Working at the Veteran’s Administration is akin to working in a different world, and anybody in the medical profession who has ever worked or trained in a VA system knows what I mean. At the VA Spa, the parking lot doesn’t fill up until 7:30am and the halls begin emptying out beginning at 3:30pm- even earlier on Friday afternoon. At the Salt Lake City VA, radiology is not in house nights and weekends, and ordering a right upper quadrant ultrasound for acute cholecystitis during these times is akin to committing a deadly sin. It’s a place where things happen a little slower, where everyone whispers that the staff is a little duller, and where OR turnover is at least an hour (although they claim it averages 36 minutes).
As such, all of the residents call it the VA Spa because this slower pace trickles down to us to some degree. The surgery residents take home call, which has been painful to some extent. For instance, because our new second year resident was coming off nights this week, I had been on call from Friday night all the way through the Wednesday morning. That was moderately painful and we were hurt badly by a CT scan that took 5 hours to complete after being ordered. (No joke. We were… put off.) However, we do get to go home earlier than most of the residents at the U. Beside this, the best part of being at the VA is that on Tuesdays, in the middle of our clinic day, we always have a lunch potluck.
It’s no small secret that I love to cook. More than that, I love to bake. So, when my chief approached me on Monday afternoon and asked me if I wanted to bring dessert or rice, I promptly replied, “Dessert!” I made toffee pecan bars that night. For the next week, I pulled out the bundt cake pan that we had received as a wedding gift and tried a recipe that had been gnawing on me since I had seen it on Joy the Baker. It wasn’t an entire success, but was thoroughly devoured. This past week, I made my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (which also happens to be smitten kitchen‘s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe as well).
And then last week, I had promised another resident a trip to Costco, so despite my heavy eyes from having lost sleep thanks to a middle of the night admit, we went. She needed toilet paper, so I pointed her to the very back corner of the Costco while I made the mistake of perusing the recipe book section. This resulted in my purchasing what seems to be the most promising cookbook in my collection so far: The Slow Cooker Revolution. So far, I’ve made the beginner pulled pork, which is now this household’s go-to recipe for pulled pork. Easy and absolutely delicious and flavorful.
I can’t think of a way to end this blog entry other than to wonder where these two divergent interests will lead me. Sometimes I feel like I was really actually destined to a life of housewifery. Some weeks, I spend more time reading my cookbooks than reading papers and textbooks. And then, Husband reminds me that once we have children, that he has dibs on staying at home with them while I bring home the bacon. I wonder if I will become one of those women my mom used to scoff at: women who could afford every luxury in their kitchen, but never actually got to use any of it.