Thursday, November 12, 2015


I usually do not enjoy cooking for myself.  When Patience is away, as she is now,  I generally resort to simple meals – sandwiches, hotdogs, leftovers – eat out, or invite friends over for dinner.  Tonight I decided to use us some of the small amounts of un-cooked pasta that has been accumulating in the pantry, along with whatever vegetables I could find in the fridge.  I had nothing specific in mind when I started cutting the two large Portabello mushrooms into small cubes.  I tossed them in the skillet with the olive oil and added some broccolini and shallots and began cooking them over high heat while the pasta was cooking.  I added garlic, oregano, and basil, along with some tomato paste, stirring frequently until the mushrooms were browned.  Next came a few splashes of sweet vermouth to “clean up” the skillet, I lowered the heat and covered things up waiting for the pasta.  At the last minute I grabbed a fresh tomato, chopped it up and tossed it into the mix.

Before the pasta was ready I sprinkled in some red pepper flakes, and decided a few Kalamata olives were called for, and at the last minute tossed in just a bit of heavy whipping cream, thinking, if I’m going to screw things up I might as well do it with style.  The end result was a rather earthy, nondescript looking “sauce” for the herbed pasta I was cooking.

Armed with a glass of wine and some aged Parmigiano cheese for grating I began my meal hoping that it would prove to be eatable.  To my great surprise, and delight, it was more than eatable…it was delicious.  As crazy as it sounds, the combination of the Kalamata olives and the cream produced a delightful flavor.  This is definitely something to be repeated.

Monday, November 9, 2015


I thought it worthwhile to visit this post from 2007, the first year of this blog.


I have practiced medicine long enough to call a fart a fart.  This may not seem like a milestone worth noting to some people, but it carries a certain significance for me.  For years I’ve heard myself asking patients: “ have you passed gas”, “have you broken wind”, or have you passed any flatus since your surgery”?  And if the patient was elderly and hard of hearing - I could hear myself saying "HAVE YOU BROKEN WIND" loud enough to be heard in the next room. In my office, a patient sitting on the exam table would tell me about their gas problem, and I would have to discern, is this belching, or farting.  Asking if they passed gas or broke wind sounded so ridiculous to my ears, and I’m sure most patients felt the same way.  Compounding this “situation” has been my firm conviction that as a society, we are all farting more.  So, one day I decided to take matters into my own hands, figuratively of course, and when someone complained to me about their gas problem I simply asked if they meant belching or farting.  Their brief look of confusion and pleasant surprise was quickly replaced by relief, realizing they would not have to use or hear those other ridiculous phrases.

Note - my blog posts are usually accompanied by an appropriate illustration, but I could not find anything in my files to fit the bill this time.