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  • Writer's pictureAndrea L Merrill

Anahita Jalilvand: Macaron Baker/Artist

Anahita Jalilvand is a surgeon-scientist at The Ohio State University, currently as a fellow, but will soon join them in the Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and Burn. Outside of the OR, she makes beautiful macarons of all flavors and colors. Read her inspiration for taking on these finicky treats:

" A French macaron cannot lie. Every misstep can be seen in the product. The meringue must be perfectly stiff, the ingredients weighed and sifted thrice, and the macaronage must end promptly at the perfect consistency. There is no room for short cuts, and it is the ultimate truth teller. Try to skimp on the type of sugar, and your meringue is not as smooth. Over beat your batter – and the consistency is lost. Bake the cookie at the wrong temperature, and the feet do not rise properly. I often feel the world is made up of smoke and mirrors. Credit isn’t always given where it is due, and the loudest are not (often) correct. It may seem absurd, but I find peace in striving to make the perfect macaron. There is no role for performative statements and insincerity in its mastery. The result is a brutal reflection of your knowledge and dedication. Whether it falls short or not, the result speaks for itself, and I can control the outcome.

Even as a newly minted emergency general surgeon, I am acutely aware that so many variables are beyond my control. Whether it is attempting to reverse a process in a critically-ill patient or hoping for a miraculous surgical outcome, I am continuously faced with the feeling of inevitability. And when that sensation gets to a boiling point – this little devilish cookie offers me an escape. In a little microcosm of this world, I can control a variable and create an expected outcome that gives joy to those around me. "

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