Saturday, August 21, 2010

Slow Cooker Jamaican Jerk Beans

I'm finding it hard to update this blog on a regular basis, now that medical school is in full swing. Honestly, I don't think I've ever had to work this hard academically in my life! In a matter of 2 weeks, we have already finished the first of 3 syllabi - in other words, 377 pages worth of powerpoint slides! (By the way, I measured the spine of that horrible booklet, and it is 1 1/4 inches thick!) It's quite mind-boggling, considering that this is on top of dissection lab, an introductory course in clinical medicine, and sporadic lectures on MRI/X-ray imaging.

We just had our first quiz ever, and it was definitely a humbling experience, to say the least. The only consolation I have in it is that everyone else seems to agree with me, so at least I don't feel exceptionally dumb. Unfortunately, though, we still have to keep up the studying in preparation of the real deal - our first ever practicum and written exam this coming Friday.

Anyway, back to food. I recently accompanied a friend to Macy's (the awesome thing about living in a city is that you never really need a car to go anywhere) and happened upon a beautiful slow cooker - it was love at first sight! Plus, it was on sale...which makes the purchase that much sweeter.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Babies are Growing!

So hopefully Mom never reads this blog because aside from the "STOP COOKING YOU'RE GOING TO FAIL MEDICAL SCHOOL AND DROP OUT AND WASTE OUR MONEY", she would definitely be unhappy if she found out I was spending my time growing my own Thai Basil seedlings from scratch. I mean literally from scratch. As you can see, I've even designed my own herb "pots" - yogurt containers with holes cut out of the bottom. It's surprising how low-maintenace basil can be, and this time I listened to Dad's advice and made sure not to plant the seedlings too close together.

Seeing the sprouts got me really excited, but it also made me very contemplative of the recent occurrences around me. I've always tried to make this blog specifically oriented towards cooking (none of that emo-depression crap), but lately I've been thinking of California and the memories I have of the past chapters in my life. When I first came to medical school, I promised myself to turn over a new leaf - a clean, blank slate devoid of the messes that I had made in the past. But sometimes, more often than I'd like to admit, memories rise again, like bleed-throughs from a pen or ominous bubbles on an otherwise smooth surface. It's often these disturbances that give me conflicts over the little things in my life. Opportunities come by my way, opportunities that make me want to take chances and live carpe diem, but always, in the back of my mind, a part of me is always warily holding back.

Well, a promise is a promise, and I really have to let go of the past. I don't mean all of the past, of course. Lately, I've been a little homesick (this morning, I heard California Girls on the radio, which got me a little depressed) but with all the phone calls and facebook posts I'm getting from my friends back home, I really couldn't ask for anything more. How could I possibly let THEM go? Plus, the people here are so incredibly awesome that I really have no right to complain. But there are definitely marks I need to erase from my mind - so like the little sprouted babies on my study table, I've got to let go and just start over.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pickled Snow Cabbage Stirfry

This should be my last post of the first weekend before medical school classes start! As I mentioned in my last post, I've decided to do some mass-cooking every weekend to sustain me throughout each week (which would be time-efficient and cost-efficient), but seeing as all I had made so far consisted of vegetables, I figured I better add some meat to my diet.

Speaking of vegetables, my dinner last night consisted entirely of vegetables and high-fiber rice. It was a big mistake - I tried running this morning before breakfast and nearly died from the hunger pains (it didn't help that I felt as if I were in a sauna - August in the East Coast = mass humidity).

But it was okay, because after going to Church, I met up with my friend Julie, whom I have not seen in 4 years, and we actually pigged out quite a bit in an Indian buffet. I've never been to an Indian buffet, and I've heard some rather interesting stories about them, but the restaurant we stopped at was actually really good. It was nice catching up and acting silly with someone similar to me again. Oh, and after seeing the UPenn campus, I am officially envious. That place is beautiful.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stirfried Bok Choy with Garlic

So I've finally survived my first week of medical school. It was definitely a fun experience for me, but now that the hype has died down, I'm starting to miss California a little. It feels weird not coming out of my room and seeing all the familiar faces of my apartment-mates back in San Diego. Oh well...I'm sure once classes start I'll be too busy to think of anything but hitting the books.

To be honest, I'm a little nervous about the first week (and the first quiz), but that's vastly overshadowed by my excitement. It's been 4 months since I last studied, and my entire senior year was tampered by my senioritis-ridden lack of discipline. It would be nice to once again occupy myself with the stress and pain of studying (I can't believe I'm saying that).

AND! I finally got a real bed :) It feels nice to sleep on something more stable than an air mattress. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 1 of Medical School

How can I describe Welcome Week of medical school? Little/no sleep, little/no food, and packed, nonstop action. It's only the second day, and I'm already a mess. My pants are significantly looser, my body is on hyperactive-to-overcompensate-for-sleep-deprivation mode, and I've already come down with a nasty cough. But honestly, the fun makes it more than worth it.

Living in downtown Philadelphia is like nothing I have ever really experienced. Sure, I've visited downtown cities several times before, but I have never in my life been able to leave the front door of my home and walked right into a noisy intersection interlaced by cutthroat taxis and daredevil drivers (not to mention pedestrians who do not seem to understand the color red). It's actually quite exciting, but I can already see myself in a month or two yearning for the suburbs I have always known before. Well, it will take some getting used to.

One really, REALLY awesome advantage of going to JMC is the fact that you are literally 5 minutes away from a legitimate Chinatown with real, legitimate, down-and-dirty Cantonese food (Gordon always claims that anyone who wants to treat me on a date should just take me to a dirty food stand). I've been getting to know that area of the city pretty well...especially the restaurants. :)

Anyway, I've already visited a few other places near campus and met lots of people. One thing that's struck me is the endless amounts of free food they provide us. And I don't mean chips or cookies. I mean legitimate free food. In fact, we actually had a wine and cheese reception today that included decent wine, elegant appetizers, and an actual miniature orchestra. Now we know what that giant tuition of ours is funding. :P


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