Memorial Day

I have always loved the fact that Memorial Day marks the first un-official day of Summer. The dichotomy between the warm outdoor celebrations after a long Buffalo winter and the sadness and solemnity of remembering those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nations freedom highlights the balance of life.

I’d like to think that those servicemen are pleased that they are remembered in such a way, with warmth and joy and laughter. Surely that’s how we’d all like to be remembered after the time of mourning has passed.

And so tomorrow, when I’m sitting in the sun eating the most perfectly grilled hot dog I’ll pause a moment and send a prayer heavenward thanking those souls who have given their lives so that we all would have the privilege of enjoying that first perfect summer day.

Rice

I have a confession to make. Almost all of my adult life I have been unable to successfully cook a batch of rice. I’ve tried many methods. It always turns out like paste.

As an Asian American I defy stereotypes. I am less than fantastic at math and I cannot cook rice if my life depended on it.

It seemed to me like magic. Rice, water, salt and heat. Wait 20 minutes, remove the lid and inside fluffy white starchy perfection awaited you.

Imagine my disappointment when each and every time I unveiled unappetizing grey glue.

Then I read an article by Meghan Cameron of the Food Network extolling the virtues of cooking rice like pasta. I haven’t tried it yet but I feel the tingling anticipation of optimism where before only dread existed when I thought of cooking rice.

It’s non-traditional. Purists would be groaning but it’s thinking outside the box. And I like unique solutions to unsolvable problems.

So often in our lives we dismiss a suggestion out of hand because of fear.  Fear will cause you to maintain the status quo, indefinitely.  And while my inability to cook rice isn’t the end of the world, it is a challenge, albeit a small one.  Sometimes tackling small challenges are life’s way of showing you success so you can graduate to larger ones.

I’ll keep you posted.