The femoral nerve has been keeping me up at night. It's deviant. And wily. And I don't like it.
We are doing the lower extremity (i.e. leg and foot) in anatomy right now. And there are two nerves of import - the sciatic and the femoral. The sciatic is not a problem. (Unless you're a drug user. In which case, please remember to ONLY inject your heroin into the upper lateral quadrant of your butt. Anywhere else in your gluteus maximus and you risk jabbing your sciatic. It will hurt. The needle will get stuck. Just don't do it. Trust me.)
Anyways so the sciatic is pretty predictable. It starts in your behind area and travels down your whole thigh, leg, and foot. Giving innervation to just about everything in its wake. Sure, it splits a few times. But nothing a seasoned anatomist like myself can't handle.
The femoral nerve, on the other hand? Enters the front of your thigh from your abdomen at the top of your pelvis. Right next to your hips. And it meanders around. Innervates a few things. Meanders some more. And then suddenly you're in the lower leg/calf area. And you have no idea what has happened to it. It's like it just. Disappeared.
This is when I usually wake up. Screaming.
Then I have to remind myself (by which I mean recheck my notes for the umpteenth time) that the femoral does not disappear. It just changes names and becomes a cutaneous nerve (meaning it innervates the skin rather than the muscles). That runs down the inner part of your leg. Obviously.
This may all sound slightly deranged. But the good news is. There's an end in sight. You see. This is my last anatomy test. Ever. (Until September when we spend five months dissecting the brain and head. But we are not going to think about that right now.)
Maybe I'll get to be a real person again. Talk to people who haven't been dead for the past year and a half. Get a haircut. (Which I haven't done. Since last May.) Cook ridiculous food. Clean my room.
Until Friday, though? I have a date with my anatomy textbook.
So I was super glad that the theme for this week's IHCC was Pantry Raid. Not only did I not have to go to the store. But I was prohibited from doing so. Gotta love Natashya, Deb, and Kim. Always looking out for my best interest.
When deciding what to make I thought about what ingredients I had sitting in my fridge that needed to be used up. There was about a cup of coconut milk left over from a curry I had made. And some string beans and chard that I had bought at the farmer's market last week. That I had absolutely no plans for. So I set to googling. And stumbled across this list of simple salad ideas that Bittman wrote for the NY Times last July. Number 96. Swapping in string beans for peas and red swiss chard for spinach. Rice and pistachios, which I always have on hand. And cardamom pods. Which I just restocked last month. Perfect.
Coconut Rice with Swiss Chard, String Beans, and Pistachios
Serves 4, adapted from The Minimalist
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 cup lite coconut milk
2 cups water
3 cardamom pods
pinch of salt
1 lb string beans
1 bunch swiss chard, torn
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
a hint of soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
In a pan with a cover, combine the brown rice, coconut milk, water, cardamom pods, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for fifty minutes.
In a separate pan, steam the chard and string beans in water with a drop of soy sauce until cooked to desired consistency.
When the rice is done cooking, remove the cardamom pods. Mix the rice with the veggies. Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with pistachios.
I am submitting this to Reeni's Side Dish Showdown!
To go with the rice, I also decided to make Bittman's Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame, as tofu is also something I always have on hand. This recipe comes from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and is SO simple.
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine 3 tbsp soy sauce with 1/2 tsp sesame oil. Cut a block of extra firm tofu into four pieces. With a paper towel, squeeze out the liquid. Brush the tofu with the soy/sesame marinade. Reserve the extra marinade. Put the tofu on a greased baking pan and bake for one hour, brushing every so often with the remaining marinade.
Please, if you haven't yet, vote for my morel recipe over at the MarxFoods website. Mine is the Butternut Squash and Morel Chutney!
And remember to submit your recipes to me for Regional Recipes: Haiti!