A Donation Refused: Roasted Marrow Bones

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

-Is there anything so lust-worthy that kind of looks like a booger? I doubt it.-

Men Who Have Sex with Men

Men who have had sex with other men within the past 5 years are currently not eligible to join the Be The Match Registry® as a potential marrow donor. This is because men who have sex with other men are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV.

The long-standing exclusion of at-risk groups for HIV from the registry aligns with the policy of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was set to minimize the risk of HIV transmission through blood and tissue donation.

More information regarding the FDA’s tissue donation policy pertinent to men who have sex with men is available on the FDA website (see section IV.E).

We periodically revisit this issue in consultation with our independent Donor and Patient Safety Committee, weighing the risk and benefit to patients in need of a transplant as new information becomes available. The FDA also periodically revisits this issue, and we continue to take into account their guidance in evaluating our own policy.

~National Marrow Donor Program

-"Sorry if we hurt your feelings."-

I highly recommend you read that section IV.E. It's a doozy of a list, but you'll notice a few odd things. If you've been incarcerated you only have to wait a year to donate blood, organs, or bone marrow. If you're gay you have to be celibate for five years and that has about as much chance happening as Michael Bay making a film where nothing explodes.

But, then again, there's a bunch of odd rules like being banned from donating if you lived in the UK for three consecutive months, or in greater Europe for five years, or if you have dementia because somehow that affects how sturdy your marrow might be, I guess.

The reason I bring this is up is because a few weeks back I had finally decided to look into becoming a bone marrow donor. I was healthy, I had good insurance, and I wasn't getting any younger for it as much as I would like to think otherwise. (I turn 29 this weekend, godhelpme.)

I had heard the procedure was a more than a bit painful and the recovery somewhat tedious, though medical advances had been made for the procedure to be less invasive. Or, at least as less invasive as harvesting the tender humors from the inside your femur with a drill can be.

"What do you mean, I'm not an ideal candidate?" I asked poor Tiffany, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) girl I was now raising my voice at over the phone.

To Impress a Boy: Rhubarb Polenta Cake

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

-The things we do to impress someone...-

The first time I did ecstasy I did it because a boy I liked gave me a tab of it. Being just recently twenty-one and, obviously, immortal in the sense that newly minted twenty-one year olds think they are I slipped it down my throat with a shot of whisky and thought how damn cool I must have looked, how effortlessly nonchalant I must have seemed, and that surely this boy would like me. I effused coolness as I nursed a neat glass of brown liquor – nursed it as if it were a dying patient as I had yet to actually develop a taste for whisky. It took every drop of willpower not to cringe from every sip as the booze burned my flesh lips to stomach.

But the boy seemed worth it. He was my height – that is to say six feet, give or take – with jet hair, full eyebrows, and eyes the color of robins’ eggs. He was a philosophy major, I think, or some degree that was largely inconsequential to the real world job market but that was cool to talk about on the quad with people who usually wore sandals all year regardless of season. He was cordial; the type of person you can’t help but be enamoured with for their compassionate demeanor. He wasn’t the smartest boy – he would eventually be kicked out of the university for failing too many classes and how one fails in philosophy is still a mystery; or is it? – but he was intelligent when it came to matters of finding a way to be happy with his life in that it seemed he had no regrets.

(This would prove untrue after his dismissal from the university.)

-His original major was biological chemistry. You can imagine how well that worked out.-

Visit to Redwood Hill Farm: Caramelized Pineapple

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

-Caramelized pineapple over goat's milk yogurt.-

This last weekend Stephanie and I were invited up to Redwood Hill Farm in Sebastopol, Sonoma County. We came into contact with Scott and Jennifer who run the farm, through their PR Maven, Kathleen. We were invited up to come see their beautiful dairy where they care for about 300+ goats as we wanted some pictures of a dairy for the cookbook.

-Yogurt from start to finish.-

Right now the farm is in the middle of the birthing season so the place is cacophonous in the sound of newborn kids braying and crying for pettings, food, and play. The kids, as you can guess, are abso-freakin-adorable.

Stomach Pains: Bitters and Soda Panacea

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

-The kitchen cure for an upset stomach.-

When you’re cooking and eating three, or four, or five, and sometimes six different macaroni and cheese recipes within a 24 hour time span it can kinda rock your system a little. Even if you’ve built up a mighty tolerance to take in and process copious amounts of pasta and well-aged milk that much food can just knock you out. Even if you relegate yourself to just tastes you have to taste and taste and taste throughout each and every step so it results in staggering amounts of consumption.

It’s part of what comes with working as a food blogger or cookbook writer, I suppose. One must throw themselves upon the sword, or, perhaps, a steak knife and suffer for their craft so that others may benefit. While the meal may be delicious, the photos spectacular, and the writing practically sacrosanct so polished and holy are the words the eater in question may well suffer.

We’ve all had those meals that shift our focus on food and leave an indelible mark on how we cook. We’ve also had those ones where we stuff ourselves stupid and have to sit on the curb outside for fifteen minutes without moving as any motion to our now-potbellied gyroscopic selves will make us hurl into the parking lot. After a while we can waddle our way to the car and the emergency ration of Tums that Why-for-the-love-of-God-don’t-they-work-instantaneously.

It’s the price we pay. Unless, of course, you know a few tricks.

So It Was Hot This Weekend: Ancho Almond Caramel Corn

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

-Perfect for those outdoor picnics, baseball games, or if you have the munchies.-

It is 98 degrees outside. I'm told Fahrenheit, but I believe it to be Celsius because I am sweating like a homo in a hardware store*. The fan is set to full on Arctic Chill, which is more like Delta Breeze because I'm learning that the sun penetrates our house in the warmer months like a hooker's anonymous John making it a veritable hot box of scorchy death.

It's April. People... God... Why is it in the upper nineties in April?!

I'm in the kitchen right now, which is in the hundreds right now because I have the oven preheating and I'm over a gas burner cooking pots full of popcorn and stirring together a caramel sauce. Baked air, coils of steam caressing as much skin and surface as possible, and wrathful sunlight all invade the kitchen at once to destroy me. And I, masochist that I am, am choosing to be here.

Why? Because it's springtime. Baseball season is here. And it's April. And darn it I have a potluck to be at.

-A seriously slammin' potluck.-

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