I am thankful.
I am thankful for four day vacations. During which I can spend one day clogging my arteries and the remaining three learning how to figure out what’s wrong with them once I do. What kind of heart sounds – mid-systolic clicks, diastolic murmurs, holosystolic rumbles – I should be looking for. What they mean. And what I can do about them once they’re there.
This is the problem with becoming a doctor. You know too much.
I am thankful for physical therapists who can make my calves feel almost functional again. Almost human. Almost not completely broken.
And when they say things like, “Yeah, you’ll probably be able to run again next week.” I’m thankful even more.
I am thankful for 60 degree days in the middle of November (all you Californians. Shhh. Don’t burst my bubble.). I am thankful for skirt weather. I am thankful for hot pink leggings weather. Or maybe I’m just thankful for hot pink leggings. Hard to say.
I am thankful for you. And you. Oh yeah, and you guys in the back. Because without you this whole blogging thing wouldn’t be quite worth doing. I never realized how much of a sense of belonging this would give me. And how much I would need you to get me through anatomy tests, bad first dates, pelvic stress fractures, failed microscopy experiments, getting out of bed in the morning. At 6AM.
I am thankful for my family.
For my dad who does not read my blog EVER but who tells all of his coworkers to read it. And so if you’re out there coworkers – HI! (And can you guys believe that he won’t let me make the stuffing. That he’s insisting on Stovetop. You need to talk to him about this. It’s burning me up inside.)
For my mom who does everything for everyone all the time. And never asks for anything in return. (Except, of course, for grandchildren. She asks for those. Frequently.)
For my sister who drives me crazy, wears her jeans too low, and, at the ripe old age of 14 looks older than I do. Yes, she keeps me young.
For my brother who listens to me complain, gets annoyed when he searches my blog for his name and realizes that he hasn’t been mentioned for the past five posts, and is one of the few people I know who really and truly gets me. Without judgment, without reservations. He just does. (It’s because we have the same neuroses. And psychoses. And eyes. I know it.)
For my friends. Who love me unconditionally. Even though I stuff them full of cheesecake and nutella frosting far too often for anyone’s good.
And last, but not least. I’m thankful for picky eaters. Specifically, those who will be at my parents’ house today. Who’ll look at this tray of sweet potato and butternut squash mash. And walk away. I’m thinking of manning the doors, turning away anyone who seems to have a predilection for the color orange. More for me, baby. More. For. Me.
All in the name of Thanksgiving, yeah?
Have a good one you guys!
I’m sure all of you already have your menus planned for what is going to go down in, oh, approximately 12 hours depending on which time zone you’re in. But if you’re looking to spice up that sweet potato dish that you were already planning on making? Set it apart from all those other sweet potato dishes out there. Then this is the way to go. The five-spice powder adds a little extra kick of umami, an undefined sweet-savory flavor, to an otherwise traditional dish. So subtle that you won’t explicitly notice it. Other than the fact that you just can’t stop eating it. And neither can your supposedly sweet potato-hating family members. (Which is why I’m bouncing them at the door. Pre-emptive strike.)
Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash with Five-Spice Marshmallows
Serves 12-15, adapted from Food & Wine
5 lb sweet potatoes
1 medium butternut squash
3/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows
3/4 tsp chinese five-spice powder
1. Preheat your oven to 425. Prick the sweet potatoes all over and put on a baking sheet. Cut your butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place it on a second baking sheet cut side up. Put both baking sheets in the oven and roast until fork tender, about 45-60 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2. Halve the sweet potatoes and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Scoop out the butternut squash flesh and scoop into the same bowl. Add the milk, butter, and brown sugar and mash until mixed through. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Spread into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Lower the oven to 350.
3. In a medium bowl, toss the marshmallows and the five-spice powder until coated. Scatter the marshmallows over the sweet potatoes and bake for about 45 minutes or until sweet potatoes are warm and marshmallows have turned golden brown and are lightly puffed. If you get impatient, put under the broiler once sweet potatoes are warmed through.