Teddy Bear Operating Theatre – Chest Tube

Disclaimer: Teddy bear theatre is where we learn about basic procedures via their demonstration on a teddy bear who has suffered an injury and requires assistance. It is meant to demystify these procedures and make them less scary in case your teddy bear requires them someday. It is not a guide to how to perform procedures! It requires years of training to become a proficient teddy bear doctor. If your teddy bear suffers a serious injury, please proceed immediately to the nearest appropriate facility for assessment and treatment.
Continue reading

Teddy Bear Operating Theatre – Chest Tube

RASPBERRY ROLLS (a way to use up leftover pie dough)

clown RASPBERRY ROLLS (a way to use up leftover pie dough)

')"> I discovered this hellish monstrosity in the hospital gift shop. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.

In an update I’m sure everyone was waiting for with bated breath, shark-dog finally got his walk. Of course given that it happened more than 30 minutes ago, he has totally forgotten and is back to acting like he’s the most put-upon and neglected creature the world has ever seen. He whined at me for 20 minutes straight yesterday, then chewed his food bowl apart in protest against the many wrongs done to him.

zig street RASPBERRY ROLLS (a way to use up leftover pie dough)

')">

On the walk we discovered this sidewalk which zigs, but does not zag,

two tone tree RASPBERRY ROLLS (a way to use up leftover pie dough)

')">

As well as a two-tone tree.

deer statue RASPBERRY ROLLS (a way to use up leftover pie dough)

')">

The first few times we walked shark-dog past this statue he was uncertain if it was a dog and approached it hesitantly, but he’s now wise to the fact that it’s not living. Jury’s out on whether he’s also realized it represents a different species.

One of the dilemnas I most like getting faced with is what the heck to do with spare pie dough. I have weirdly sized pie pans, so I make a batch and a half to two batches of dough, and this usually leads to extra. I view this as an opportunity to do some recipe testing and fridge cleaning. That last little bit of blue cheese? In it goes. A lone half portabello mushroom? Don’t mind if I do. Pears, apples, or any other fruit that doesn’t sound nasty (I’m shooting side eye at you, bananas) are also fair game.

In this vein, my quiche efforts led to extra dough, and combined with BS’s temporary insanity when faced with 99 cent raspberries at the store last week, this is where we ended up:

rolls prerolling RASPBERRY ROLLS (a way to use up leftover pie dough)

')">

 
Continue reading

RASPBERRY ROLLS (a way to use up leftover pie dough)

Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Syndrome

jumping frenchmen Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Syndrome

')">

In 1878 American neurologist George Beard set out for the wilds of northern Maine in search of rare quarry – the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine. Reports had spread of French Canadian lumberjacks who, when startled, would jump up, throw their hands in the air, and yell expletives. They were unusually susceptible to suggestions at these times and would generally do whatever they were told. Echopraxia (repeating the actions of another) and echolalia (repeating the words of another) were also reported.
Continue reading

Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Syndrome

CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

iris CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

')">

My neighbors have some damned impressive flowers!

poppy CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

')">

From the tried and true,

purple flowe CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

')">

To some weirdos I’d never seen before,

maple CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

')">

Okay, that’s a tree, but still pretty, no?

Carrot edamame salad is one of those dishes that feel quintessentially summer-y to me. It’s light, can be served cold, doesn’t take a lot of work to produce, and has nice, bright, citrus flavors. It’s also good for a few days.

salad ingredients CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

')">
Continue reading

CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

Teddy Bear Operating Theatre – Sutures

Disclaimer: Teddy bear theatre is where we learn about basic procedures via their demonstration on a teddy bear who has suffered an injury and requires assistance. It is meant to demystify these procedures and make them less scary in case your teddy bear requires them someday. It is not a guide to how to perform procedures! It requires years of training to become a proficient teddy bear doctor. If your teddy bear suffers a serious injury, please proceed immediately to the nearest appropriate facility for assessment and treatment.
Continue reading

Teddy Bear Operating Theatre – Sutures

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

cheshire cat Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

')">

Alice in Wonderland syndrome, often associated with migraines, is a disorder of perception. Patients experience a wide variety of misperceptions about their environment including micropsia (the perception that things are smaller than they are),

big alice Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

')">

macropsia (the perception that things are larger than they are),

long neck alice Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

')"> and other sundry abnormalities. It is most commonly seen in childhood with resolution by the twenties, but can persist well into adulthood in some unlucky souls. There may also be misperceptions of time and velocity, for example the feeling that time is passing very slowly, or that creeping forward is like racing ahead. Sound distortion has also been reported. The syndrome has a poorly understood association to Epstein-Barr virus. 

gulliver freed Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

')">

Another common name for the size misperceptions seen is lilliputian hallucinations.

RIDICULOUSLY EASY PIE CRUST

wrecked house RIDICULOUSLY EASY PIE CRUST

')"> Our neighborhood is oddly mixed – this abandoned monstrosity is but four houses from the showpiece below:

nice house RIDICULOUSLY EASY PIE CRUST

')">

Our house fits somewhere inbetween, not fully neglected, but definitely ramshackle. The living touches that make it home are all the doing of BS.

geraniums RIDICULOUSLY EASY PIE CRUST

')">

My pie dough is somewhat (I like to think) like the flowers above, shaggy but wonderful. I really prefer homemade crusts to those ones you buy pre-rolled at the store – no shade on those who use them, but there’s something special about the homemade ones.

pastry blender RIDICULOUSLY EASY PIE CRUST

')">

 
Continue reading

RIDICULOUSLY EASY PIE CRUST

ASPARAGUS QUICHE

bananas ASPARAGUS QUICHE

')">

I had a sad, sad recipe failure this week. My attempt to turn the hideous bananas above into delicious banana bread produced an edible, but overly wet and dense loaf. C’est la vie, I suppose.

grass ASPARAGUS QUICHE

')">

In unrelated news, I really need to mow my lawn. For real, it’s out of control. If I wait long enough though, BS may do it. Sloth FTW!

seed pods ASPARAGUS QUICHE

')">

At least we have beautiful tree sperms all over!

When life seems overwhelming and the to-do list stretches endlessly long, I tend to turn to the tried-and-true, recipes that produce multiple days of food, and that I know will be tasty enough to steer me away from the cafeteria and its sloth-making, tummy-ache producing food. I’ve been making quiche for so many years that I know I can always pull it off, regardless of what ingredients are at hand (including that one time I started making it, realized I had no cream, and substituted sour cream; texture a little weird, but it worked). Given the cream in the filling and the butter in the crust, it definitely isn’t a permanent food solution, but it beats grilled cheese and french fries – we go to war with the army we have, not the one we want…

This particular quiche features cheddar and asparagus, which is one of my favorite combinations, and is especially well-suited to my current situation since I’m in asparagus land, baby! Locally produced stuff is popping up for under $2 a pound.

ingredients ASPARAGUS QUICHE

')">

 
Continue reading

ASPARAGUS QUICHE

QUINOA BRUNCH BOWL

Shark-dog has been much walk-neglected recently, a fact which he does not hesitate to get across with reproachful, mournful looks. He is the king of the guilt trip.

dog QUINOA BRUNCH BOWL

')">

I wouldn’t mind a walk; the ones I have managed to go on recently have been decidedly lovely.

green walkway QUINOA BRUNCH BOWL

')">

However, when I get home from work I’m ravenous and in a rush to make dinner. By the time I’m done cooking and eating it’s dark outside. I can’t wait to be back on ED in a week, where my more variable schedule allows for some daytime freedom, as well as to continue heading for the longer days of summer! Up this far north, by midsummer the sun doesn’t even seem to start setting until at least 9pm.

My dinner focus recently has been on foods that are fast, productive of good leftovers, and not too unhealthy. In addition, with an eye towards the hotter summer months (in my non-air-conditioned house) I’m moving away from recipes that require the oven, and leaning more heavily on the stove.

Towards that end, this recipe is definitely a winner! The only grain content is whole, it has two forms of protein, it’s chock-a-block full of flavor, it comes together quickly, and it lasts so it’s easy to make enough to cover lunch or breakfast for the next two days. It is barely adapted from i am a food blog. If you have never visited this site I strongly recommend it; besides having good recipes the photos are gorgeous.  Continue reading

QUINOA BRUNCH BOWL

DANDELION PASTA (a swing and a miss)

dandelion flowers DANDELION PASTA (a swing and a miss)

')">

Our yard is awash in dandelions. Seriously, the dandelion to grass ratio is about 50%, and I think the tide is turning in their favor. It feels like it takes less than a day for those yellow flowers to turn into puffballs, and perpetuate the cycle.

dandelion puffball DANDELION PASTA (a swing and a miss)

')">

As a lead in to this, I never wanted a lawn. I spent most of my formative years in a dry part of the country, and my family was frugal, so we viewed outside space primarily as a place to grow food and raise chickens. However, our house is a rental, and came with a back lawn. I was hoping to kill it off with benign neglect, but the moment it warmed up here the lawn bounced back from winter and, in what seemed like a matter of days, became so long and bushy that I couldn’t even see the cat when he ventured in. I’ve mowed it a few times since then, but sometimes I feel like I can hear it grow.

Back to the dandelions. Were I a lawn aficionado, in response to this I might have fought back with chemicals, time spent pulling weeds… However, given that I liked the grass no more than the dandelions, I determined to be a good forager and make lemonade out of lemons! As often happens when a plan sparks in my brain, wild optimism and selective amnesia were also triggered, and I decided to ignore that we ate dandelion greens when I was a child, and I loathed them. They were bitter, and nasty, and a trial to choke down.

The project started promisingly enough with BS and I plucking leaves together, feeling virtuous and crunchy-granola-y.

dandeliom greens DANDELION PASTA (a swing and a miss)

')">

Continue reading

DANDELION PASTA (a swing and a miss)

Food, Medicine, and Miscellany