Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 06/05/17: Talking with Mom, Physical Exertion, Baked Tilapia Comfort Food

1. Carol texted me this evening, wondering if it was a good time for me to call Mom. Carol, Paul, and Mom were on the outdoor patio at Kindred. I called and Mom and I had a short conversation that ended when one of the staff delivered Mom's evening meal to her. I know Mom is ill. Nonetheless, hearing Mom's weakened voice unsettles me. Until the last few years (I think), Mom always had a strong voice, clear with plenty of volume. And, until recently, even as her legs have betrayed her and even as her heart has weakened, her mind had been reliably clear. This is no longer true. In our short conversation, I knew Mom was confused about some things -- like the date of my arrival in Kellogg.  I used the word "safer" a few times, referring to the necessity of footrests on her wheelchair, and Mom thought I was asking about paying for the wheelchair. Carol and I talked briefly as Mom started to eat and Carol told me Mom's coloring was better today and that she'd had some physical therapy and someone helped her shower. No day is great for Mom, but a day like today is a little better than the lousy days.

Yesterday, I mentioned that Carol and Christy were sick. Carol felt better today and went to work. Christy was down most of the day and I hope the sleep and rest helps her fight off the bug that has her feeling so crummy.

2.  I went all out at the pool today. I flopped around with the rest of the class members for 45 minutes and then I stayed in the pool for another half an hour and worked out more. Then I sat in the jacuzzi for about ten minutes.  All this physical activity, including the walking around I did in and around the ballpark yesterday in Baltimore, has helped settle my nerves and ease my anxiety about my family in Kellogg and decisions the Deke and I face here in Greenbelt.

3. I had plans in place to make a rice salad that the Deke and I love and one I haven't fixed in quite a while. I went to MOM's and bought items we needed for this salad and, then, once we were settled into our apartment home, the Deke wondered if it would be too much trouble for me to bake some fish.

Not a problem. Not a problem at all.

So I thawed pieces of tilapia, put oregano on them, melted some butter, sauteed a bunch of cloves of chopped garlic, juiced a lemon, and poured part of the lemon into the oiled baking pan and the rest into the butter/garlic mix. I had made some onion slices, roasted them for about five minutes or so, then put the tilapia on top of the onion slices, poured the lemon/butter/garlic mix over the fish and baked it for about fifteen minutes. Once out of the oven, I topped the fish with fresh cilantro.  I also made rice and some spinach.

The tilapia recipe and jasmine rice paired flavorfully and, to my surprise, the Deke experienced the whole dinner as comfort food. We both marveled at how much great flavor resulted from such a simple recipe. This dinner provided pleasure, nutrition, comfort, and happiness. It was much better, I decided, than even the killer rice salad I didn't make.

Want to check out this recipe? Click here.

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