The air is heavy and dark, lying still between the tall rows of buildings as I head to the hospital this morning. Deserted, the streets have just a few scattered people keeping alive the truth that New York Never Sleeps. The fruit stand man rearranges his oranges, hoping for a late night insomniac or an early morning dog walker – at this hour, it could go either way. The security guard patrols his few blocks and a tech is out for a smoke break. Who knows why those two girls stroll past, giggling. Are they on their way to or from? Late night party, early morning class, sunrise yoga, midnight movie showing – it doesn’t matter. Up and down York, lights sparkle for a dozen blocks in either direction, marching off to show the circling cab drivers their route.
Inside, you’d never guess this hospital had 850 beds. The corridors are quiet as patient care support moves about their tasks and night doctors start to tuck in their services. The lobby is empty; the Au Bon Pain is out of bagels and the stairs are empty as I begin to climb. The stairs are always empty, but the elevators are empty right now, too, cruising the floors, hoping for riders.
Through the windows, I can see the East River glinting in the moonlight and Roosevelt Island, silent and suburban in the middle of the water. The sky isn’t that dark, smokey color anymore. It’s lightened to an indistinct grey, enough to see the industrial stacks of Long Island city outlined against a rapidly brightening backdrop. By the time we round on the 14th floor, the orange and peach streaks across the clouds fill the floor-to-ceiling windows and the river is clearly flowing upstream. The tide must be coming in. I’m still fascinated at how this river changes throughout the day and I’ll spend a good portion of time today moving patients to the window so they can watch the boats and floatsam and foam floating past.
By the time we finish rounds, the sun is fully up, the streets are packed with people and the hospital is bustling. You can see the opacity of the river and the dirt on the windows and suddenly the elevators have no time for you. The harsh daylight is a little harder to romanticize, but it’s okay, because I have stuffed zucchini for lunch.
This is a perfect late summer entree or side dish. Tomatoes + zucchini = one of my favorite combos.
This is adapted from Silver Palate. They didn’t cook their zucchini – they served them raw with the stuffing, and they had no Parmesan, but I wanted them a little soft from roasting.
Adapted from Silver Palate by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
Serves 6. Allow 20 minutes.
1 small white onion,
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil12 baby zucchinis
2 medium tomatoes
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan
1) Preheat the oven to 350.
2) Chop the onion and garlic and soften in a frying pan with the olive oil over medium heat.
3) Cut each zucchini lengthwise, then use the tip of a spoon to scrape out the seeds and pulp into the onions.
4) Chop the tomatoes and add to the zucchini and onion. Continue to saute until the tomatoes are softened and the mixture starts to come together.
5) Place the zucchini on a baking pan and pack the tomato mixture into the cavities. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes, or until a fork pierces them.
Mary of One Perfect Bite
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette of Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Kathleen of Bakeaway with Me
Sue of The View from the Great Island
Linda of There and Back Again