Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Family Dinner and Reflection.

11 years ago. 

It's hard to write a blog post and not talk a little about today and how long has passed. I usually avoid this subject at all costs but I guess sometimes the best thing to do is just to talk about it. To be honest I knew this day was coming but it really hit me this morning while I was listening to the radio on the way to work. On The Dave Ryan in the Morning Show they played a five minute clip to remember and reflect on everything that happened that day. Dave Ryan mentioned that on the ten year anniversary they heard many recollections from peoples experiences. This may be the first time I've ever told this story in full but here is my recollection:

In sixth grade, I started a new school after my previous grade school had closed due to budget issues. I was able to walk to school because it was about a mile away from our apartment. It was early in the morning, a beautiful sunny day. I can remember it like it was yesterday, our desks formed in little quad pods scattered throughout the room. Suddenly some of the kids in class were going home, being picked up by parents or family members. This was odd, it was what 830am? School had just started and everyone was confused. We were young enough that they didn't make an announcement. We just waited. I heard rumors spreading through the classroom about bombs and the twin towers. C'mon, I was in sixth grade, who believes absurd statements such as that. It was finally my turn, my mom picked me up and we walked home. We lived downtown, about 12-15 blocks from what is now known as ground zero. As smoke filled the skyline, there right in front of our eyes, a tower fell. People were spread out in the streets watching this monstrosity happen. The only cars in sight were pulled over with the radios blasting as people tried to get more information. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home, picked up some water and other things in case of an emergency. The only other time I remember doing this was during the Y2K craze when it was thought they we would all lose power.  The store was packed and the shelves were almost empty. The days following these events all seemed to blur together. We debated leaving the city on foot in case of additional attacks. The news was never turned off, repeatedly seeing the same photos and stories for days, as my mother could not take her focus off of the television. There was an uncertainty about everything, when school would begin again, when it was safe to leave our homes. We lived below the line that non-residents could enter into. If we left our neighborhood we had to carry identification and proof of address in order to return. We wore hospital masks to prevent the smog from entering into our immune system. New York is the city that never sleeps, instead there was silence. Weeks went by before my mom had the courage to clean the outside of the windows, imagining the worst of what could be in that dust. Eleven years later, I still don't fully understand what happened that day. I was young, I wanted to return back to school, I wanted to continue life. Now I am grateful that I was able to continue on. 

At the end of the radio bit they mentioned that the great thing about our nation is the ability and strength to go on. So I too will go on... 

I wanted to share the dinner we had last night. Damian's grandma was in town this last week and as a final hooray we all had dinner at our place. It was delicious and colorful!

Chicken Roast

What you need:
- 1-2 Lbs chicken breasts (I made one piece for everyone)
- 4 large potatoes, cubed
- 5 carrots, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 McCormick Grill Mates of choice
For grill mates:
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of water

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spray large glass pan with cooking spray and place chicken in the center. Line each side of chicken with potatoes and carrots. Mix grill mate packet of choice and spread over the pan. Cover with tin foil and bake for 60-70 minutes. 

*** Instead of carrots you can line one side of the chicken with potatoes and the other with another veggie of choice***

I used Mesquite because it has a little bit of a spice to it.

Don't roasted potatoes and carrots remind you of fall and winter?

I also sauteed some red bell peppers, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, and threw in some avocado. 

This is a homemade garlic butter using melted butter, minced garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil.
I sliced the bread in pieces, coated the inside with it, and heated it in the oven. So good!

It was a lovely meal! Isn't Damian's grandma Alice the cutest?

This weekend is Damian's birthday weekend- which includes some surprise plans on Saturday! Also two more new recipes this week, stay tuned! 

What was your 9/11 experience? Feel free to comment and leave thoughts or stories.