While I was cooking this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe I started to think about my first job as a psychologist.
About 20 years ago I joined an innovative and dynamic team at one of the best hospitals in Sydney.
I spent 3 years working with the drug and alcohol unit at Kings Cross, Australia’s drug and red light capital.
The work was cutting edge.
The area was… colourful (to say the least).
And the staff… well… let’s just say they were just as colourful and interesting!
I worked my butt off and loved it.
I was challenged every day in ways I couldn’t have imagined, by the clients and also by my managers.
I left that job to have my first baby and for the next 15 years I worked in various hospitals across Sydney as I went on to have 2 more children.
Somewhere in there I became very comfortable.
I had a lovely office, worked with great people and my clients were pretty highly functioning mostly presenting for help with depression or anxiety.
A couple of years ago I started to feel ‘antsy’.
I wanted to be challenged.
So I quit my job and for the past year I have returned to working in a Sydney Hospital with another dynamic, innovative and very cutting edge service. However this time the work has been in trauma, primarily sexual assault and domestic violence.
Also like my first job, this job has been round the clock shift work and a huge learning curve!
So… what does this have to do with jerusalem artichokes?!
Well after a year of shift work and working with trauma I have come to realise that discovering this strange looking vegetable is about as weird and exciting as I want things to be for a while 🙂
So for now… the jerusalem artichoke represents where I am in life.
It’s a little weird but only minimum effort is required to reach results that are comforting and satisfying.
I peeled my artichokes with some potatoes and as the recipe asks, I threw in some garlic and rosemary and tossed everything in roasting tray with olive oil, salt and pepper. EASY!!!
The potatoes were my safety net, in case the kids didn’t like the artichokes.
Everyone loved the dish!
(I think the potatoes did help if I’m to be honest).
I am curious to see what the rest of the French Fridays with Dorie group thought of the artichokes!
October 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm
An interesting post regards your professional life, challenges – the kinds that one takes upon ourselves – not those thrown at us – are always good! Nice picture of the jerusalem artichokes… looks like ginger or galangal roots!
October 17, 2014 at 5:39 pm
Sounds like quite a year. Guess that explains why you haven’t had much time for cooking along. I don’t work in your field but I do understand the struggle of finding a balance between work which interests and excites me without leaving me a stressed out mess at the end of each day. The work which you are doing now sounds like it’s quite a challenge so I can well imagine that you are looking for less excitement at home:-)
October 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm
So true! I also didn’t factor that 20 years later I was 20 years older!!
October 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm
You did well to find yhe artichokes – looks great!
October 17, 2014 at 8:11 pm
Good luck with your new job! The world needs more people like you! Adding potatoes to the mix was a marvelous idea!!! Your combination looks terrific!
October 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm
Sanya, thank you for letting us get to know you better. I admire people in your line of work because of their resilience. Keep fighting the good fight and finding balance between your drive to be a good professional, mom, and cook.
October 18, 2014 at 6:06 am
I have so much admiration for the kind of work you do, Sanya! Working with trauma is tough enough, but shift work is a killer to a normal life. Kudos to you!!
I love the idea of mixing the sunchokes with potatoes! I think my hubby would have like them better that way! Happy Friday!
October 18, 2014 at 10:47 am
i taught in an inner city high school I get what you mean about job intensity, The jerusalem artichoke sums me up too, and I used the potatoes as a safety net also for the family.
October 18, 2014 at 12:25 pm
No wonder you haven’t had time to cook along with us lately. I hope your job continues to be fulfilling. Those you help are lucky to have someone working with them that is so passionate about the job you are doing, Sanya. Kudos! And your comforting side dish is a winner. Mixing with potatoes was a nice touch. Have a great weekend!
October 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm
That’s quite the year! I agree that mixing potatoes with this would be a good idea!
October 19, 2014 at 12:32 am
This recipe is very interesting and hopefully Tricia and I can find the sunchokes soon. I like the idea of adding the potatoes, your dish really looks inviting. As I did not get a chance to comment on last week’s posts, I wanted to thank you for your nice thoughts on our special day, we had a wonderful celebration.
October 19, 2014 at 4:00 am
Finding fulfillment at work is not always simple – it seems no matter which side you choose, there is a price to be paid. Fulfillment is often exhausting and stability can be draining on another level.
Still glad to have you back cooking with us!
October 19, 2014 at 7:55 am
My partner is in social work and for many years worked on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, once known as the poorest postal code in Canada. The brutal outcomes for many of his clients burned him out and he had to pull back from frontline work. So, he can relate to your progression. It’s wonderful that you’ve gone back into more challenging work and I’m glad you’ve been able to cook with us again.
October 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm
What a challenging and fulfilling occupation. So glad to see you back!
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