Sunday, January 30, 2011

I love you more than soup

"I love you." My husband says to me. "More than soup?" I reply. He snickers, "That depends. What kind of soup?"
This is a silly banter between my husband and myself that we often repeat. It doesn't mean anything to anyone, but us. I guess it stems from the fact that soup is comforting. It warms you up from the inside out, and fills you up. That, I guess, is what we mean by that. We love each other like that.
Nonetheless, as I said in my last post, sometimes a good bowl of soup is all you need (seems weird that my last couple of posts have been about soup). So, instead of just blogging about it, I thought I would actually give you the recipe.
Now, remember, I am all about quick. I love to cook, but I don't like labour intensive meals. Usually I have a lot of stuff going on, so at home I don't like to make meals that take any longer than 45 minutes or so. So, below is a very quick recipe for Mexican Black Bean Soup.

1 can Black Beans (do not drain)
1 cup salsa
2 cups (or more if you think it needs it) Chicken Stock
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard
tabasco (a couple of drops is all you need)
Salt to taste

Put all this in a pot, bring to a boil. Then, just before serving, puree a little of the soup so it is creamy but still has some whole beans in it (this can be done right in the pot with a hand-held mixer). Top with grated cheese, if desired, and serve with toast.

MMMMmmmmm.... Spicy, warm, and hearty. He just might love this soup more.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lentil Soup for the Soul

Sometimes something so simple can be so comforting. Soup is often like a warm hug, especially on a cold day. And, when you make a home-made healthy version that is even better. That was what I needed today after the news I got.
Back in November (see my previous posts), we wrote the Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography Exam. It is a North American Exam that Cardiologists, Ultrasonographers, and some Anesthesiologists write. It is a requirement to become certified in Perioperative TEE in the US. And, it is a requirement for our department to be able to continue to do Cardiac Anesthesia.
Well, I failed the exam.
Admittedly, I am NOT a Cardiologist, nor Ultrasonographer. I am not even an anesthesiologist who has done a cardiac fellowship. So, what the heck was I doing writing this exam? Well, as I said, it is a requirement by our department. No other department requires this, and it is useless anywhere else, but most departments require a fellowship to do Cardiac. As well, prior to this it was a different exam. There used to be just a Perioperative TEE exam. Now, there is a basic and advanced, and for some reason in their infinite wisdom, our department decided we needed the Advanced exam.
I have been preparing myself for this result. I studied and studied, but when I got to the exam, it all but blew me away. I was pretty sure at that point I had failed the exam. My hubby and a couple of others wrote it with me, and we all felt the same way - like we had just been sucker-punched in the belly.
Am I bothered by the outcome? Well, seeing as my hubby passed (which is no surprise, as he is brilliant), and I did not, a little bothered. I can write it again, but I am not sure I want to. I would miss some of the people who work in that room. I would miss the expertise of putting in all the lines. But, honestly, I would not miss the stress. The biggest stress comes not from the anesthetic (I can give a cardiac anesthetic, and get the patient off the table), but it is the TEE. I really have never felt that I had the skills, and was just playing at TEE.
So, what do I do. I made some home-made lentil soup, and congratulated my hubby. He did great. He really wanted this, and I am happy for him.
Do I continue on with cardiac and try again? I am not really sure. I don't know if I care that much to put all that effort in again (such a nice feeling that nothing was truly riding on this). I think I have enough different things on my plate (especially now with being the new Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator for Anesthesia).
For now, I will eat my steamy hearty bowl of lentil soup, and ponder. So warm, so comforting, and right now just what I need.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The man I love

My husband continues to surprise me. He sometimes comes off as rough and gruff, with an undertone of sarcasm. He loves to poke fun at people and make jokes. I love that he is so funny (he can always make me laugh, even in the middle of an argument), but he has other qualities that I love as well. One of these was exemplified the other night.
My hubby was outside snow-blowing the driveway, and noticed our neighbor working hard to clear her driveway with a shovel. He asked her if she wanted him to come and give her a hand and blow off her driveway as well (which is a lot where we live, as you could park 6 cars on our drive). She happily accepted. However, Jurgen noticed that she was still unhappy and there was other stuff going on. The details of what don't really matter.
Seeing how unhappy and defeated she was he came inside, and asked me if it was OK if we invited her for supper. Knowing that he never does this kind of thing, I immediately agreed (although we were only having meatloaf and was worried about that), without asking. I knew there had to be a good reason. He went out, and she graciously accepted.
In the end, he made someone's day. She had been having a horrible day with one thing going wrong after another. The snow on the driveway was just the ICE-ing on a ruined cake. So, by this simple neighborly gesture, he made her day. She was able to relax a bit knowing supper had been taken care of. Not to mention, that we got to know her a bit better than before.
That is him - my loving, caring, and of course, hilarious husband.

Sunday, January 9, 2011



sparkling white.
Icy cold
fluffy white.
Our noses red
we feel alive.

It falls down
all white and fluffy.
While inside we stay
nice and cozy.

your breath we see.
Playing in it
we feel so free.

How could anyone
not love something
so beautiful?