coconut jasmine rice with bok choy, cashews + golden raisins

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It does not seem to me, Austerlitz added, that we understand the laws governing the return of the past, but I feel more and more as if time did not exist at all, only various spaces interlocking according to the rules of a higher form of stereometry, between which the living and the dead can move back and forth as they like, and the longer I think about it the more it seems to me that we who are still alive are unreal in the eyes of the dead, that only occasionally, in certain lights and atmospheric conditions, do we appear in their field of vision. ― W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz

It occurs to me that I’ve been artfully dodging mirrors. Washing my face in the dark, making absurd small talk in the bathroom, squinting at mirrors, always — it’s been a long time since I was fearful of the person on the other side of the looking glass. A small part of me knows, but a large part of me doesn’t want to know. That part only wants to fast forward the tape and press play. That part whispers, Soon, soon, not yet. Easy, easy, you’ve got her too high. That part paces the floorboards at night, hoping to smother the clocks. Praying that they don’t start their cruel tick.

But they do, and you freak, and you quote the dead {HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME} and watch the same horror movies on repeat. Your lidless eyes press shut. Alexis Murdoch croons the word shine for six minutes. For a time you used to stutter when you were young, and now you realize you took comfort in the repetition, the duplicative nature of the echo. It’s a lullaby that tricks you into thinking that time hasn’t moved at all. Then it occurs to you — and this is the violent shaking of a small plane that numbs you down to the bone — that you’re not frightened of seeing your living reflection, but you’re petrified of being imprisoned by your dead one. Hands waving.

That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!

The shift to second person was deliberate. Consider it an inversion of the first for those who need a bit of distance. But you remind yourself that this is the year that you plunged your hand into the earth and you said the words: it’s time. Last month was the ticking of the bomb. This month and all the days forward are the harvest. Come springtime the body was rise, dewy-faced, anew. That once murmuring heart, smothered by the peanut-crunching crowd, will suddenly t. ti. tic. tick. TICK. . Creating an indelible print on the glass. Then spoke the thunder.

But first things, first. Let’s undo the food-shame that was the past month and drown ourselves in a verdant bowl of green…

INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron
1 cup jasmin rice
1 5.6oz can coconut milk
1 head bok choy
2 tbsp cilantro
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup dried coconut flakes
1/2 cup cashews
3 tbsp golden raisins
1 lime

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DIRECTIONS
In a medium pot add the rice, coconut milk and 1 1/3 cup water. Heat to boiling on high and then reduce the heat to lower and simmer the rice, covered, for twenty minutes. While the rice is cooking, finely chop the stems {I nixed the stems as I don’t prefer the texture} and rough chop the leaves and set aside. Finely dice the cilantro and three cloves of garlic and set this aside, as well.

Toast the cashews and coconut on a hot pan on the stove for under a minute. Definitely check the nuts + coconut often as they can burn pretty quickly. Remove from the heat when they’re fragrant and golden and set aside.

When the rice is done, fluff with a fork and add the juice from 1/2 lime, the cashews and golden raisins, 1/2 of the cilantro and toasted coconut. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil to medium-high heat and sautée the bok choy and garlic for 2-3 minutes, until the leaves are wilted and the stems are softened. Add the bok choy to the rice, and add the remaining cilantro and coconut. Serve hot + enjoy!

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