Work-Life Balance: How I Learned to Embrace Patient Culinary Collaboration

AUGUST 10, 2015
Lately, I have been struggling to find time for the things I enjoy.
On top of moving into a new home, having a baby on the way, and balancing an ever-changing workload, I simply find time passing by more quickly than ever before. Every day seems to be a new adjustment, and with those adjustments comes a compromise to temporarily put my passions aside. Work needs to get done and there are only so many hours in the day. 
But my new kitchen is calling out to me. For now, I ignore the sound. Instead, I stand near the sink rinsing off dirty knives and forks from last night’s take-out dinner. My new garden has fresh dill and rhubarb, but the thought of canning pickles and baking pies seems exhausting.
Patients have not shared many new recipes with me this summer, so the thrill of experimenting has diminished. Is this lack of creativity ultimately a result of Internet pinning and blogs? Does everyone now compound the same things by popular demand as we slowly move into a perfected kitchen culture through the impersonalization of the Internet? Are there no new recipes to share because we have not been using our mixers, ovens, and grills for research and development?
I want to make mistakes and experience success through trial and error. I want to taste flops and brainstorm modifications on the way to new triumphs. Most importantly, I want to bite into marvelous creations and develop new cravings. The last thing I want is store-bought cheesecake or pie. 
I am seeking new and personal inspiration, not just the latest Internet trends. I am pleading to my patients to get busy in the kitchen, burn a few extra calories, and share their creations!
As I get ready for back-to-school shopping and fall weather, I plan on dedicating some time to page through my various apple and pumpkin recipes. I need to challenge myself to compound in my new kitchen. I look forward to making a mess and, having my husband clean it up, as he willingly does. 
Much like the pharmacy, the kitchen is the source of many great inventions. It is also a place to communicate and form bonds.
Here is a recipe one of my colleagues shared with me that is perfect for peach season. Let’s experiment!
Ginger Peach Cobbler
·      1 cup unsalted butter, softened
·      ½ cup loosely packed light brown sugar 
·      â…› teaspoon salt 
·      2 ¼ cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided 
·      1 (½-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
·      ¾ cup sugar, divided 
·      7 to 9 medium-size peaches, halved 
·      2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
·      1 large egg white, lightly beaten 
1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix first 3 ingredients and 2 ¼ cups flour until combined.
2.     Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll to ¼-inch thickness. Cut about 14 rounds with a 2 ½-inch fluted round cutter. Place rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet, then cover and chill until ready to use.
3.     Pulse ginger and ¼ cup sugar in a food processor 5 to 6 times or until combined. Stir together ginger mixture and remaining 1/2 cup turbinado sugar in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, peaches, and remaining 3 tablespoons flour, then toss to coat.
4.     Place peach halves slightly overlapping in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet greased with butter, and pour any remaining juice over peaches.
5.     Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and nestle shortbread dough rounds among peaches. Brush rounds with egg white, and sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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