Curried Basmati Rice Salad
If I had t-shirts with all my slogans on them, we'd have to rent a storage unit.
This week's t-shirt would say, "Put it all in one bowl!" I'm a fan of cramming as many colorful and crunchy things as possible into a bowl and then eating off it for as long as possible.
Today, it was a curried rice salad with toasted coconut and almonds, candied ginger, and veggies. I brought it to Amber's School's Out! party, and we sat on her deck drinking gin and tonics, snacking, and crying about our 5th graders moving on to middle school. Wayne, my father-in-law, couldn't believe how sentimental I got at Wyatt's 5th grade graduation. I told him that if they had these events when Yancey was 11 and they played a 6-song slideshow that included Chariots of Fire, he'd cry too.
As Wyatt and Loretta get older and we all keep being present to the ups and downs of parenting, I am so, so thankful for the community of mothers in my neighborhood who help me laugh instead of cry, who watch and watch out for my kids, who remind me that my best is usually good enough. Liz, Elizabeth, Breeze, Amber, Kristen, Michelle, Debi, Kristy, Joy, Jen, Kelly, Teri, Cameo, Kate, Tracy and so many more. It's good to be together.
Curried Basmati Rice SaladYou could add so many other things to this--chopped raw or roasted broccoli or cauliflower, shaved carrots, currants instead of raisins, Asian basil, diced red onions or chopped green onions.
4 Tb. butter or coconut oil1 c. finely chopped onion2 minced garlic cloves2 Tb. finely minced fresh ginger2 Tb. curry powder2 c. basmati rice, rinsed1 c. raisins2 Tb. sugar1 English cucumber, diced1 bunch cilantro, washed and coarsely choppedhandful fresh mint, coarsely chopped1 red jalapeno, seeded and diced1 c. toasted unsweetened coconut flakes2 c. toasted slivered or sliced almonds1/4 c. chopped candied gingersaltjuice of two limes
For rice: In a heavy medium saucepan, melt butter or coconut oil. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and curry powder and saute until melded, about 5 minutes. Add rice, 4 cups water, sugar, and raisins and stir. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat after 20 minutes and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and pour into a big shallow salad bowl, stirring to release heat and separate the grains.
To assemble the salad: Add cucumber, cilantro, mint, jalapeno, coconut, almonds, and candied ginger, saving a little of each to garnish the top. Mix with salt (keep tasting and add plenty!) and lime juice. Top with reserved ingredients.
P.S. To make this heartier and serve it for dinner, grill some chicken or roast some tofu to go on top.
Strawberry Shortcake Forever
I was born on Fathers Day almost 40 years ago. (I have 26 more hours of being 39. And I'm happy about turning 40. It's much better than the alternative.) So Fathers Day and my birthday have always had blurred lines.
The night after I was born, my dad stayed up wallpapering the closet that became my nursery on Walnut Street. My mom loves to tell that story. Of course my newborn self didn't give a burp about wallpaper. But my anxious, first-time-father needed something to do, so that's what he did. He's been thinking about me and creating loving spaces for me every since. I love you, Papa.
And every birthday I had under my parents' roof, my mom made me strawberry shortcake. We used to go berry-picking in the fields, and my mom has stories of me getting sick with all the sweetness, parking myself betwen the rows and not contributing one single berry to the bucket. And every year, she'd say, "Do you want something different for your birthday this year?" Nope. Strawberry shortcake forever.
Loretta and I went picking this morning at Bellingham Country Gardens. Bellinghamsters, get thee to Kelly Road! What an absolute treasure. Especially Lily, the resident pooch, and Sam, the farmer who showed us around and let me take his photo.
A light mist, no-spray berries.And my companion? This miracle of a girl who came from my body and from her amazing father. Yancey appreciates that I don't talk a whole lot about him on this blog. So I'll keep it brief and just say that I married a marvel of a man who loves me, loves his children, and models every day what it's like to love life, be curious, and be tender. It's so easy to celebrate him on Fathers Day.
And guess what we're having for breakfast? Strawberry shortcake. It can certainly be construed as breakfast--not that much different from biscuits and jam. Here, I've combined the strawberries with some raw, macerated rhubarb, but you can leave that out. And I am still in love with this shortcake recipe. Just the right density and sweetness, comes out of the pan in perfect wedges.
Strawberry shortcake (and the love it's made with) forever.
Shortcake with Strawberries and Rhubarb
Make this shortcakeWhip some creamVery thinly slice two stalks of rhubarb, combine them with 1/4 c. sugar, and let them macerate for 30 minutes. Combine the rhubarb with sliced strawberries and maybe a little more sugar, and serve with the shortcake and whipped cream.
Yay for Veggies on my Porch!
A shout out to Dandelion Organics for the amazing bounty I find on my doorstep every Tuesday.
I spend an hour prepping everything and our family eats a lot more vegetables as a result. (I know. A whole 60 minutes?!) Anyone who says cooking doesn't take any time is wrong. They are pulling your convenience-loving leg. It DOES take time, even if all you eat is raw vegetables!
My soapbox (What?! I have one? I'm taking a leap and expressing some opinions here for the first time.) is that we take time for all sorts of other things that are far worse for our health and well-being--internet shopping, Facebook gawking, T.V. watching, email-checking. And good things like work, friendships, family time, sleep, leisure, and even exercise don't keep up healthy and strong the way eating well does. It's worth it! Start small! And then brag about it like I do!
P.S. A weekly veggie delivery is a giant luxury. If your life won't allow that, buy cut-up celery and carrot sticks from the deli. More vegetables is more important than what kind of vegetables.
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