"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: yellow beans

sunday supper . . .


baked potatoesTwice-baked potatoes are a favorite of a friend of ours. He’s joining us for dinner tonight and everything on the menu can be eaten easily with just a fork: roast chicken, yellow beans and the baked potatoes. I put them in the oven midday, oiling the skins with a little vegetable oil after pricking the skins all over – having had a burst baked potato in the oven when I forgot to do that.

They came out of the oven beautifully baked, slightly soft to the touch and yielding their tender insides to the mixing bowl, beaten gently using an electric mixer, the milk, butter and salt combining smoothly into a thick, creamy mixture. Scooped back into the baked skins, I mounded them high and sprinkled grated cheddar cheese on top.roast chicken

When the roast chicken is done, resting after its own high-temperature stint in the oven, unsalted butter slathered all over the golden skin anointing the bird at the end, I’ll place the potatoes to bake its second time, melding the flavors and melting the cheese on top. The yellow beans take awhile to cook so that they are tender to the bite.

And so this meal is our supper on a cool, September Sunday.


unmasked . . .

DSC_0415_2Hey, I just discovered something interesting. At least to me. Which is that unwittingly and unknowingly somehow, I have thought it was my job in life to know-it-all. That’s probably because I figured out at a young age that to be able to contribute to a situation or to people was to know more than anyone else so that I could help out. This may also have had to do with feeling that just being myself wasn’t sufficient enough to get along in life.

Guess what? It didn’t work. Oh, in some ways, it did because I was able to provide a living for myself and my daughters when they were in college. I wondered also if it’s a partly cultural thing because I’m Asian. You know, performing in school and getting all A’s because that’s what was expected without anyone ever mentioning it aloud. Also studying to be a concert pianist and wanting to be a neurosurgeon or something when others were playing sports and going to proms.

Wow, those were high expectations of another era, or a bunch of eras ago. Now, nobody cares about knowing stuff because all you have to do is click onto Google. The fallout for thinking one’s purpose in life is to be the smartest one in the room though, is that people run away from you as though you have the plague. Nobody seems to like being told what to do, even if I’m just being a Chinese Tiger-Mother to my kids. Poor things.

As for my husband, G., I am in awe realizing his love for me because he has kindly borne with me and my opinions for over two decades. Now that I realize that I don’t have to know it all in order to fix things, I can relax and maybe begin to enjoy life a little. All those romances on TV where people look into each other’s eyes and say that they want to get married so that they can grow old with each other? Well, that’s what G. and I are doing right now, being married and growing old together, a lifelong dream. Lucky us.

Roast chicken and twice-baked potatoes for dinner tonight. Along with yellow string beans, his favorite.