Days before I found out that I was pregnant I had a dream that I was at a cocktail party at a mansion in Palm Beach. It was so vivid. I can recall exactly what the marble floors looked like, the classic millwork on the fireplaces, the faces of the overworked staff peddling picked over hors d'oeuvres.
I also remember that there were rats.
Thousands of them, all white and milling around the feet of the guests. As if that wasn't strange enough, as gross as it seems, they somehow did not frighten me. (Remind me about that the next time that I hide six rooms away from a spider.)
Not long after I had that dream, I learned that certain Eastern cultures believe that white rats symbolize prosperity and protection. And get this. Many also think that they predict the birth of a son. Particularly the Chinese.
Or at least the Chinese teller who works at my bank.
Who also insisted that this is the luckiest year to give birth (The Year Of The Dragon).
She told me this after letting me know (quite loudly in front of a long line of other customers) that all of the girls at the bank were relieved to hear that I was pregnant because, "We think maybe she just getting fat? But, no, you have bay bay. So it good for you. And lucky!"
Chinese Fried Rice
1/2 pound shrimp
2 cups brown rice
15 strips low sodium reduced fat bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 eggs + 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons sesame oil
salt + pepper
Throw the shrimp in a pan over medium heat with teensy bit of butter. Turn after a minute. Remove when they begin to turn pink. Drain and set aside.
At the same time, cook the bacon over medium heat in a separate pan, turning occasionally until crisp. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Return the skillet used for the bacon to the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Add two tablespoons of the oil and three quarters of the scallions and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, one tablespoon of the oil and the cooked rice and stir to coat. Add the peas and stir again. Make a big well in the middle of the rice and add the last two tablesoons of the oil and the eggs. Let them sit for a minute, then scramble with a fork and cook for two minutes more. Stir the eggs into the rice, breaking them into little pieces. Turn off the heat. Add the bacon, the rest of the scallions, the shrimp, and the sesame oil. Stir. Season with salt and pepper.
p.s. Off subject, I swear we're almost done with Aston's closet. Here is a peek at his tiny wardrobe.
I realized that I may have gone a tad overboard when I found myself purchasing a Baby Gap peacoat the other day after remembering, um, WE LIVE IN FLORIDA. But for some reason I'm learning that miniature clothes are insanely gratifying to purchase. (Seriously, try to stop yourself from picking up a pair of Chucks in a size two. It's impossible.) Who knew.