This past Tuesday my mom (shown sitting down) was presented with a Living Legacy Award for Building Bridges by the Solano County Senior’s Coalition.
What do you do with your leftovers?
Okay, just to give us some perspective, here’s the action two weekends ago.
We moved the shed and were left with this delightful pile of concrete rubble. Awesome. Lovely. (By the way I was perfectly content to let all that rubble lay there until September. Jack frowned severely, called me a hoarder and declared it banished. You have to feel a little bad for him. He’s got OCD.) We moved it. By hand. And oh, my aching back!
Now, we’ve got …
This is Hannah, Queen of the Universe.
Twice a day I’m outside watering my little vegetable garden, coaxing and nurturing the wee seedlings along.
And I have to admit that while I’m watering these delightful foodlings I’m scheming all sorts of ways to cook them up as soon as they mature.
Here’s a great video from Perennial Plate about foraging wild edibles and making ravioli. While I might not feel comfortable gathering nettles from the local river, it certainly inspires me to think outside my comfort zone and look for fresh flavors and dishes.
NOTE: It says clearly on their website that before you begin foraging to educate yourself first in order to avoid poisonous plants.
This salad is perfect for Spring. It’s fast and has a wonderful flavor combination: the cucumbers are light and crisp while the toasted coconut and peanuts add depth.
The real kick comes from the spices you add and that’s where you can get creative. This take is Indian inspired with cumin, coriander and mustard. But I could just as easily see you go Caribbean with jerk spices, or Greek with oregano and sprinkle of feta, or Latin with cilantro and habanero chiles. You can see where I’m going here—it’s the ultimate base for flexible flavor profiles.
I was inspired by the recipe posted over at 101 Cookbooks, but in my usual style I modified it for my own kitchen and particular brand of laziness. I had just come home from swimming and couldn’t wait more than five minutes to eat something. That’s all it took to whip this salad together and boy, was it delicious.
My mom’s a little dynamo, always on the go: traveling, working on charities, special projects, helping friends. She’s generous, kindhearted, stubborn and strong-willed. She’s a fighter, a survivor of multiple wars and unfathomable personal sacrifice. She’s fearless to challenge. She tries hard to learn, to grow emotionally and spiritually. For an uber-conservative Republican immigrant, she can be downright progressive in her paradigms. She’s a force. And let’s face it, such a strong personality means that she can be a challenge, but it also means that she can be pretty great.
In 1999 we lost my dad and ever since my mom has struggled with the painful loneliness that can only come from losing your long-time spouse, your best friend, your other half.
Recently she has found a new joy and a new companion. She is 72, he is 79.
They’re an inspiration.
They travel together, drive the countryside, hold hands, go out to eat, commune with friends. They hit the gym every day and take care of each others health. They laugh and seem to delight in each others company. They’re headed off to Vietnam—he for the first time in more than 35 years—for six weeks of travel and later this year they’ll be taking a pilgrimage to India for a Buddhist retreat. They have fun at a pace that we envy.
Holy cow, what could we do for her on Mother’s Day to top all that joie de vivre?
Short of giving her another grandkid, which we’re working on (hello!), we knew we couldn’t make her any happier. So instead we tried to capture all those smiles on film.
The next step of Operation Backyard was to move our shed away from our house in order to clear space for a deck and some indoor/outdoor living space.