I was always a rebellious teenager growing up. Never wanting to follow my parents’ footsteps, never satisfied with being a homebody, I dreamed of leaving home one day to explore the great wide world. And I did, when I trekked across half of the country to attend college in North Carolina. Finally I could practice independence and enjoy the long sought freedom, I thought. As a result, I rarely called home in my freshmen year of college, and in the rare time when I called, my conversation with my parents were brief. They loved to ask about what I ate, whether I had enough clothes for the winter, how often I cleaned my dorm room, etc. Too much nagging, in conclusion. And I found ways to cut the conversation short.
But as time went on, in junior and senior year, as the pressure of school and extracurricular activities became more stifling, I found myself wanting to seek advice from my mom and dad. There were so many choices to make about careers, taking gap years, job hunting, and I needed someone to pour my worries to. So I started calling my parents more.
It wasn’t until my gap year working in Beijing, when I truly felt homesick for the first time. For a year, I relied on choppy internet connections and an intermittently working Skype to overcome 13 hrs of time difference to videochat my parents for an hour every week. It was a precious time, in the midst of adjusting to a new job, making new friends, and even dating, to relay the most exciting part of my journey back to them, and to see them crowd around the webcam giddily to hear my stories.
Now that I’ve come back to Houston for medical school, I’ve kept up a routine to spend a weekend at home every month. Sometimes, I would make up excuses to call my parents every couple of days, just to get the updates from their lives and to chat about what I cooked this week, what I saw in the hospital, what stores are having sales. You know, things that I used to think were boring back in college. I craved to hear their voices, to see the new bed sheets they bought on sale, their new discoveries of cheap vacation packages and just them going about their daily life.
It’s funny how life and a little bit of time can change you, eh?
Now onto today’s recipe. Last week I baked a dessert cake that turned out more like a dessert bar for my hospital team whom I’ve worked with in the past month. Even saying that, I feel quite proud of myself. I BAKED! I used the oven! And I didn’t screw up! All amazing things happening in a row! (If you haven’t figured it out, I’m not exactly the most skilled dessert baker) The most humbling part is, my team actually enjoyed it and were asking for recipes!
So if I can do it, you CAN too.
Apple Cinnamon Bar
Healthified recipe adapted from: A Pinch of Yum
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1 cup of fat free milk)
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2.5 cups of flour
- 1 whole granny smith apple, peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 325. In a large mixing bowl, mix ingredients in the order they are presented (minus the last 3 ingredients)
Pour batter into a greased baking pan.
Mix together last 3 ingredients- sugar, cinnamon and butter to make a topping to sprinkle over the batter.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until insides are no longer sticky and gummy when tested with a toothpick. Enjoy while warm!