Fight the New Drug

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cooking breakfast, loving life

Morning love

This morning I got up and did one of my all-time favorite things to do---cook breakfast.

After sleeping in 'til 11:00 a.m. (oh, so good) I turned on my go-to "it's-an-easy-Saturday-morning-chill-music-Pandora-BenHarper-Station" on my iHome and worked away.  One of my favorite things to do when cooking is seeing what we have leftover, and making it into a meal.  In the fridge I found a pot of day-old rice, tupperware of black beans, eggs, in the freezer I saw frozen bacon.  I saw enough.

As the Eagles "Take it Easy" came on, I whipped out my wok (my all-time favorite cooking ware).  Turned on the gas stove (never going back to electric) to medium and poured some olive oil to heat up.  I poured in some garlic cloves that I minced (one of my favorite things to do with a knife, mashing a clove and fine cutting it after).  A minute later I poured the entire pot of cold rice, mashing it and breaking it up with my spatula.  Letting it sit, then flipping it after awhile getting it fried up.

I thought about how my roommate Anthony loves rice, I the one introducing it into this life when we lived together senior year.  My thoughts turned to the new trio, him, myself, and our new roommate Tommy, a Catholic guy from Arizona going to grad school at CUA this Fall.  I thought about the past couple days together, one day having an impromptu poker game over beers and Jazz music (thank you Miles Davis) with a couple of our neighbors.  Talking over the last Dark Knight movie, laughing over someone's card strategy.  The next night we played a board game Catan which I thought was great, followed by a small jam session of the guitar and drums and two-part harmony (credit voice of Mr. Malone).
"Anyone can cook!"

I separated the rice, and poured the beans in the middle, letting it boil a little bit.  I took out my spices and felt like I was the rat in Ratatouille smelling this and that deciding how much I wanted to put in there.  I mixed in a lot of garlic powder, some garlic salt, and dashes of ground cumin and ginger, two ingredients I usually don't cook with but wanted to experiment.  I turned up the rice and mixed it with the beans and the spices letting it sit.

Tommy came in and started doing the dishes.  We've really set the tone between the three of us in doing things for each other, no matter who's mess it is.  We've even traded off days where we take turns cooking for all of us at night, which is one of the best gifts you can give me.  I remember I came home late the other night starving, and an already made plate of Anthony's pork chop, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables was waiting for me in the fridge.  I could've cried on how grateful I was to see it.

Costa Rica's Gallo Pinto
One of my all-time favorite breakfasts
As I turned the rice and beans over and adding and tasting spices as I went.  I checked my zip-lock bag of bacon defrosting in water.  I whipped out the frying pan.  I was about ready to cook a version of one of my favorite breakfasts ever---bacon, sunny side up eggs, and rice.  I was telling Tommy that we Filipinos eat rice with everything, even breakfast.  We almost never do bread or toast.  Usually I keep the rice plain, but today I decided to make a version of Costa Rica's Gallo Pinto by adding the beans.

Ben Harper's "Forever" came on, one of my all-time favorite songs.  I can't help but think of Mimi every time I hear it.  I thought about our night last night, going out to dinner with our friends Chris and Erica, then staying out at a bar to have an extra drink, soaking up the city as we stood on an outside overhang that looked over the street.  The way she looks at me sometimes with such love and care and desire, it humbles me that the most beautiful person in my world can make it so obvious in her words and actions that she clearly and truly loves me back.  We've been thanking God a lot lately, since dating again back in January until now we've been opposite sides of the country, seeing each other a weekend a month until now, both of us with new jobs, new apartments, living in the same vicinity with each other.  "I know I'm going to love life much later, but I really love where we are right now, too."

Nature's man candy
I fried up the bacon, took them out, and fried the eggs in the same bacon grease making it extra good for the soul.  I dashed a bit of Sielsel's salt from San Diego (my brother Mark and I swear off of it) on the eggs.  I took everything out on a table that Tommy already set.  The finishing touch?  A glass of orange juice.

I cut into my egg with the yolk gushing out on the rice and with a piece of bacon in my other hand and ate the three ingredients in one bite, I fell in love with life over again.  I told my breakfast companion, "Life is good, Tommy."  He nodded his head as he was also chewing.

The Rolling Stones' "You can't always get what you want" came on from the kitchen.  Maybe not.  But I sure can love what I have.


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