So…how have y’all been the past few weeks?! I’ve been…well…busy. Like…wicked busy. The kind of busy where I’ve been on such an adrenaline rush from day to day trying to absorb as much as I can, that I’m certain I’ll sleep for a week once my stage is done…maybe. But I’ve also had the best couple of weeks stage-wise.
Remember back in my Paleo Paella post where I said that I felt hopelessly inadequate all the time in my stage? Well…I still feel pretty inadequate in terms of treating patients, but I think I’ve surpassed the point of being hopelessly so!
In fact, the other day, I managed to apply an entirely new-to-me method of assessing a patient to a completely different area of the body. Understanding the assessment method for its intended purpose (the hip/pelvis and low-back) seemed impossible a few weeks ago, but being immersed in the methodology every day has clearly sunk in because I made sense of a rib issue in a patient the other night using the same methodology; albeit with some cuing from my supervisor. But still. I think anyone would say that that’s progress.
In fact, over the past 6 weeks, I’ve learned so much about anatomy, and motor recruitment and movement patterns (and I already have a master’s IN skeletal anatomy) that I’ve begun to wonder what the he!l I’ve learned in school (between two degrees)! I honestly had no idea that PTs could be such wonder-workers like the guys and gals I’ve been working with.
It’s like watching (and, in some cases, participating in) a never-ending magic trick (except, the best part is that it’s not actually magic. It truly is a near-instinct-level understanding of anatomy). People come in with pain and/or some kind of movement dysfunction, they endure a bit more pain as they’re worked over by PTs with Vulcan grips, and they walk away with much cleaner movement patterns, less pain (after recuperating for 2-ish days), a couple of bruises (not kidding), and a smile!
On top of that, the clinic takes the Patch Adams method to treatment (minus all the heavy suicide stuff). In other words, they treat with LOTS of character and humour. Every day, they’re discussing some new ridiculous challenge or bet, deciding upon the consequences of said challenge/bet, and getting the patients to chip in or participate in the challenge itself. The therapists know all of the clients (even the ones they don’t treat), and they treat in an open concept space so that they can share stories, and laugh throughout patients’ treatment sessions. I honestly feel that THAT is part of the magic conjured on those tables.
Unfortunately these essential soft skills can’t really be taught in school. I’m not kidding when I say that the PTs I’m working with use about 10% of what I’ve learned in school. But from day one of my program, I’ve had the feeling that the course portion of my program is just a necessary evil I have to endure to get the piece of paper I need to ACTUALLY go out and learn how to be a good PT. What I didn’t know when I started the program was that there was a magi PT status ABOVE the “good” or even “awesome” PT status.
Don’t get me wrong. My classes haven’t been entirely useless (emphasis on entirely) in that when I graduate, I (now) know that I would be capable enough to be an ok-ish PT. To enter the order of the magi PT, however, graduating is just the start point. Passion, grit, and intellectual curiosity will be what gets me the rest of the way. I guess that’s life in general though, right?
Newho…this is all to say that I’ve had a good couple of weeks stage-wise. I haven’t forgotten about y’all though! Even though, I’ve had 0 free time to write in the past couple of weeks, I have been fitting some recipe development in with the weekly cooking I do to survive. And it hasn’t been for nought! I have some pretty awesome things coming up for you guys! I promise!
More specifically, I NAILED two recipes that I’ve been working on for a while. Woot woot!
One of them is for Butter Chicken; you know that recipe that I’ve talked about for the past two posts as being one that has eluded me for years…? Well, I’ve got it now. And, MAN, is it good! I have ACTUALLY been making it every week for a month now. Clearly, I’ve been in Butter Chicken withdrawal since being relegated to the realm of culinary lepers! (It also means that I get to make and eat more of the Paleo-ish Naan that I shared last in my last post.)
The other recipe I’m leaving to be a surprise for you guys. Rest assured that it is pure awesomeness in your palm. The couple of people that I’ve used as taste-testers have loved it. They don’t know what they’re looking at when I give it to them, but when I tell them what it actually is, they get this look on their face; like a kid on Christmas, they can’t wait to take a bite to see what’s in inside. It’s awesome.
Needless to say, I’ll be sharing both recipes with you guys in the next few weeks. So stay tuned!
Now…on to this week’s special post! Blood Orange Passionfruit Champagne Sangria! Yea. You read that right. If you’ve read my Paleo-ish Sandwich Bread post, you may remember my mentioning this UH-MAZING Sangria that I made for the BF and myself for New Years. And this is coming from someone who hates Champagne, and Sangria for that matter! Why I would have decided at the time to make a Champagne Sangria, I have no idea, but it seemed festive, it was New Years, and I (still) have zero regrets!
The fact that it’s festive is the reason I’m posting this recipe this week. You may be thinking that I’m referring to Valentine’s Day. And I guess I am, in part. But the other part is that it was my Dad’s 65th birthday a few days ago. I’m currently on my way to TO in seriously fugly weather to celebrate with close family at his favourite TO restaurant. It’s the first time I’ve been home in 6 weeks, my bro has just gotten a new job (after 5 years of searching for one in his field), I’ve spent the past 6 weeks doing something that I actually enjoy for the first time in years (and has given me hope that I didn’t make a serious mistake by tearing my life apart to move 6 hours away from my BF and family).
I would say that ALL of those things are worthy of at least the same amount of celebration as the perennial Hallmark Holiday that is Valentine’s Day. I’m not trying to bash Valentine’s Day. Any thing that motivates people to celebrate those who bring them up and better their lives is a good thing in my mind. I just don’t particularly care that there is so much put on that one day. Why not apply the same sentiment to any day? That’s all.
Newho…back to this Blood Orange Passionfruit Champagne Sangria because it’s just so freakin’ good; as in, you won’t know you’re drinking alcohol until it’s possibly too late. Heads up! And, the citrus in it almost convinces you that you’re sitting on a patio in high summer with your best gal pals, sharing stories, and making memories. Given the horribleness of winter these past few days, we may all need the little dose of sunshine memories this champagne sangria imparts.
I’m also SUPER excited about how this foodo shoot turned out. The photos are just so pretty like (if I do say so myself), and though you don’t know it (yet), filled with all the sentiment and nostalgia you would expect of Valentine’s Day. You see, I LOVE these roses. I have no idea what their actual name is. But my Dad and I call them apricot roses because that’s what we think they smell like. Their climbing cousin is what grew outside my bedroom window for my entire childhood. They’re also my Dad’s favourite rose. Plus roses and Valentine’s Day are pretty much synonymous by now.
See how all that worked out? Champagne for celebrations, citrus for warm summer days (when roses bloom), Dad’s favourite roses for his birthday AND roses for Valentine’s Day. Win! I love it when that happens.
Ok…now for the recipe. It is, by no means, Paleo or Paleo-ish since there is sugar and, well…alcohol in it…but celebrations like 65th birthdays mean tossing some rules out the window.
I should also point out that this recipe really is unbelievably easy to make. The hardest part of this recipe is finding the passionfruit juice. Actually. I think I went to 5 different stores looking for it. Once you get that down, you’re set!
What does that mean to you? It means that you should start looking for passionfruit juice. You won’t regret it when you do! Promise.
So…without further ado…Blood Orange Passionfruit Champagne Sangria!!!
Blood Orange Passionfruit Champagne Sangria
Just in time for Valentine’s Day; wonderfully citrusy, festive, and easy-to-make Blood Orange Passionfruit Champagne Sangria!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 2 hours 20 mins
- Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 servings
Rosemary Simple Syrup Things!
- 1 3-4″ sprig of rosemary
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups passionfruit juice
- 2 ripe passionfruits
- 1 blood orange (also called Moro), sliced in rounds or halves of rounds
- 1 tart apple (e.g. Granny Smith)
- 1 750 mL bottle of Prosecco (I told you I hated Champagne…so I went with the tastier Italian version. You can use champers if you want though.)
Rosemary Simple Syrup:
- Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small pot and add the rosemary sprig.
- Bring mixture to a boil for ~2 mins.
- Turn heat off, but leave the pot on the burner for 15-20 mins; allowing the flavours to meld.
- Remove the rosemary sprig.
- Slice your fruits, scoop your passionfruits, and put them together in the bottom of a pitcher.
- Add your rosemary simple syrup, passionfruit juice, and prosecco/champagne.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Inspired by: Champagne Sangria | http://theblondcook.com/champagne-sangria/
- Optional/Alternative Prep Method: If you want your fruit flavours to really infuse, you can mix everything together EXCEPT the prosecco/champagne the night before, cover, refrigerate, and then add the bubbly 2 hours before you want to serve your Sangria.
- Make sure the passionfruit juice you get is mostly passionfruit juice. Any passionfruit juice will have sugar added to it (even if you get it from a juice bar), but you want to make sure there isn’t so much added that it no longer has the tartness of passionfruits. The times I’ve found it, it was in the juice section of the supermarket (or, the store that has everything if you’re in the basement of the St. Lawrence Market) in a(n often purple) tetra pak. Whatever you do, avoid anything called Passionfruit DRINK. That has more sugar than anything else and doesn’t remotely taste like a passionfruit.
- If you really can’t find the passionfruit juice, I imagine this recipe would taste awesome with Mango juice!
Ok. That’s all for this week folks! As I mentioned above, lovely things are in the works for the blog, so stay tuned!
If you have any questions, or would like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so below or by shooting me an email! Let me know if you have any Valentine’s plans! I love hearing from you guys!
Update June 1, 2017: I just found out that my Blood Orange Passionfruit Sangria was featured in thefeedfeed’s Champagne and Prosecco post!!! Woot woot!