Easy Natural Energy Bites:

- With blender or food processor, chop equal parts raw cashews and dates.
- Add lemon juice until thick paste forms.
- Roll in unsweetened coconut flakes.

This will probably save me a good bit of money currently being spent on processed energy bars. More importantly, it will save me the inevitable 20 minutes I spend scrutinizing the energy bars and trying to find the one with the most recognizable ingredients!

-b


 

Spring in Durham

I second B’s comments about the stresses of working (living) in the hospital. I’ve been on Gynecology Oncology this month, which is always incredibly hard and sad. So I’ve spent my days off…gardening. I am slowly but surely becoming my grandmother.

Consider these “before” pictures. We have prepared two garden beds: a spice garden (really a sandbox that we filled with potting soil) and veggie garden. The mint and parsley survived the winter, as did a grape vine I’ve planted against the fence! The new plants we’re growing include tomato, eggplant, squash, bell peppers, dill, basil, thyme, green onions, jalapeños, habaneros, morning glories, and passion flowers. I have absolutely no idea which will grow well in our yard, but my goal is not to have to buy veggies or spices this summer.

Taking a deep breath and pushing forward through one more week of oncology…
K


 

Sadness…then Spring

The last week has been beyond hard. For the first time, I had to pronounce a patient dead. Then I saw a horrific, devastating case of child abuse. Weeks like this make me question my career decisions…and why life seems so unfair. The child abuse, in particular, has shaken me up. There are things in the hospital that I imagine would be even harder for me to deal with if I had children- the random and awful accidents or illnesses that can suddenly befall a child. But as I struggle with infertility, there is nothing more difficult than seeing children whose parents hurt or neglected them. For me, that is the definition of unfair- that awful people are allowed to have children. And that children’s lives can be ruined or cut short by the very people who brought them into the world.

Anyway, I’ve been so consumed by this sad, busy schedule that I didn’t even realize until last night that tomorrow is Easter. And today happens to be my only day off in a 2.5-week span. So, I decided I better do something to feel like a human again. For me, that means spending a whole day in the kitchen. And since Easter is tomorrow, I decided to dye the eggs that we’re bringing to our friend’s Passover Seder (I realize that is incongruous). We only had brown eggs and food coloring, but it worked out perfectly:


{To boil eggs, put them in cold water. Bring to rolling boil, cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 12 minutes. Then rinse in cold water and let them dry.}

1. Put water on to boil.
2. Put 40 drops of food coloring and 2 tsp vinegar into each bowl.
3. When the water boils, put 1 cup boiling water into each bowl.
4. Put hard boiled eggs into dye, and let them sit for about 6 minutes.

I found that they dried well placed sideways on the egg crate (so that the dye didn’t pool on the bottom). Red works the best with brown eggs, but the teal and blues also turned out well!

Spending time in the kitchen doing something silly like dyeing eggs definitely helped in my quest to feel human. And, we have herbs growing outside and flowers blooming on the walk to work, so life’s not bad. I just have to make it through the next few weeks!

-b


 

Caribbean (fused with…whatever was in the fridge): over-easy egg, black beans, avocado, plantains. Served with “sassy water” with mint leaves and lemon.
-b

Caribbean (fused with…whatever was in the fridge): over-easy egg, black beans, avocado, plantains. Served with “sassy water” with mint leaves and lemon.
-b


 

Salmon and Fennel Chowder

T made a delicious seafood chowder:
- In butter, sauté 3 leeks and 2 stalks celery with minced garlic.
- Add crumbled (turkey) bacon.
- Meanwhile, sauté salmon with olive oil until flaky.
- Add half-and-half and seafood stock, plus plenty of pepper to taste.
- MOST DELICIOUS PART: Mix olive oil with Chinese Five Spice powder.
- Serve salmon on top of soup, with olive oil drizzled on top and parsley for garnish.

-b

Salmon and Fennel Chowder

T made a delicious seafood chowder:
- In butter, sauté 3 leeks and 2 stalks celery with minced garlic.
- Add crumbled (turkey) bacon.
- Meanwhile, sauté salmon with olive oil until flaky.
- Add half-and-half and seafood stock, plus plenty of pepper to taste.
- MOST DELICIOUS PART: Mix olive oil with Chinese Five Spice powder.
- Serve salmon on top of soup, with olive oil drizzled on top and parsley for garnish.

-b