Friday, January 29, 2010

Ayiti on my Mind- Black Rice and Mushrooms

au delà des montagnes il y a des montagnes de nouveau
Translated: beyond the mountains, there are mountains again- Haitian Proverb

*The Language of letting go card by Melody Beattie
*Black Rice recipe from Mirta Yurnet-Thomas

This morning I came to work and pulled out the box of inspirational cards that my sister gave me a few years ago and chose one. It read, “Today, I will let go of my need to be in pain and to suffer through crisis. I ask God for assistance in moving as quickly as possible through my sad feelings and problems. I ask for help in experiencing joy, peace, and gratitude every day. I will accept what is good in my life today”. I got very emotional. Why do I feel that these cards are speaking directly to me every time I read one? Yesterday my card was about patience. I had been feeling very opposite of that lately because I have been waiting for an important e-mail/call. I kept worrying. I checked my phone constantly. After reading the card, I made it a point to let go. An hour later, the e-mail came. God is good. Yes, He is! Can I get an AMEN? Today’s card spoke to me about Haiti. It’s been weeks now and many of us have stopped watching CNN. Tired of the coverage and the constant heartache that comes with seeing people like us suffering, we change the channel. We think, “I’ve donated, I’ve prayed, I’ve done my part”. Have you? Donating and praying is great, but Haiti needs us to not forget. Those who have suffered from this tragedy (which essentially means all of us), will not. My very first best friend was a girl named Caroline. Caroline, from Haiti. I remember being jealous that she spoke another language and pretending that I could too. Years later, I had another best friend; Merli. Merli, from Haiti (by way of Belguim). Then, Mrs.Demoracy (my mother and everyone else’s in High School). Then it was Angie, Belinda, Cambry, Etienne, Fara, Tamika and Lea (by injection) and so many others who have touched my life. Haitian people are a strong people. They are a proud people. I remember years ago, people used to tease children because of where they were from. Stupid people. Learn your History! Did you know that Haiti is the only black nation who successfully gained their independence through revolt? I bet you didn’t. They don’t talk about that on CNN. Do you know who Edwidge Danticat is? Have you read and cried through Breath, Eyes….Memory? Probably not. Do you know of the Ford brothers? Three Haitian doctors raised in Brooklyn who went to their parent’s homeland to help and heal? No, they don’t talk about that on CNN either. I guess I am just rambling. I guess I am just hurt, angry, and sorry. People who have suffered so much are suffering yet again. I hope that we all keep Haiti in our minds and hearts. When you think someone is forgetting about what is going on, remind him or her. And when you wake up to your warm, still standing house; when you take a shower and eat your hot breakfast; when you kiss your children and send them off to school, please, please, please say a prayer for Haiti (pronounced Ayiti). I will. The recipe that follows is not my own, but I love Black Rice, and I know you will too!
* Disclaimer- If you have a better recipe, please pass it to me!

Black Rice and Mushrooms
2 cups djon-djon mushrooms (or European dried mushrooms)
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed with cold water
2 teaspoons salt
4 cloves
1 (12-ounce) can cooked lima beans (or green peas)
1 tablespoon tritri (see glossary; optional)
1 to 2 thyme sprigs
1 green Scotch bonnet pepper
Method:In small saucepan, soak mushrooms in 4 cups water for 10 minutes. Boil mushrooms on low heat for 10 minutes. Strain the mush rooms, reserving the liquid.Add oil to a cast-iron pot on medium heat. Stir in garlic, onion, and shallot for 2 minutes. Add rice and stir for 3 minutes. Add mushroom water, salt, cloves, cooked lima beans, and tritri. Bring to a boil until water evaporates. Lower heat, stir rice, and place the whole Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme on top of the rice. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove hot pepper and thyme. Stir before serving.

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