Bon Appetit{4}

This week my class will be creating models of the building blocks of cells using foods that contain those building blocks. A phospholipid bilayer made out of french fries and donuts. Glycogen made out of angel hair pasta. You get the picture. Almost every cell and molecular biologist I know likes to cook, and I am no exception. I have often wondered why. So much of our best work is microscopic or even submicroscopic. Maybe we get a thrill at coming home from the lab and making something we can actually see. And so much of our work (especially the molecular processes) has to be so precise. 1 microliter of this, 2 microliters of that. Deviate from the protocol (recipe) just a little and you’ve wasted $1500 in reagents (ingredients) and may have set your dissertation back several months. After a day like that, it can be incredibly cathartic to leave those measuring spoons in the drawer, ignore the Joy of Cooking, and start throwing things in the pan. I may be a scientist but there is an artist inside dying to crack some eggs.

Jill's triple berry pie

Don’t stifle my creativity. Except, of course, when it comes to meringues. Then I’m smuggling my analytical balance and thermometer that reads to .001 degrees home from the lab in the hopes of getting it just right this time.