Sunday, April 8, 2012

Waiting For Benjamin

"The Bun Ain't Coming Out Til It's Done"
by Darrilyn Vassar-Jackson

It has been five days now since the Grands arrived in sweet anticipation of the birth of a new soul called Benjamin. Due to make his entrance on April 5, we arrived two days early lest we miss his entrance. Based on our birth experiences with his respective parents, we made our plans. Well you know the expression, “Man plans and God laughs!” God must be rolling on the floor about now, because we are still waiting.

This morning I let go of my picture of how this whole thing was to look. Up at the crack before dawn, I shared my “ah has” with my daughter, who in turn laughed as she recalled her careful timing of taking off work and scheduling up coming interviews, all based on her due date. She reminded me of how she and her husband both are planners and she guesses that Ben is too. Either that or he is coming to shake up all of that. I told her that I had given myself permission to forget about when Benjamin is coming and to fully enjoy the time we all are having in the moment. I apologized for asking her every five minutes, is she feeling anything. Oh, I forgot to mention our trip to the hospital in the wee hours of yesterday morning on a false alarm. Now, the Grands, who have birthed 6 children between us, knew this wasn’t real labor, but we conveniently put on our veil of forgetfulness in place of “please let it be so” and went anyway. Of course, we were all sent back home within the hour. So our new mantra is “The bun ain’t coming out the oven til it’s done.”

Benjamin, who hasn’t even arrived yet, is teaching us already. The Grands are getting to know one another in a wonderful new way, having a ball laughing, reminiscing, cooking and eating up a storm. The good eating part must have something to do with feeding the parents. And talk about feeding, move over Uncle Ben, there’s a new rice in town- Baby Ben’s Rice, prepared by Grandma Momo. We also made Scallini’s Eggplant Parmesan guaranteed to induce labor within 48 hours. It was scrumptious but we must have fed it to my daughter too early, the secret ingredient was missing, or it needed to come directly from the restaurant.

Baby Ben’s Rice

Grandma Momo, an experienced cook, doesn’t have to measure anything so this is an approximation. I hadn’t eaten rice in so long and this was moist, fragrant, and delicious.

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-1/2 cups water

1-1/2 cups Basmati or Jasmine rice

Dash of sea salt (1/4 – ½ teaspoon)

In medium sauce pan, saute minced garlic in oil until slightly browned, add, rice, water, sea salt and cook on medium high heat with top off until rice is almost dry. Put top on reduce heat to low until water evaporates completely. Enjoy!

Curry Stir Fry Vegetables

2 cups sliced carrots

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 medium onion, sliced,

½ green bell pepper sliced

½ red bell pepper, sliced

2 cups fresh broccoli, sliced stalk and florets

1 medium zucchini, sliced

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup coconut milk

2 teaspoons green curry paste

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

Basil leaves

In wok, sauté garlic, onion, then add, carrots and sliced broccoli stalks, cook for a few minutes. Add zucchini, florets and peppers last as they cook faster. Mix 2 teaspoons of green paste and cup of coconut milk. Blend until smooth and add to stir fry. Serve with Baby Ben’s Rice and garnish with fresh basil leaves.