I know that I am behind in my posts and I haven't even taken the chance to catch up on some of my favorite blogs this week. We were visiting my hometown last weekend, celebrating an early Easter with my family. By the time that we were ready to make the trip back to Ohio, I learned that my great grandpa's health was declining rapidly and his time left with us was very limited. I decided to stay with my family this week and say goodbye. I am grateful that I was able to remain here. This morning my 93 year old great grandpa left this world. Of course, we are sad and we will miss him. My grandpa was an awesome family man and each of his 3 children, 9 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, 5 step great grandchildren, 12 great-great grandchildren, and 5 step great-great grandchildren have special memories with him. The way that he lived his life was an important moral example to all of us and he was so fun and full of life too. 5 years ago my great-grandma, his wife of 68 years, passed away unexpectedly. My grandpa has missed his "honey bun" so terribly over the years that today, even though I am sad, I am also happy for him. I believe that right now his hearing has been restored, his vision is better than perfect, all of his aches and pains are gone, and best of all, he's doing what he has missed for too long... he's holding my grandma's hand.
As I sat next to his bed and held his hand this week, I was struck by all of the memories that the sight of his hands brought to my mind. While I'm not sure about my grandpa's cooking ability, I realized that many of my memories with him involve his hands, busy at work to provide food for our family. I remember his hands teaching me how to bait my hook on a cane fishing pole he made and then showing me how to clean those fish that we caught. I remember his hands shucking the hundreds of ears of sweet corn that my family puts up each summer. When we visited my grandpa and grandma at their winter home in Florida, I remember him picking oranges and grapefruit and even pineapple from the trees and plants in their lawn and then peeling and cutting and squeezing fresh juice for every day of our visit. In recent years, as the usual old age ailments finally caught up with him and he couldn't safely do the more strenuous work outdoors, he found himself "stuck" with the women in our family while we did our summer canning and freezing. He never complained or acted annoyed. He just worked hard, his hands always busy, and played with the grandchildren who are perpetually underfoot. My grandpa actually appeared on this blog back in November of 2008 when I wrote about canning beef. You can see that post by clicking HERE.
So, this is where I am...saying goodbye. Thanks for allowing me to eulogize my sweet Grandpa Gene. I did promise to share the recipe for shrimp fried rice this week. So on to that. Incidentally, my grandpa wouldn't have touched this stuff with a 10 foot pole. He was very picky. Meat and potatoes all the way! But me, I thought this was SO good. Best fried rice I have ever tasted. : )
First you need 3 eggs. I drizzled in a little sesame oil and beat them with a fork before...
cooking them in a lightly oiled skillet.
Remove the eggs, wipe the skillet clean, and add 2-4 tablespoons of oil back into the skillet. Heat it up that oil and add in 2 cups of cooked rice and a small chopped onion. Stir fry until the rice is coated with oil and becomes golden.
Add in 3 ounces of chopped ham and a teaspoon of ginger (I use the paste in the tube from the produce section of my grocery store).
Next, stir in about 1/2 lb. of shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes until the shrimp begin to turn pink.
Once the shrimp pink, stir in rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and a teaspoon of sesame oil and stir fry for another 2 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through. Toss the eggs back in and cook for another minute to heat em' back up.
And that's dinner! I loved this! What a great way to use up leftover rice. Did you know that rice freezes well? Next time you cook a batch of rice, make extra, then freeze some for later and save a couple of cups to make fried rice the next day. I would change just one thing about this recipe...my former favorite fried rice uses bean sprouts. I really like those bean sprouts in my fried rice. Next time, I'll add in a handful.
Chinese Fried Rice based on a recipe from Can I Freeze It? by Susie Theodorou
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cooked jasmin or basmati rice
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger (or ginger paste)
1 small onion, chopped
3 ounces smoked deli ham, chopped
1/2 lb. medium, uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
1. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Pour into a wok or skillet heated with oil. Scramble until set. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
2. Wipe the skillet clean and add more oil. Add the rice and onion and stir fry until rice is coated and golden. Stir in ham and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes or until they begin to turn pink.
3. Add the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and remaining teaspoon sesame oil. Stir fry for another 2 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through. Return the eggs to the skillet and toss to combine with the rice. Stir in some sprouts if you like. : )