Sunday, April 10, 2011
Home Again, Home Again...
I was home for all of 60 hours and then packed up for the annual ACP meeting in San Diego. I am now home from that and am happy to report that it was a great meeting. Basically, you sit in lecture halls all day and listen to talks on various aspects of medicine. These talks begin at 7 am and go till about 5 pm, every day, for three days.
It is less exciting than it sounds. But you learn a lot.
In an effort to save money on the trip I shared a hotel room with three of my fellow partners from The Firm. (I'm getting quite used to this whole roommate thing by now.) I am sure I bored the hell out of them by mentioning Guatemala's lack of showers, hot water and working toilets every time someone complained about sharing the bathroom.
Do I have anything else to say about Guatemala? Well. The clean air regulations we have here, they don't have there, and it shows. The air quality is terrible whether you're in or out of the city.
Guatemala has great buses. In Antigua we went to the crafts market and while wandering around found ourselves in the bus depot. Their buses are all deactivated school buses from the States, shipped down to Central America and treated to bright, eyecatching paint and chrome jobs. Mostly they run shuttles between Guatemala City and Antigua but they run to other towns as well. "I love these buses!" cried one of my fellow internists (who had a lot of experience in third world countries). "Nepal, Guatemala, Peru - it's all the same bus!"
We went to Antigua for the last two days of the trip, which is traditional for the group. It's always wonderful to get there after a hard week's work but it was doubly so this year, partly because of our no-water ordeal and partly because we got accomodations at the best hotel in the city. It's called Hotel Casa Santo Domingo and, if you ever get to Antigua, I highly recommend it. Breakfast was included and was outstanding: The best breakfast buffet I have ever been to. They had custom made omelets, fantastic homemade tortillas and pupusas, delicious fruit and great beans and rice. I am all about the beans and rice.
So now I'm home and making lentil soup. I posted about lentil soup previously, but I'm going to do it again because I have found a better recipe, courtesy of Nigel Slater. To make it, first, you need better lentils than the standard brown grocery store lentils (although they will do in a pinch). I highly recommend ethnic markets for cheap, good quality, fine green lentils. If you're in Los Angeles, Pico Boulevard has a stretch heavily populated with Israeli markets which are a great source for lentils, barley and dried beans. So you've got the lentils. Chop and saute some onion, celery and mushrooms and throw in a chopped garlic clove. Sort, wash and add the lentils once the vegetables are soft. Cover with chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add a splash of Worcestershire. Once the soup is on its way, wash, chop and add some baby broccoli and let cook until done - I usually give it 45 minutes to an hour. It is SO GOOD and is even better the next day. This recipe is cheap, delicious and good for you and makes a lot. It lasts me a week for work lunches.