We are home. The smell of pine needles baking in the sun, the crickets chirping at night. The endless stars greeted us last night and this morning. And what a trip it was.
Yesterday was a very long day of flying that ended so sadly that it is haunting me today. On the last leg of our trip we took off and I noticed that about 15 minutes into the flight the couple sitting in front of us (yes, just one seat ahead of M and I) called the flight attendant. I could hear something about the elderly man not feeling well. The flight attendant asked what he had eaten and if he was possibly feeling ill with food poisoning. She went and got him a cold compress and put it on his neck. I heard his wife say he was dizzy and had heartburn. I looked at the lady in the window seat next to me and told her he was sick. All I wanted to do was get up and tell someone to give him an aspirin right away because it sounded like a heart attack. Then the flight attendants got on the PA and asked if there were any doctors or nurses on board. A nurse came forward and checked his blood pressure, heart rate and asked questions about what medicines he was taking. I could see from my limited view between the seats he looked very pale. They brought oxygen over and told him that it would help the dizziness. M was watching a movie on my computer and I thought to just leave her in the state of oblivion as long as possible. Then, I believe the man went into cardiac arrest. The nurse was trying to get him to wake up, talking very urgently to him. He lost consciousness, slumped over, and everything moved really quickly. Passengers helped get him on the floor and I moved M to the middle seat so I could shield her view from what was happening. We were basically pinned into our aisle because the gentleman was laid out right beside us. CPR was started right away and it was very frantic. The flight attendants tried to use the paddles to shock his heart but they were not working. We were all crying and praying for him and his wife. People were reaching over to hold his wife who was staring in disbelief. M was scared seeing everyone around her (including me) crying. People behind me asked if we wanted to move back, but that would have required pulling M over rows of seats and she did not want me to let go of her. I told her that they were pressing on his chest to try to get his heart to start working again, and that everyone was trying to help the man who was sick. She kept saying she just wanted to go home and see her cat Charlie. I was really pissed at myself for not having any rescue remedy in my purse! The plane diverted to Salt Lake City and I have never landed so fast before. I had to move the oxygen tank to buckle my seat belt and while doing so was so sad to see this man laying on the floor who had been talking to his wife just minutes before, now lifeless. His eyes and mouth were open, his skin a greenish yellow. I wondered where he was at that moment, and felt immense gratitude for the flight attendants that continually worked on him until we landed. It took 20 minutes for the plane to land after they first started doing CPR with no luck apparently. After we landed, we were at the gate in what seemed less than 60 seconds. My ears were popping after they opened the door and the paramedics came aboard. I heard the flight attendant say they had no pulse for 20 minutes.
People were offering their cell phones to his wife, asking if they could do anything. She left the plane as a weird silence sat in the air and the reality of what had just happened sunk in with the fellow passengers who could not see what was happening until that moment. The worst of it was the aisle on the plane was too narrow to carry him off the plane, so they used a special plane wheelchair. No one was doing CPR while he was being carried off the plane and I kept wondering if he was too far gone or it was precious minutes being lost.
It was a moment in time that has left a startling memory. M saw a person die for the first time. So did I. Today we are going over to grandma's house to have a chat with her about our experience. She is a home health hospice nurse who understands death. I have asked M about how she is feeling about what she saw and luckily she is talking to me about it. Even me writing this blog entry is helping me process what we witnessed. We finally made it home after traveling 12 hours. My husband was waiting for us. I got a nice, big hug. I was really, really happy to be home.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Me and Giuseppe at Ceres' Table
More Chicago fun. Got to visit my friends new restaurant Ceres' Table. It was great!! My friend Giuseppe Scurato and his wife Carolyn opened this little gem. Fresh, local and really solid. The arancini appetizers were especially amazing. Everything on his menu has been really thought out, and I loved how reasonably priced everything was. I have had the pleasure of eating at other restaurants he has worked at in Chicago, but it was special to visit him in his very own space. Still thinking about the tomato water with the hand made goat cheese ravioli....
Today we went to Millenium Park so the kids could run around in the fountain and play under the "bean" sculpture. I thought it was a curious place to take photos. We also made a very important visit to the American Girl Doll Store to pick up outfits. Holy crap that place is a phenomenon. Tomorrow more catching up with more friends and then winding the trip down. Tonight we took the girls to a fancy dinner at Graham Elliot Restaurant (not worth the hype!) and then to an old school ice cream parlor. M had her first hot fudge sundae!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Is it hot where you live? It is almost hot here, and lighter meals are taking shape. I am anticipating my vegetable share starting so I can start cooking extremely local. We have had a cool, wet spring and our local CSA farm is starting at the end of June to compensate for the cool weather. In the mean time our local coop is supplying us with local and regional produce that is filling in fine. Yesterday I picked up cucumbers, lemons and cashews to make a summer soup that is light and refreshing and creamy at the same time. I knew I wanted to try to make cashew milk and used Elena's Pantry blog as a starting point. I reduced the amount of water in her recipe and eliminated the agave nectar. I wanted the cashew milk to be on the thicker side because I knew that the cucumber would add a very watery element. Her recipe calls for a vitamixer. I do not have one, so used my blender and then used a metal strainer to remove the small pieces from the milk. It worked great. A wonderful jump into light fare on warm days. Cashews have a mild flavor that blended really well with the lemon and cucumber. I plan on using the extra cashew milk for our oatmeal breakfast tomorrow!
Cashew Milk (adapted from Elena's Pantry)
makes 4 cups
1 cup raw cashews
3 cups water
Soak cashews in water overnight. Discard water and add cashews to blender with 3 cups water. Blend on high until smooth (about 1minute). Using a metal strainer over a bowl, pour cashew milk into bowl and separate any large pieces of cashew that may not have been blended. After the milk has settled either stir in foamy cream that has settled on the top or skim off and compost. I like the creamy foam, so just stirred it in.
Lemon Cucumber Cashew Cream Soup
makes 3 servings
2 cups cashew cream
1 cucumber skinned and seeds removed
salt to taste (I used almost 1 tsp)
zest of 2 lemons
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 heaping tsp. chopped shallot
1 tbls lemon crush olive oil (high quality olive oil is fine too)
In a blender add all the ingredients. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a bowl with a metal strainer to catch any pieces that have not been blended. Taste for salt.
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbls tamari
Toast cashews in a skillet. After they are browned, turn off heat and add spices. After mixed, add tamari and stir until spices are coated on nuts and the tamari has evaporated.
Garnish each bowl of soup with a spoonful of cashew garnish and an extra drizzle of olive oil on top. I added a bit of extra lemon zest too. I ate mine room temperature, straight out of the blender. I don't know that I would advise against serving this chilled...on a really hot day it would be great. But, the flavors of the cucumber and lemon really stand out when this is not cold. Perhaps a bit chilled? Any feedback appreciated about this!