Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On 9/11, a recipe for making "new" memories

From Daryl aka Avery:

9/11 will never evoke good memories for most of America. It was a time of tragedy for our country. Now, twelve years later, it serves as a day of reflection. 

My heart goes out to those who suffered and those that lost loved ones. To all the heroes. To all those that heroes left behind.

May we continue to move forward and continue to heal.

Here's a link to the National 9/11 memorial site

 I visited the memorial site, soon after the attack. I will never forget all the letters posted to walls around the devastation. I have experienced much loss in my life, but I have never felt anything so massively poignant as seeing this kind of devastation. I visited the site again, with the reflecting pools in place. It is a truly beautiful and awesome tribute.  

FYI: [from the website] The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.

However, on a good note for me and my family, 9/11 is also a day of joyous memories. My son, Jack, and his wife, Rebecca, decided to make a "new" memory on a tragic day. They married on 9/11 four years ago at Walt Disney World in Orlando. They didn't want to spend the rest of their lives thinking horrible things on this date. They live in New York.

With Rebecca in our lives, we are learning new lessons about mixing cultures. She is Cuban. The culture of her food is spectacular! 

Whenever Jack and Rebecca come to visit in Los Angeles, we taste new flavors, most of the recipes passed down from her family.

Most recently, we had a roast pork, beans (frijoles), and rice dinner that was delicious. Jack has always been a cook. A month or so ago, I showed you pictures of him making Easter eggs at the age of 3. His love of cooking started then; it never stopped. He is fearless in the kitchen. At one point when he was 14, he considered becoming a chef. We went to a number of restaurant cooking courses. Fun!  Of course, after those experiences, Jack wanted to become an Iron Chef (instant notoriety). Life intervened; possibly a little reality, too. 
He is now pursuing patent law. Rebecca is pursing a career in preserving film.

I hope you’ll enjoy the meal Jack and Rebecca made for us. It was full of flavor and lots of fun to put together. [I was a sous chef.]

Remember, whatever the trauma in your life, make new memories. Do your best to move beyond. Believe in the future. Change is possible.

2 cups long grain rice
4-5 cups water
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced or minced
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place the rice, water, garlic, and olive oil into a saucepan.

Bring to a boil and keep on high until craters form and the water looks to be mostly evaporated. (10-15 minutes)

Cover and turn the heat to the lowest setting for 8-10 minutes.

Serve soon.

Note: Frijoles negros is a signature dish of Cuban cuisine. It's black beans cooked to perfection in a thick aromatic stew.
 We served this over the Cuban rice.



2 1/2 cups black beans, dried
9 cups water
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 bay leaf
3 tablepoons vinegar
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil (to drizzle over beans in final step)