The miracle of life.
I'm sure you've seen the video (Yes people. We are talking VHS here. Old school, I know. But think back, back, way back.) Made in the eighties. Shown to every high school kid in an attempt to scare them into not getting pregnant before the age of 18. Or ever. As the case may be. (And the US government wonders why our birth rates are so much lower than those in third world countries. They don't have VHS players. Coincidence? I think not.)
I've never seen it. Actually. Which is probably why I remained so optimistic about this whole giving birth. Thing. "Yup mom, no problemo. I will just pop out those kids during the PhD part of this whole process (husband or NOT - she didn't like that very much) and fed-ex them to you. No, you don't need to come pick them up. I know it's only a ten minute drive, but you'll have to pay tolls, deal with traffic, it'll be an ordeal. We'll just overnight 'em."
That was the plan. Was. Being the operative word here.
Until I was required to watch a real. Live. Birth.
Which here at New York Presbyterian is actually more likely than not to be a real. Live. C section. (Who can be bothered with natural birth anymore? It's so...inconvenient. You just never know when it's going to happen. You might have to wait the full 42 weeks. Or worse. More.)
I was fine with the C section itself, actually. I've seen enough fascia and visceral pleura in my life (or in the past six weeks) to just kind of shrug my shoulders at the whole thing.
What really got me. Was the epidural. I don't know if you've ever had an epidural. But it's not just a simple needle in/needle out/instant pain relief kind of thing.
It's. A. Process.
Especially when it's being done by a resident who has no idea what he's doing and has to repeatedly stick the damn thing in this poor woman's back to try to locate her intervertebral disc. I guess the fifty first time is a charm. Who knew.
All I know is that I almost strangled him. (I was on the verge of passing out. And desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm pretty sure I could have done a better job anyway. I'm good with my hands.) So imagine how the patient and her husband must have felt.
The end result being. That I'm less than enthused about the prospect of ever being pregnant. Because there is no way that I am ever letting anyone come near my cerebrospinal fluid with that needle. At least not at a teaching hospital. Or unless I have the anesthesiologist sign a contract saying that if he doesn't get it right on the first try. I'm allowed to cut off his outer limbs. Seems like a fair deal.
That being said. Dear mom. Thank you for enduring 20+ hours of labor to have me. In return. Here is a recipe that I think dad and Daniel might actually eat. And that, honestly, I actually thought was some kind of wonderful as well.
Pork Chop Milanese with Arugula Salad
Serves 4, adapted from Live To Cook
4 bone-in pork chops
2 cups flour
4 large eggs
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups arugula
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
12 fresh basil leaves
capers to garnish
1. Put the chops on a cutting board and cover them with a large piece of plastic wrap. Pound them with a meat mallet until the meat is 1/4 inch thick.
2. Set up a breading station. In three separate bowls put the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs. Lightly whisk the eggs. Stir the Parmesan into the bread crumbs.
3. Season the chops liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess, then dip them in egg, and then in bread crumbs to coat.
4. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the fat is hot add the chops and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes a side. Drain until ready to serve.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the garlic, lemon juice, and 1 tsp salt. Whisk in the EVOO. Add the onion, toss to coat evenly, and let marinate for ten minutes.
6. Add the arugula, tomatoes and basil to the dressing and gently toss together.
NOTES - The original recipe called for veal chops. However. I am poor. And definitely don't have the money to pay $22.00 a pound for anything. Unless it is lined with gold. Or really good chocolate. I also added capers. Because everything tastes better with capers.
This is my submission to this week's Symon Sundays! Check out Ashlee's blog on Monday to see how everyone else's dish turned out!
Also. Lest I forget. Regional Recipes. Due by February 28th at midnight. Middle Eastern food. See here for details.