One of the most common food colors is brown. Drab in looks, brown food usually signifies something pretty appetizing — sauce, chocolate, something cooked down to perfection. The problem is, you’re forced to take a picture of this brown food, and you have no choice but to dress it up a bit. Enter, the garnish: cilantro, parsley, mint, basil, or in my case when I’m feeling particularly desperate, spinach chopped to look like it could be a garnish. I cringe every time I have to do this, to dress up something that should stand on its own. But to get noticed, sometimes you have to put in a little extra form in with all of that function.
I feel this same frustration regarding medicine. I went to medical school to learn as much as I could and to become a good doctor. But the more time I spend in this system, the more I realize how much networking it takes to be successful in medical school and residency. My mentor uses the phrase “pressing the flesh:” shaking hands and having face time with your attending physicians so they know who you are and that you’re an awesome person. It has less to do with patient care and more to do with dressing yourself up so that when it’s time to be noticed and remembered, you are.
Well gosh darnit, I’m brown (figuratively and literally). I’m not always the smartest or most charming, but I do try my best. I can’t always wave enough cilantro in people’s faces to get noticed. So I’ll keep my head down, push as hard as I can, and hope that in the end my flavor will count for more than my appearance.
Sorry, I cooked this so long ago I don’t really remember. I do know that I scrambled 2-3 eggs, set them aside, and then stir fried bamboo shoots, cabbage, carrots, and dried mushrooms in canola oil until tender, then added some sesame oil and Hoisin sauce and salt. To eat, take a tortilla, warm it in a skillet, spread some Hoisin sauce on the tortilla, and add the eggs and vegetables. I’ll add a real recipe sometime soon when I cook it again!