Intestinal Interests and Potluck Pilau

Today was the last day of my pathology rotation.  I am very happy.  First of all because I learned so much.  Second of all because now I am done it and am starting my pre-CaRMS interviews vacation.  I did a lot today.  The morning was resident academic half-day where most everything goes over my head, but some things still click in.  In the afternoon, I spent a whole three hours doing gastrointestinal pathology.   Hooray for learning not from a textbook!

In keeping with yesterday’s post, I saw something new and cool from the body.  As The Barefoot Medical Student said in her post The Thing About Kiwis, much of the human body looks like food.  Here is something that doesn’t look like food, but like something else familiar… A flower!  These are intestinal villi (the things that absorb our nutrients and water in our bowels).  When cut in a certain section, they look like daisies… At least to me.  And hey, they say you need a good imagination to do pathology, so it works!

Not as good as what I saw today, but you get the picture. Intestinal crypts and villi look a bit like daisies, right?

On a related note, my small group is having a potluck and continuation of our study on the Not a Fan book by Ken Idleman (excellent study… not just because I am leading it).  I love food, so potlucks are kind of an event for me…. Both the cooking and the eating.  And of course the fellowship (oops, I mentioned that last).  My favorite foods tend to be spicy and savory, so those generally pop up in my selections for the potluck.  Tonight is no exception.  One of my favorite food types is Indian-inspired cuisine.  So, that is the plan for tonight… I am preparing some fruit and nut pilau, as well as some appetizers (pakoras and samosas).  I get more hungry just thinking about it.  The appetizers are just frozen selections I purchased at the grocery store (cop-out, I know, but I don’t have enough time to make them from scratch tonight).  The fruit and nut pilau, however, is one of my favorite rice recipes.  It goes with anything (well, I think it does… be the judge yourself).

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup almonds (I prefer mine slivered or sliced)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • Seeds from 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dried mango and apricots (I sometimes substitute raisins)
  1. Rinse the rice and allow it to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Boil the water and add the saffron threads to the water.
  3. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil on medium-high heat.  Add the almonds and onion and fry until golden.
  4. Add the spices (cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, peppercorns and cumin seeds) and stir for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the rice and stir until mixed, and then add the saffron-infused water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and add the dried mango and apricots.
  6. Cover and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes without stirring.
  7. When liquid has absorbed, turn off heat and mix, then allow to stand for another 5 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

    Mmmmm. Appetizers.

    The finished product! Fruit and Nut Pilau!

I always love fresh new ideas for the potluck.  What are some of your favorite potluck (or otherwise) foods?


6 thoughts on “Intestinal Interests and Potluck Pilau

  1. I love Potlucks too! Its hard to choose a favorite food though. My wife makes a great hashbrown casserole. I also like my Mom’s rice and spice and everything at the family Christmas Eve potluck!

    • I do quite like your wife’s hash brown casserole as well… Probably because I make it. I agree, family potluck food is of high calibre. I need to learn to make all of it!

  2. Oh, thanks for the mention!
    Those crypts DO look like daisies, I’ve actually never seen them in that section before.
    If you like spicy food like Indian food, you should definitely come visit South Africa one day. We have the largest Indian population second only to India itself. It’s one of my favourite foods too, though anything sweet tops my list of favourites.

    • I hadn’t seen the crypts in that section until yesterday, but then I saw about 5 different specimens all with the same sectioning! Pretty neat!
      I will have to visit South Africa! Its on my to visit list, but now it got bumped up thanks to the food!

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