1/24/2017

Crispy Rice and Eggs for Stir

 Lots of reviews going on for this book, Stir - My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home, by Jessica Fechtor, and due to it being our current Cook the Books Club selection, I'm joining the crowd, and delighted to do so. It was a book I hadn't thought to really enjoy. As Fechtor herself says:
"When I tell people that I am writing the story of a blocked and broken brain --- and oh, by the way, there will be recipes, too --- I get some strange looks.  Food is not supposed to top the list of things you think about, apparently, when you're recovering from a near-fatal brain explosion."
Surprisingly, to me anyway, it was a terrific read, due to the author's straightforward account, evocative writing, and her ability to keep a sense of perspective, objectivity and (gallows?) humor through a truly horrific time.  All that and the fact that we know she does get better in the end.


As an example, she has come out of her second surgery, discovered her sense of smell is gone as well as her left eye, and wonders: "What was next?" 

" But the fever was coming down, and soon it disappeared.  The antibiotic was working.  Someone came in to fit me with my helmet, which turned out to be a hockey helmet.... White plastic, with a thick elastic chin strap secured on either side to a black rubber loop by each ear.  It came down over the part of my face that was missing and, by hiding the defect, made me look sort of normal.  As normal as a woman in a hospital gown and a hockey helmet can look, anyway."

Then, confronted with a young occupational therapist in the hospital:

"'Just another few questions.  What did you like to do before you got sick?'
'I liked to cook?' I squeaked.
'Well,' she said, 'maybe we can get some peanut butter up here and you can spread it on some bread.  Would you like that?'"

Outstanding meals illustrate each chapter, as Jess makes connections with memories, family and  friends through food and her cooking.  It was interesting and informative to get more understanding of Jewish foods and holidays.  So many recipes that I've saved and want to make; like those Sweet Potato Curry Latkes, her Cleveland Cassata Cake and Lemony Pasta with Morel Mushrooms and Peas, Amy's Potato Salad,  Sarah's Cholent with Kugel, the Cornmeal Cherry Scones, and much more.

I usually have one egg, and Bob two.

Jessica headed up a list of comfort breakfast food to make when she got home from the hospital, with Crispy Rice and Eggs.  Something very simple, but I thought it would be perfect to remember this book, especially since I had cooked up another batch of red rice (though Bob informed me this one wasn't red enough) and had some left.  Just enough for her recipe, in fact.


 As she says, you can use brown rice or white, and I would add to that fried, risotto or red.  Fabulous way to use up a bit of extra rice of any kind.  A dollop of salsa or a few shakes of hot sauce is a great addition.  As was my fresh bread.  We had it for breakfast Sunday, and loved the contrasting crispy rice with the runny eggs.

So, besides the round-up at Cook the Books Club, hosted this time by my fellow Hawaiian blogger friend, Deb at Kahakai Kitchen, I will be sharing this at 2017 Foodies Read Challenge, with the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge, as well as for the Weekend Cooking event over at Beth Fish Reads.  Please do visit, and participate as well if you'd like.




16 comments:

Rob said...

Both the book and the recipe look great! I'll be keeping an eye out for this one.

I love a fried egg on rice, but I haven't cooked the egg in the rice and left it to crisp up before. I'll be trying this out.

Heather said...

This is a great recipe to remember her need for comfort food in the book.

Deb in Hawaii said...

So glad you liked the book Claudia and your eggs and crispy rice look amazing. It's past breakfast but I would happily eat this any time of day! ;-) Thanks for joining in this round of Cook the Books.

Camilla Mann said...

This looks like a fabulously comforting and filling dish! I can't wait to try it.

jama said...

Yum, what great comfort food -- so easy to make. The book sounds interesting too.

Beth F said...

I really loved that book too. There was something about her honest, straightforward story. Those eggs look delicious.

The Candid Cover: YA Book Blogger said...

I have heard of this book before and I think that it sounds so interesting. Food is really what connects us to so many memories and experiences. I will have to read this one soon and try out some of those yummy recipes. :)

Esme said...

sounds like a sad yet interesting story. I will want to check this out. thank you

Mae Travels said...

Stories like that seem so unbearable! Amazing that anyone coped -- but I can't bring myself to read it. You are brave!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

This book sounds amazing, I'm going to look for it. And I like the crispy rice and fried egg, I will be trying this recipe.

Debra Eliotseats said...

Of course, I have lots of leftover rice always in our fridge lately. I had forgotten about this recipe, Claudia. This would be a great "brinner" recipe.

Wendy Klik said...

This recipe caught my attention too and then I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder.

Amy CookingAdventures said...

That looks so good! That recipe was on my short list - I think I'll have to get back to it!

Tina said...

I tried this recipe too, loved it! We had bit of leftovers and I had an excellent dinner with this. It sure was a good read, emotional and uplifting in different places.

Delaware Girl Eats said...

My husband is a big breakfast eater and he will love this! I loved all the recipes, but mostly I loved her lively writing and courageous attitude. BTW — I missed getting my post into this round even though I read the book, even getting so far as to make and photo the almond cake, which was yum by the way. Oh well, next time

Simona Carini said...

Like you, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the book. Great choice of recipe: running yolks rule ;)