Since my cancer diagnosis a lot of friends and family have really stepped up to the plate to help me out. I can’t even begin to tell you all the sweet things that have been done for me over the last few months.
We have a family friend who was initially a client of my real estate agent dad. She and my dad hit it off and she trusts him to help her with her personal business. She is a lovely lady who is originally from Iran. When she found out about me the first thing she did is offer to make me her special rice every week.
Iranians have a very delicious way of making rice that causes it to have a browned and crunchy layer. Every week Mrs. S calls up my mother to ask if I would like rice. This is how it goes.
Mrs S.: Hello Mrs. H. How are you today?
(She still calls my parents Mr and Mrs. H even though they have asked her to use their first names for years. They, in turn, call her by her last name too. I find this very quaint.)
My Mom: Hello Mrs. S. I am fine thank you.
Mrs. S: Does her majesty (me) require rice this week?
Mom: Yes, Mrs. S. She would love some.
Mrs. S: All right. Pick it up at 5 o’clock. Good Bye!
And she hangs up. Mrs. S does not like idle chitchat on the phone.
So she makes me my favourite kind, which means there are lentils added to the rice. She thinks this is good for my blood.
I think what she does is cook a bunch of basmati rice and lentils along with saffron until the rice is tender. Then she adds butter, which collects at the bottom and browns the rice so it forms a crunchy layer. My mom shows up with a big Tupperware container and she tips the rice into it. It holds the shape of the pot and the crunchy layer is on top. It tastes incredible and if any of you can ever try Iranian style rice I totally recommend it. The crunchy bits are considered the best part and are often saved for the younger or older members of the family.
So Mrs. S has been making me rice, on average, 2-3 times a month for the last few months. I always can’t wait until my appetite returns after chemo so I can have this rice. And I am so unbelievably touched every time I get it.
Mrs. S is 86 years old.