Kate and I are embarking on a month-and-a-half-long marathon in our medical school careers, otherwise known as studying for Step 1. The details of what exactly Step 1 is matter little for the sake of the blog, but in short, for the next six weeks we’ll be soaking in thousands of relevant and random facts about biochemistry, disease processes, drugs, and more in preparation for the first part of our medical licensing board exam in late April/early May. Our school has graciously freed us of all classes and other obligations during this time, which means that studying for Step 1 is our full-time job. Although this is an inevitably intense time of work, I prefer to view it as a “studycation”: a time where we’ll put in a full day’s worth of work, but take the evenings to relax, exercise, and perhaps even be more balanced than we are usually able to be when more obligations are on the table. In the spirit of studycationing, I’ve taken off to Miami for the next month and a half to spend time with family, friends, and sunshine amidst my studies. The only downside to this plan is that it means leaving my Chicago friends behind.


Kate and I had a bittersweet farewell brunch on Sunday before she took me to the airport, complete with fancy cocktails and conversation about the ways we’re going to make sure we stay connected during this time apart. Naturally, a large part of this conversation centered on the things we’ll be cooking and how we’re going to be keeping up the blog. We have decided to initiate an “Ingredient of the Week” installment on sugar cured over the next seven weeks. Every week we’ll tackle an ingredient or dish that we have little to no familiarity with cooking and then each of us will blog about it. It’s a fun way for us to stay on our toes in the kitchen and on the blog during this time, and furthermore, it will keep us culinarily connected while thousands of miles away. Before parting ways, we conjured up the master list at a nearby coffee shop. We’re looking forward to having these ingredients spice and sweeten up our lives, kitchens, and this blog in the coming weeks. We hope you enjoy following along!


Week One: Lemongrass

Week Two: Pomegranate

Week Three: Epazote

Week Four: Passion fruit

Week Five: Rye

Week Six: A new grain

Week Seven: Creative smoothies

2 thoughts on “studycation

  1. What a great idea. I am looking forward to the posts. I think we need a reader suggested “chopped” posting where a few of us fearless readers/followers/cooks give you a “basket” of ingredients for you to cook. You get the list on the same day and you set your deadline for the blog post. Family members and/or friends are your judges. No winners or losers obviously, as you are too far apart, but it would be another fun thing to do. Wish I was there to be a willing taster. Xoxo

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