What I Learned This Week: #197

Monday, May 24 – Sunday, May 30, 2021

The Week in Health: Way back when I turned 50 I decided I needed to have primary care physician (PCP). I went. The only “thing” of note was that ty blood tests showed a slightly elevated cholesterol, but not enough for medication. Due to my age, he told me to get a colonoscopy. I told him I would get one when I turned 55. He did not like that. “Why are you even coming here?” he asked. So, I didn’t go back. Colon problems don’t run in my family, and I’m reasonably sure I timer didn’t go off in my digestive system on my 50th birthday requiring immediate attention. All good.

Now, I’m 56 (missed my 55 deadline due to COVID), and I have a new doctor and I asked for a colonscopy (lookin’ all proactive as I sat there on the exam table) and even asked for the shingles shot. Elder care…here I come.

The Week in Tuna: 56 isn’t always about health, it’s about finding, and deeply caring about, finding a good deal. Tuna Meal Tuesday at Court Street Lobster fits the fill. $8 tuna sandwich with chips. The chips, which I liked and asked about, are Utz kettle chips that CSL futzes around with. A delicious deal!

The Week in Ice Pops and Temperature Drops: I was very excited the week before this to pull a tank top out of the dresser, and to buy a pack of ice pops (keeping with the theme of “the deal”- they were on sale at Kroger for $1.99). Summer time, Baby! As someone who sparingly uses my AC, ice pops are part of dealing with summer in the best way. I threw a few in the freezer and then, out of nowhere, weekend temps dropped to the mid-forties…decidedly not ice pop weather. Oh well, I got a (pineapple) taste of summer while it was 90 degrees and will wait patiently for warmer weather tempered with ice pops.

The ICE portion of the freezer. Ooooh, I gotta eat those meatballs soon!

The Week in Nduja: Fausto, an upscale cafe located in the lobby of the Contemporary Arts Center, features seasonal and, for Cincinnati, edgily prepared food. I dropped by for lunch this week because I thought they might have an interesting salad option. They did. I got the turnip and radish salad with nduja and pickled onion chutney, local herbs, white bean puree, breadcrumb and sesame. Turnips and radishes are small, tender and almost sweet this time of year. When I ordered I asked what nduja was because I’d not heard of it. The guy said it was salami. Welp, it’s actually spreadable salami, which made it kind of a ninja in this dish. I kept sort of tasting salami but I never bit into salami. It was kind of great. I added a confit tuna protein (A small tuna theme!) and I was full for the rest of the day. Oh, the whole thing cost $22, an amount that usually would cover about 3 lunches for me, so I felt extra fancy at my desk that afternoon. Of course, it totally negated the deal I got on the tuna sandwich.

The Week in The Soup: There is a Reddit-famous recipe that Reddit posters simply refer to as The Soup. I follow several cooking sub-Reddits and The Soup comes up a lot. It is from a website called 365 Days of Slow + Pressure Cooking, and this is the breakout recipe from that site. I made The Soup this week. It is created for people who don’t cook a lot, and if you follow the recipe as written, it’s pretty terrific. I followed it very closely, really only adding red pepper because I like a little heat.

I really like the opening step which fakes a roux. Flour, onions, tomato paste, and oil get microwaved before getting added to the Crockpot. It works, of course, but that doesn’t make it weird for people who are used to sweating out making roux.


The Week in Math: So I had enough gumption to make an egg strata for breakfast for the week, but not enough energy to do the math on my 9×9 pan and make 5 equal servings. Next time I’m going to to cut 45 pieces and take 9 each day.

5 days…6 servings…poor distribution

The Week in Music: Finally, I got back to Music Hall for the first time in over a year for the extremely scaled back May Fest. Based on Sangerfests in Germany, May Fest normally takes place over a couple weeks in several locations around town, with the full May Festival chorus and Orchestra filling the stage at Music Hall for rousing performances. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the Festival is watching the hundreds of performers find their place on the stage. It touches my inner logistic heart.

This year the chorus was booted in favor of lone singers on a stage with a socially distanced orchestra. The audience was also socially distanced. The show was short, no intermission, to help comply with COVID spreading measures. I hope never to have to watch a performance with these types of constraints again. But, for what it was, the moment soprano Sophia Burgos started singing the opening nots of Aaron Copland’s Poems of Emily Dickinson, I started to cry. Live music is part of the human experience, and I’ve missed it terribly.

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