My best friend had a baby on Monday. I remember that first day, when dinner for mom and dad is brought in by a nurse with latex gloves hanging from her pocket. She puts down the tray and leaves. You peek underneath the domed lid to find a small, round scoop of mashed potatoes. Maybe a bruised apple. Maybe a school-lunch-sized carton of milk.
Testing out a new rice-maker (more on that next week), I threw together a risotto with dried Chanterelle mushrooms, petit pois peas, some shaved fresh corn and basil. Loads of Parmesan. Only a whisper of sea salt.
The meal didn't feel complete without something sweet and a flame going on the stove (this rice-maker thing is too easy), so I fired up a small sauce pan and added quartered apricots from the farmers' market, some butter, a lump of brown sugar, dash of vanilla and some ground cardamom.
Having been the woman in the hospital bed, I can tell you what a bonus it is (on top of the incredible bonus sleeping at your side or in the Lucite condo next to your bed) to have a homemade meal brought to you. Those of you who read this site are people who make food partly because you know the joy it brings both you, in cooking it, and those who you feed, in eating it. So I urge you, next time you know someone who just had a baby, take an hour and whip them up something simple, fresh, healthy, and easy on the tummy.
Congratulations, J&J. Welcome to the world, A!