Thursday, March 02, 2006

pretty colors

turn on your stereo - my soundtrack was the radio, with me singing along - (i am so glad to have my voice back!) but whatever cd you like should do just as well. my suggestion - jazz. this is the beginning. it helps you get your creativity on, and keeps you from tensing up and rushing what should just be enjoyed.

start with the rice. that's easy. put half as much rice as water in a little pot and get the water to boil. if you want (it's better this way), get some annatto (or some sazon) and put some of that red stuff in the water and stir it around. before the bubbles start breaking the surface of the water, you can start getting all your other stuff together: going to and from the refrigerator, pulling out the cutting board, getting just the right knife. matter of fact, before the water boils, you might even have enough time to start putting butter, ah, margarine - oh whatever it is you have - in the skillet. don't turn the skillet on to melt the butter 'til you've got something to put in the skillet though... but anyway, once those bubbles start breaking, put a lid on that pot so the rice can sweat, and turn the heat down... peek at it round about when you remember to. it probably ain't done yet, but you may want to just make sure you didn't overestimate how much time it'll take to start sticking.

dice up the onion. you ever wonder why there's about fi'ty million kinds of onions at the store? overkill, i tell you. just pick one. a cheap one. it's just an onion. you wanna start the heat on that butter round about now - kinda medium low, you know? enough where when you put that chopped onion in there, you know you'll hear it sizzle a bit in the butter - but not so much that the butter just cooks up and you have to add more to keep the onion and stuff from sticking to the skillet. feel your way through it. 'bout the time you get into the middle of all this chopping, you can think about stuff. the day up til now. the day after now. talk to your Creator. have a daydream. just don't nick your finger with the knife like i did - i had to use a little rubber band as a tourniquet. it smarted. kinda interrupted my fun. but anyway, follow that onion up with some bell pepper, any color will do, and feel free to include the cute little white seeds from the inside. then add some jalapeno pepper. did you check the rice yet? isn't it pretty, like sunshine? i like it better this way, with all of that happy color. food is about your eyes, too, not just your mouth. that's why the walls of my kitchen are orange. and that's why you add beans to the veggies in the pan. the canned ones (drained) will do. i'm partial to kidney beans - the pink ones. but red is even more colorful, and black is cooler than either pink or red. whatever floats your boat. do you. hear that sssssss? ain't it nice? look at the pretty colors! you're going to eat well soon - thank the Lord for small blessings! but first, don't forget to add the chopped tomato, some dashes of hot sauce, garlic (unless garlic powder is enough for you - it is for me), pepper, and adobo or seasoning salt. shoooooot, you thought it smelled good before, didn't you? lol! it's okay to be eager, but you can wait a few more minutes. stir that stuff up. let everybody kiss everybody. let the jalapenos meet all the little tomatoes. let the onion and the garlic make their pungent acquaintance.

and once everything is a big happy family, and it's all you can do to keep from sneaking a taste, take that rice (you did turn it off once all the water was cooked away, didn't you? whew. sorry i forgot to tell you that - i just kinda figured you knew - i'm glad you did!) and put it right in the skillet with your vegetables and stuff. mmmmm. stir it around. get some green and red all up and through that yellow. looks like happiness in a pan, don't it? try some. taste it sloooow. you won't taste much right when it touches your tongue, but when you chew it, things should start to happen. taste the rice? does the seasoning play a good bit in your mouth? wait... wait... feel that spicy tingle? niiiiice, right?

now put that with your other stuff. i mean, this is just the rice. there's other stuff you need - if your mom and mine are anything alike, you know you need a meat and a vegetable with that. that's all on you, i can't get it all done - you didn't think i was going to do everything for you, did you? i like to put it in a tortilla with other stuff, or maybe serve other stuff on top of it. but whatever you do with it, if it ain't nothing but putting some in a bowl, please, enjoy it!