in-house sauna and steam-bath, add the onesie). It was glorious, you should try it.