What I’m doing on my summer vacation. (A play on the standard children’s essay, the ubiquitously titled “What I Did On My Summer Vacation”. But less grammatically correct. And rife with incomplete sentence fragments. But isn’t that the beauty of learning how to write? Once you’ve learned, you’re allowed to unlearn. Take some creative license. Scatter letters all over the page like Jackson Pollack in literary form. And then call it art.)
(Yes I do liken myself to Jackson Pollack, thankyouverymuch.)
(NOTE – That is exactly what I mean about creative license. See how I took out the spaces in-between those words? That’s art baby. It’s abstract. Existential. Metaphorical. Besides, doesn’t it just make your knees weak?)
Back to the essay.
What I’m Doing On My Summer Vacation.
(1) I’m going back to my roots. And by that I mean doing something that actually matters rather than worrying about whether I’ve read the right random sentence in the right textbook and committed to memory the right esoteric fact that’s going to appear in one question on one exam.
Pipetting. Splitting cells. Fluorescing proteins. Knocking down genes. In short, rotating in a lab.
Even after just a week. I feel like I can breathe again. Think again.
I’ve been delving into the literature. Committing insulin signaling pathways to memory. Akt. Rab10. AS160. All of these proteins that come together to move a glucose transporter to the surface of your cells. Or not. As the case may be.
(My summer project is basically to take some of these proteins out of commission. Intervene. Play god. And see what happens. In the hopes of discovering new roles for them in the regulation of glucose uptake. Why is this important? Well, as well all know, a dysfunctional insulin signaling pathway is the hallmark of diabetes. So some of these proteins may be good therapeutic targets. Also, a dysfunctional insuling signaling pathway is also a hallmark of certain cancers. Cancer cells need a lot of sugar. And insulin helps them get it. It’s the drug dealer of the endocrine system. Not the kind of hormone you would want your daughters around.)
(2) Bone density scans. I’m getting them. Along with rheumatologist visits. And enough blood tests to transfuse the majority of the northern hemisphere. Just so that we can all be sure that my lovely stress fractures are just some idiopathic thing and not due to an underlying disorder. So at the moment my arms kind of resemble that of an IV drug user.
My insurance company is going to love this.
(3) Cooking meat. Because that’s what people do during the summer, right? They throw things on the grill. Talk about the difference in quality between different brands of wood chips and charcoal. Discuss the virtues of rib-eyes and porterhouses.
Well. I don’t have a grill.
But I do have a perfectly functional oven. And a Michael Symon cookbook. And an overly active imagination.
So while I sit at my desk. Eating this absolutely mouth wateringly moist roasted pork. While pretending that I’m sitting on a beach being served hand and foot by fantastically beautiful cabana boys.
You guys can sit on your front porch and grill this hunk of meat. While pretending that you’re sitting on a beach being served hand and foot by fantastically beautiful cabana boys.
And then everyone will be happy.
Roast Pork Loin with Grilled Peaches and Wildflower Honey Vinaigrette
Serves 4, adapted from Symon’s Live To Cook and Pam’s Midwest Kitchen Korner
Pork Rub/Marinade (from Pam!)
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 tbsp pomegranate juice
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of ground allspice
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Pork, Vinaigrette, and Peaches (from Michael Symon!)
1 1/2 lb pork loin (Symon actually calls for a center-cut rack of pork but Whole Foods didn’t have any such thing)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp wildflower honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1/4 cup sliced fresh parsley (Symon originally calls for cilantro but mine had turned to mush in my fridge)
grated zest and juice of one orange
4 peaches, halved and pitted
1. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together the marinade ingredients and brush onto the pork. Roast until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140, brushing with more marinade every twenty minutes or so. This should take about an hour.
3. Mix together the ingredients for the vinaigrette (garlic through orange). Add salt to taste. Brush over the peaches and grill on a George Foreman or a real grill until charred and tender.
4. Serve peaches with the pork and sprinkle the leftover vinaigrette over the top.
This is my submission to this week’s Symon Sundays!