Purple rice joy

Last night was one of those nights when we might’ve eaten out were it not for the pandemic. I was tired and had no ideas on deck and by the time I got around to fixing dinner, it was too late to roast the chicken waiting in the cellar fridge.

Et voila! Cooked up a batch of toothsome purple rice and served it up with sautéed shallots, yellow peppers, and chicken sausage. Satisfying! Then, even better, I had two servings of rice left for lunch. Tired celery? Throw it in. Red onion? Yes, please.

After a thorough search, I found NINE more notebooks from the relevant time period (A Tale of Two Sisters, 2009 – 2019). I am so appreciative of the many ideas posted in the comments yesterday.

Things I might not have thought of. Beautiful role modeling. Support offered before asked for. I have such a gracious, smart, and warm circle of friends here!

The notebook pile I’m referring to is to the left of the desk.

Today’s class was really good as usual. Because I had just finished Alice Hoffman’s WWII novel, “The World That We Knew,” (which features a golem as a prominent character), I offered the golem as a prompt.

If you could have a creature made out of mud and temporarily animated to serve you, how would it protect you? How would it offer solace?

Mine ended up being a Hosta Spirit, offering resilience and adaptability. It directly addressed how to approach writing about my sister.

It’s a thread-the-needle situation: how to revisit awful, awful scenes without catapulting myself back into that mess? I don’t think it’s impossible, but I need to have some strategies.

The writing that’s already come about her kind of had a life of its own, arriving on the page as if waiting to be written. I really trust that.

12 thoughts on “Purple rice joy

  1. ravenandsparrow

    Yum, resourceful dinner. It looks great. We have Pantry Soup every five days or so, so thank you. It is great for using up stuff that is getting marginal in the fridge. Thinking about the Golem.

    1. deemallon

      The book was really good, btw. The golem character just mesmerizing. One thing about them according to legend (and this creates tension in the book) is that they can become dangerous if allowed to “live” for too long.

      Thank you for your comment yesterday, BTW.

  2. Tina

    Went back to yesterday’s post and all the amazing comments. It has left me feeling speechless in that I’m overwhelmed by the love wrapped around you. It is truly amazing and I pray gives you the strength and courage along whatever path you take.
    Your dinner last night looks yummy 😋

  3. Nancy

    I’ve never had purple rice. Your dish, minus the chick, as I don’t really eat meat, looks so yummy. You are very good at something from nothing! Book sounds good too. I just finished the one I was reading last night. As for the sister thing…what more can be said? The support here is fabulous! xo

  4. Michelle Slater

    When I was part of an Amherst writing group for many years, the Leader wrote in this way…’You walk in and so and so confronts you.’ Then proceeds to describe the scene and other persons in detail. They were all personal stories from his real life, but the distancing made it seem as though the reader was experiencing the scenes themselves. very effective-https://gulfwriters.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/POINT-OF-VIEW-PRESENTATION-NOTES.pdf

    1. deemallon

      I plan to print this out and stow with my teaching materials. It’s a really good description of the various ways to approach point of view. We have played with POV over the years in my Amherst writing group — sometimes taking very same prompt and writing it, say, first in the first person and next in the second person. It’s always striking how much the writing changes.

  5. Marti

    Purple rice joy, black bean love…I loved the little dancing pinto bean in your video blog entry a few days back. I have dried black beans, canned black beans along with garbanzo beans and cannellini beans, always on hand. So it was so good to find this excerpt from Laurie Colwin’s book, More Home Cooking, (one of the last books that she wrote in 1992 before her death) that I am re-reading. What she has to say about black beans so fits in with our pandemic cooking:

    “Black beans are the frazzled person’s friend. they are easy to fix, high in protein and fiber, valued as a cholesterol buster, and useful in hundreds of dishes. Most encouragingly, they are one of the few things you can serve from a can without cringing. A home without canned black beans -or chick peas-or cannnellini beans, for that matter – is a house that is not stocked for an emergency. A can of black beans will get a hungry person out of trouble.”

    She also goes on to say though, that for making soup, dried beans are best. A bit more from Laure, my dearly loved food writer and author whose Cranberry Nantucket Pie Cake I make every year at Thanksgiving in her honor. (I believe I sent you the recipe Dee.)

    Back to beans: “Combined with stock, garlic, hot red pepper flakes,onions and tomatoes,black beans make a delicious, stewy soup that you can serve to your down-to-earth friends with a bowl of rice and a big bottle of hot sauce. Or you can add a cup of red wine and some kielbasa or chorizo or both. and with a pan of corn bread, feed it all to a party (when you can once again have a party.) You can make black bean soup with all kinds of vegetables or with almost nothing but beans. No matter what you do, black beans will never let you down.”

    So there you have it, pantry soup Laurie Colwin style.

    1. deemallon

      It’s so true that the three names beans are terrific out of the can. Like you I usually have all three in hand. Black beans are so tasty and easily dressed up, it’s actually kinda hard to make a bad batch of black bean soup. I remember that Nantucket Pie Cake but I don’t know if I could find the recipe again. I could really go some pie right about now. Even a fall pie.

  6. RainSluice

    lots of hearts 🙂 These are my favorite foods, Black beans and purple rice Hard to find purple rice in grocery stores near me. I’m drowning in mask orders… are you still going? It is time for me to stop sewing and stat reading some Alice Hoffman. xo

    1. deemallon

      I’ve made 70 masks now and am pausing. K wants two so I’ll make those this weekend but that’s it (I gave two of our household masks to delivery guys as a tip — haven’t had cash around for many weeks!) A break is good. I still want to make a bunch for a local nursing home.


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