An Appetitive Decision: Staying Put

Last Thursday, with a total of two acceptances, one rejection, and one who knows, I put in my final choice for the local school over the ivy, and I’m thinking of it as the road less traveled. Academia is a funny profession, and I don’t have the all or nothing mentality to getting the Ph.D.: it’s something I definitely want to do, but it’s not the only thing I want to do, or even my main goal out of life, and I think I've chosen a program that appreciates that. I love the area I’m currently in and I love the idea of being close to those I love. I’ve always excelled at being a student and I’m still naïve enough to think that I can make it in either program, and the material here will be less social neuroscience and more social choose-your-own-adventure. I still need to get out of thinking that this program will be easier – in very many ways I certainly hope it will be but a dissertation is still a dissertation, and awful daunting at that. On some days I still have my doubts as to whether I’m completely crazy to spend the next five years on a crap stipend working statistical equations and preparing for oral presentations. But overall, I feel this is one of the best things I could have done at this point. So come fall, I’ll be back in school, starting in on more research (some of which may possibly be under my avenue of interests), and not moving five hours away. This is absolutely positively thrilling.
With that in mind, the future of appetitive behavior is uncertain. The blog has, at this time, over 100 posts and one year under her belt, and I could not have done it with the wonderful visitors who over that year have offered feedback, encouragement and inspiration. Thank you, thank you, thank you for leaving your kind words and making me a part of your world. The next year remains to be seen: as much as I enjoy my little blog here, I know I’ve become derelict as of late and I also know that (a) I’ll be eating a lot more pb&j than I do now and (b) if psych hwk calls, this’ll be the first free-time to go. I’m really hoping it won’t come to that, and in the meantime, I plan to do a lot of cooking.

Sunday actually I did quite a massive lot of cooking. Being that it was complete crap outside in South Jersey, Sara and I didn’t meet up like we were going to and consequently I had a lot of free time. During the course of the day I crock-potted a chicken with lime and cilantro (from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufman, which I am really enjoying. the chicken is hands-down simplistic and returns big for minimum cost and effort, and came out absolutely freaking awesome. I am amazed at what you can put in a crock-pot) to shred for tacos. For this week’s lunchbox I roasted sweet potatoes in the oven, parcooked some haricot verts, and pounded a pork tenderloin (cut one pound into five; you’ll get about a 3-ounce protein serving and stretch the meat) for pork medallions with chili-maple sauce, straight from this month’s Bon Appetit. Lunch has not been this exciting all month. And for this week’s breakfasts as a respite from eggs, I stuffed pears with sausage.

These are D’Anjou pears, which were a lovely green-skinned pear when fresh and somehow turned rather brown during cooking. Ignore it: these little guys are tasty. The original recipe is here at Chow.com and I think their pears look better but maybe some lemon juice brushed on would eliminate some of the browning. I used lean maple sausage and threw in a bunch of Bell’s poultry seasoning, sage, and some fresh parsley. I also skipped the egg because I didn’t have one but I think it would help the consistency, and went with about half or less the amount of breadcrumb. For breakfast, one small pear (two pear halves) with the sausage stuffing keeps me pretty full and is a really nice make-ahead hot breakfast. I was tired yesterday after a full day’s cooking, but oh-so-grateful this morning. If you're looking for something a bit different and savory and sweet all at once, I recommend giving it a go.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Combining pears with sausage mince? I would never have even contemplated using pears for a savoury dish, but the more that I think about it, the more it makes sense - the sweetness from the fruit would provide nice contrast to the meat, much like pork & apples? I'll have to play with this idea some more :)

Congratulations on the 1 year of blogging :D And even if you're busy with your studies and eating out in the coming year, I think you should try and keep the blog going - perhaps with some restaurant reviews to supplement the cooking? :D

1:42 AM  
Blogger emily said...

Thanks Ellie - I'm going to do my best!

8:28 PM  

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