Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 13

Last Friday we celebrated the Lunar New Year at school with a dragon parade, as we do every year; as people all over the world do. The kindergartners process with a dragon they’ve built, and the fifth graders make music to accompany them. Incense fills the air as the kids and the dragon move to the music and the chants of “Gung Hay Fat Choy!” The dragon breathes fire, or at least smoke, thanks to strategically placed dry ice in its head. It has never rained the years I’ve attended. We parents pack in tightly together with our cameras, taking pictures and video, murmuring commentary to one another. The students watching think back to the year when they were one of the kindergartners. This year, as a fifth grader, Abbott played the recorder for the parade, and he took it very seriously. He brought his recorder and his music with us to Costa Rica a few weeks ago so he could practice, despite my reassurances that he really, really didn’t need to. One of Cal’s classmates told me he dreams of the day he’ll be a fifth grader and get to make the music. 

I spent a large portion of this warmish gray day traveling about the city, tackling a mountain of errands. In my rush to get out the door this morning, I forgot my phone. I was mildly anxious, all day, that I’d miss an urgent call from the school. I imagined scenarios such as one or the other of the boys hospitalized due to a fall from the monkey bars, and finding out about it at the end of the day, when I returned to school to pick them up. Alternatively, I pictured one of the boys suddenly developing the stomach flu, and Alexi getting paged when I was unreacheable. I imagined him having to leave the hospital, just as he was about to perform a biopsy, to pick up the sick boy. Mostly, though, I missed my phone because I saw one thing after another I wanted to photograph, and I didn’t have a camera with me, either. The glass canisters brimming with conversation hearts and gummy lips at the candy shop. The card that read “I love you more than bacon” at the paper store. The umbrellas, standing out like misplaced punctuation marks; bobbing splotches of color amongst the otherwise monotone cityscape. My steaming bowl of tomato cheddar soup that fortified just by looking at it, before the spoon even reached my lips.

Now I’m catching my breath over a cup of Earl Grey. The boys are at the dining room table surrounded by salt water taffy, stickers with hearts, markers, cards, and envelopes, finishing up the Valentines they’ll pass out at school tomorrow. Their cards read, “My favorite thing about you is…” They’re completing the thought with sentiments along the lines of, “You are kind,” “You also like sports,” “You always say good morning to me.”

The Lunar New Year has come and gone, already it’s Ash Wednesday, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and before we know it Easter will be here.

I don’t have a picture of the soup I had for lunch today to fortify you, but this has been my winter’s day lunch all week at home.

A lunch of roasted broccoli and cheese

1 head broccoli, about 1 pound
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 oz aged cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash and trim the broccoli, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Toss it with the olive oil. Place the broccoli on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring at the halfway point. Grate the cheddar cheese. After the 10 minutes have passed, sprinkle the cheese onto the broccoli, and cook another 8-10 minutes. Season to taste.

Yield: 1-2 servings


jillian said...

Adrian is choosing not to give out Valentine's this year He says he is too old for it. :/ Enjoy it while it lasts.

likeschocolate said...

That broccoli looks fantastic! Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentines Day!

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I wonder if you might have even noticed more without your camera, your longing bringing every little gem into focus and making you wish you could document it. But you know, you did document much of it, in words right here on your blog. Your crispy broccoli looks scrumptious. Happy Valentine's Day, Lecia.

Jacqui said...

I love how being a photographer makes you notice things like that. And being a writer allows you to still create a beautiful picture. That broccoli is a mighty beautiful thing, too. You've been lunching well!

molly said...

Broccoli, blanketed in cheddar, is one of our standard meals, around here. I find it pretty hard to beat.

And I love that dedication to the recorder.

Lecia said...

Jillian: kind of sad about Adrian, but inevitable, I suppose.

likeschocolate: thanks! xo

Denise: You are absolutely right. And thanks about the broccoli. xo

Jacqui: Yes - it's one of the things I enjoy most about photography. And you're right - I have been lunching well! - I've been eating a huge helping of vegetables every day for lunch, and have found I have far more energy throughout the rest of the day, when I do.

Molly: ah, the recorder. I remember torturing my parents with a recorder when I was about Abbott's age :) And it's hard to beat broccoli and cheese!