Five years ago, I graduated from college. Roughly two weeks after I graduated, I figured out that I wanted to be a nurse. Which means that for the last four years and 50 weeks, I have been wanting to be a nurse, waiting to become a nurse, and going to be a nurse someday. Well my friends– someday is here, and I am, in fact, a real, live, Registered Nurse.
This is, for many reasons, no small miracle. To my friends and family who supported me, cheered me on, bought me coffee, and prayed for me through all those tests and months of studying: there will never be enough thank yous. Please recharge your batteries for the next few years because becoming an Nurse Practitioner will require a very, very large miracle. To BFKef, the great love of my life, who was there through alllllll the breakdowns (and there were many)– I owe you another big, fat, juicy steak. And to my parents who were kind enough to give me a low-interest loan better than the deal Barack Obama leveraged from that wench Sallie Mae– I will make sure my nicest nurse friends take care of you in the nursing home when you are old. Haha.
Finally attaining a benchmark I had set years ago got me thinking about goals, and how we make progressively fewer of them as we age. We used to have milestones every few months–first to tie our shoes, write our names, ride a bike, defeat King Koopa, and then to make the team, beat a PR, graduate from high school, maybe college, get a job, keep the job, and then…. what? Why is it that when we finally make it to this strange place called the Real World, our goals become fewer and farther between? Why do we trade the clearly-stated (if sometimes trivial) goals of our younger selves to settle for a long list of “maybes”, “somedays,” and ‘if I have time I’ll…”?
I don’t know the answer to those questions. I’m not even really sure where this is going, or what it has to do with the truly delicious mango salmon cakes whose recipe is below. Perhaps I’ll make it a goal to finish this thought and figure it out. But what I do know is that finally reaching this goal has me feeling more proud of myself now than when I graduated from college the first time, and I can’t wait to see where my life as a nurse takes me.
Chef Kefi, RN’s First Recipe: Mango Salmon Cakes with Corn and Avocado Salad
- 1/2 mango, peeled and diced pretty small
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 oz of salmon (I used canned- just make sure its skinned and peeled)
- ~1/3c Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2/3 c unseasoned breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free)
- Olive oil for frying, about 5 TBS
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 cobs of corn, with corn cut from the cob
- juice of the other half of the lime
1. Put 2 tsp olive oil and coriander in saute pan over medium heat. After about 90 seconds, add mangoes and stir around. Cook for about 5 minutes, until mangoes are soft and fragrant.
2. Set mangoes aside and cook diced onion in same pan without cleaning it. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, until onions are tender.
3. Combine all ingredients up to breadcrumbs, with breadcrumbs last. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes to absorb–this will make the frying easier.
4. Shape the batter into patties, about 1/3c at a time. Use your palms to make them flat. Do not place them on top of one another.
5. Heat 1-2 TBS of olive oil over medium heat in same pan. After about 90 seconds, put first batch of salmon cakes in– I was able to make 3 at a time. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until patty is firm and easily flippable. Depending on your pan and stove, it may take longer. If you find patties burning but not flipping without breaking, turn down your heat.
6. Combine avocado, corn, and lime juice in bowl and serve on side, or just heap it all on top like I did: