Blogs: Compounding in the Kitchen

Cooking and Travel: An Rx to Treat the Travel Itch

Published Online: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

  Overlooking the Mediterranean on the way to Granada


  Valencia oranges

  Chicken paella
Last year, my husband and I decided we wanted to travel. Now, don’t misunderstand. Weekend trips to destinations around the United States, road trips throughout the Midwest, and city walks within our comfort zone have always been a part of our lifestyle. But this time, we decided we really wanted to travel. Spending most of our summers growing up working, then back to school, and straight off to work, we both realized we had never had that “summer in Europe.” So, when were we going to do it? Retirement seemed so far away—especially when an ordinary Tuesday makes you think that Friday will never come.

I had so many thoughts in my mind. Would the places we visited feel and look how I thought they would? There was so much culture I wanted to experience with my husband. Evidence of ancient civilizations my husband wanted to see with his own eyes—history he had only read about.

So we did it. We traveled. We took time off from both our jobs, hopped on a jet, and lived a little. As a pharmacist and cook, I found myself amazed by the different types of pharmacies we discovered. I took pictures and peered in all of them like a tourist. I tried to eat like a local and bring back recipes that would remind me of all the fun experiences we were having. Still, I must admit, I did crave American food every now and then—and finally succumbed at a McDonalds in Athens. All in all, though, I experienced a part of life that made me relaxed and smile every day.

I share my travels with many of my patients and the people I meet. Once you develop a love for food and culture, it is hard to kick the travel bug. Reality may always be close by, but I try my best to have a little “summer in Europe“ every day.

First stop: Spain
A country filled with beautiful mountains, olive trees, oranges, and breathtaking coastlines. Spanish cities are full of amazing old world charm and modern architecture. Excitement consumes you from 10 am until the late hours of the night. Did I mention the sangria? Or the ham? Or the churros (Spanish doughnuts)? I know I forgot to mention the wine, gazpacho, Manchego cheese, and saffron-laced paella. I am not a food critic. Nor am I a trained chef. But I am a chemist and a food lover. My opinion has to count for something. Take a look at a few of our pictures and you will surely come to the conclusion that Spain has to be on your bucket list.

Chicken Paella

1 tbsp olive oil
2 oz chicken sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown rice
1 tsp saffron
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 cup frozen peas
1 sliced red bell pepper
Chopped parsley and scallions to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add sausage and cook for 3 minutes, crushing with a wooden spoon. Add onion, celery, and salt. Saute for 3 minutes. Stir in brown rice. Stir saffron into chicken broth and add to pan. Bring to a boil and add chicken. Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir in peas and sliced bell pepper. Serve in bowls and top with parsley and scallions.
Jill Drury, Pharmacist and Cook
Blog Info
In this blog, Jill Drury, a clinical pharmacy specialist based in Chicago, Illinois, will talk about her passions—pharmacy and cooking, and how she has managed to blend the two. She will provide insights on compounding, along with recipes for healthy dishes, and will relate stories from her experiences.
Author Bio
By day, Jill Drury works as a clinical pharmacy specialist in Chicago during the week and as a clinical staff pharmacist at a retail pharmacy on the weekends. By night, she is a cook, mixing up recipes and sharing the results with her coworkers. Whether she's in the laboratory or the kitchen, Drury spends the bulk of her time measuring, grinding, and pouring to create a better finished product.

Drury earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from Midwestern University College of Pharmacy in 2007. She has done numerous presentations and consults for several pharmaceutical companies. She has won top honors at the Wisconsin State Fair for her jam, and has a Facebook page ( dedicated to baking.

Drury has found that the skills she utilizes behind the pharmacy counter can be applied to the stove top, and that both require a generous helping of patience and precision. Stay tuned to learn more!

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