Today being both the final day of my night float month at the VA and Friday, I’m eating salmon. But not just any salmon mind you. This is the first time I’ve prepared salmon not in stew. I found a good recipe online and modified it to accommodate the fast. Salmon has good omega-3-fatty acids and all the ingredients (honey, ginger, mustard) are also good for you.
Not that I’m an aficionado of pepper but I will say that ground white pepper is great for that latent kick w/o the pain. Seriously, if you use white pepper you will gradually taste the heat but then it subsides, leaving you nicely adjusted. Red pepper kicks in immediately and stays hot and black pepper, well I’ve never been a big fan except to use it in Italian cooking.
1/3 cup soy sauce (mine is just whole wheat, soybeans, spring water, salt. did you know that many soys contain alcohol? thank God for Whole Food’s!)
1tbsp ginger (finely grated)`
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mustard (it should be dijon but i don’t have any so i just used ground mustard)
Ground white pepper to taste
Simmer all the above ingredients in saucepan. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 2tbsp olive oil. Add salmon, skin side up. Let cook. The recipe calls for 2-3 minutes but as this was my first I let it cook longer. I watched the salmon and as the heat permeated and cooked it, the flesh began to change in color from the bottom up. I let it cook until it was golden and crusty.
Then I flipped it over so the other side cooked. Then I drained off most of the oil, leaving just a little bit to help w/ the glaze which I added and threw the pan in the oven for 8 or so minutes.
My only caution is to be careful w/ the soy – it is salty and too much of it can make you unhappy :^)
I ate the fish (yes, I’ve been eating as I’ve been typing) w/ whole wheat pasta in a creamy homemade spicy peanut sauce. Overall, quite tasty! If you want the real non-ladylord recipe, check it out here!
It sounds weird but I’ve never cooked fish on its own. I’ve always cooked w/ mackerel and ate fried fish (w/o any seasonings/crumblings) but that was in stew or soup. I have eaten fish at the cafeteria in the form of fried fillet sandwiches but to eat fish that I had cooked in some way outside of these particulars, well that was a first. So the first Friday of the month, I knew I wanted to cook my fish w/o frying it. So after perusing the net for general ideas on how to cook fish, I came up with this:
finely dice about a thumb’s worth of fresh ginger, 1/8 of a medium onion, 1-2 cloves of garlic. pour 1-2 tbs of olive oil into a small glass dish pan. place one piece of catfish in the glass. cover the fish in the ginger, garlic and onion on both sides, making sure that you push the aromatics into the fish. then add salt, white pepper and basil leaves to both sides to taste. cover w/ aluminum foil and bake at 325 for ~45 min. remove, set on rice or in my case a fresh spinach salad. pour some of the remaining juice onto the fish.
One of the few problems w/ the fast is that when I get hungry, I get HUNGRY! So yesterday even though I ate some of the lasagna before I left, by 1AM I was ravenous! I had 6-7 almonds left in my can in the car so I grabbed those around 3ish after I admitted a patient and downed some water. It was kind of hard falling asleep last night. I’m not sure if it was from excitement that night float was ending or if it was b/c my stomach was empty.
One of the most addictive substances known to man is OJ. When I was younger, my parents could count on the fact that a gallon of OJ wouldn’t last too long if I was around. I can’t help it. I’m sure between the OJ and the tomatoes in our stews and soups, I’m solid on the Vitamin C front.
The nurses in the ER like me. This is a serious accomplishment given that most of the psych rez can’t STAND the nurses in the ER. They can be brusque, demanding and pissy. I got a bit of advice from my big sis who told me that when she was trolling about the VA halls, she made a point of greeting the ER staff and the RN on the unit when she came on shift. I’ve done that almost daily and it’s been great help. I also bring candies and cookies each Friday. I find that people are calmer when given food and I know how I am on night shifts – cranky, sleepy and hungry. I figure that if I remain as polite yet direct and calm as possible that takes away from their cranky edge and bringing in snacks helps with their hungry edge.
The other day I came on shift and the POD before me had had a terrible time w/ the ER staff. When they saw me there was a visible change in their faces! “We’re so glad you’re here!”, “Oh it’s going to be alright now” etc. I was surprised but pleased. The one nurse who gives people a lot of pain has told me a few times in the past two weeks how much she likes me. Last night she told me that she really liked me, that she thought I was good with the patients, direct but compassionate and not taking any gruff.
You know Whom I chalk it up to? That’s right – The Almighty Himself. There is no way that I could have stayed calm, cool, collected and polite this past month if it weren’t for the Almighty living within me and directing me. No way! Just no way. As Isaiah 48:17 states, “This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go”.
When I went to Whole Food’s for the soy and fish, the lady behind the seafood counter was nice. I struck up a conversation w/ her and come to find out she’s also a believer! What a wonderfulencounter. In this day and age it’s difficult to find people who not only are believers but also aren’t afraid to say it! God is good..all the time…and all the time…God is good! Even when I’m struggling, God is good!