Yesterday was Don’s birthday, but he opted to have his special dinner tonight because of his dialysis session yesterday afternoon. We never know when he’ll actually return to his room after treatments because of the varying start times and unpredictability of the transport staff to move him in his hospital bed to and from the dialysis center. And he’s usually pretty tired afterward. So I gave him a birthday balloon and card on the day, and waited another day for the dinner.
During the morning of his birthday, he had a great OT session with Gary O’Brien, Occupational Therapist, who was laughing at Don’s comment about me catching him ‘screwing around’ just as I took the picture.
This rehab treatment is helping him use his right hand more, and he learned more exercises from another therapist, Gerry, this morning, ones that he can do while lying in bed that will strengthen his arm and shoulder and in turn help strengthen his hand.
I spent part of yesterday afternoon making Don’s request, Chicken Long Rice, a traditional Hawaiian dish, which I’ve never made before. For those who want the recipe, I adapted one from Don’s sis-in-law Charley Del Rosario (who lives in Hawaii with her hubby/Don’s brother Dave). Here’s my version of her recipe, with a smaller quantity and less sodium:
Chicken Long Rice
1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
olive oil for frying
2/3 cup water, heated, with ½ chicken bouillon cube dissolved
1/3 cup shoyu sauce (low sodium soy sauce)
1 pkg bean threads, soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes, drained (can be found in Asian markets and military commissaries)
4 green onions cut in 1-inch pieces (mostly green part) for garnish
Fry chicken in oil till almost brown, add garlic and ginger. Cook on med/low till fragrant, you don't want the garlic to get brown or burn. Drain off excess oil and add soy sauce and chicken broth, let simmer for 20 min or so, this sauce should cook till it permeates the chicken, add water till it just covers the chicken. Add bean threads. Stir till they absorb color and liquid. Be sure to taste, and if the soy sauce is too strong add more water, if too weak add more soy sauce. Just before serving garnish with green onions and enjoy.
I added more minced ginger because we love ginger and it becomes milder when it's cooked, and about ¼ cup of shoyu at the end of cooking. Then I packaged and refrigerated it overnight for warming up the next day in the microwave – about 1.5 – 2 minutes per dish.
Here’s the result:
Although Don didn’t eat a lot of the dinner, he did enjoy it – in fact, he said I nailed it! Hurray!
I also steamed some asparagus as a side, since I know Don loves it and hasn’t had it for a long time.
The traditional accompaniment to the dish is rice (the sticky kind), but I’m not fond of plain rice, and Don usually has rice with his lunch.
Thanks again to Charley for the recipe, as well as the bean threads and ginger she sent, along with the Hawaiian sea salt Don requested. This dinner is a keeper and we’ll undoubtedly make it again and again.