On the ride home after a fun-filled day of family, birthdays, and tee ball, I nearly conned myself into fast food.
I was tired. My son was hungry. And, I hadn’t yet done grocery shopping.
There’s nothing at home.
Standing in line at a so-so barbecue place the woman behind the counter told me they were out of brisket, out of pork, and out of chicken.
There’s nothing here.
Briggs and I settled on a lemonade for him, and an unsweetened tea for me. Apparently, that’s all it took.
I came home refreshed.
Suddenly dreaming of the black beans, chiles, and jasmine rice in the pantry. Then I remembered the vegetable drawer. From the fringe I grabbed the cilantro, scallions, the week’s remaining fresh pineapple, and two jalapeños. Back to the pantry for a can of diced tomatoes.
“Briggs, do you want boiled eggs with your rice?”
The eggs my mother had brought from the farm next to her house. Hard-boiled with the yolks scooped out for him. Soft-boiled with nature’s best sauce running down the beans and rice for me.
Pulled together with salt and pepper, and traces of curry, paprika, and oregano, along with drizzles of rich extra virgin olive oil and splashes of apple cider vinegar – the humble dish cobbled together with whatever I had on hand – transported me.
To a hole-in-the-wall cafe in Barcelona where I once shared a similar dish with a table full of twenty-somethings from around the world.
To a brunch in Denver with my cousin, where I admitted for the first time that while I was good at my job, it was no longer good for me.
Back to Billerica, with my son – where we were sun-kissed, and exhausted, and together.
And I gratefully soaked up every bit of goodness from my very full plate.