New Year’s Resolution Case 1 of 12.
Stranger 1. He is a charming boy, my adopted Peruvian son, Juan-David. For the first eleven days of January, by fluke of fate, the young suitor of my Peruvian neighbor’s daughter needed a place to stay that was decidedly not the same residence as his love, but as close as humanly possible. KP and I were happy to offer Fuchsia and Lime to Juan-David’s noble romantic quest and thereby, to the cause of young love in general. I think it was a karma-sort of opportunity, myself a newlywed at age 22. But also, a chance to fulfill my January quota for my New Years Resolution 2014: Monthly Meals with Strangers. Juan-David pictured at far left.
What a gentleman. Juan-David and Karl-Peter bonded immediately not only for sharing hyphenated first names, but as soon as they met in the kitchen the first morning to watch the Arsenal match while I made these—sort of for breakfast…because they had peanut butter and brown rice. (These, in addition to my black bean brownies for breakfast, are continued fodder for my nutritional DBT.)
Juan-David endeared himself to me the instant he brought me a gift of 25 pounds of bread flour. An astute and generous young man.
Peanut Butter Brown Rice Krispie Treats
Adapted from Food and Wine
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
10 ounces marshmallows
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups brown rice krispies (can get at a healthy food store!)
Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large pot, melt the butter and oil, and add marshmallows, stirring until all are melted. Add the creamy peanut butter and stir together until homogenous with the marshmallows. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in rice krispies with a wooden spoon, until they are coated. Scrape the mixture into the baking pan, and with wax paper or parchment, or just your fist, pound them down into the corners of the dish. Allow to cool, cut into squares and serve to a young Peruvian who has traveled far– away from summer in Peru to winter in Minnesota–just to surprise his girlfriend visiting her mother (my neighbor) on Christmas holiday. He will love them.
The following is a prayer that was sent to me by a former-stranger-now-kindred spirit, Katie. It has become my meditation for 2014—a painting in tribute to the notion is forthcoming.
Radiant Morning Star, you are both guidance and mystery. Visit our rest with disturbing dreams and our journeys with strange companions. Grace us with hospitality to open our hearts and homes to visitors filled with unfamiliar wisdom bearing profound and unusual gifts. Amen.