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  • Writer's pictureMiriam Green


I’m going to call Mom’s care facility soon to request an appointment to visit with her. It’s been so long since I’ve seen her. I do get reports from my dad. Some visits are priceless. Others, like today’s, are more difficult to swallow.

Mom desperately wanted to be near him, and when he explained that they had to keep their distance, she became upset and abusive both verbally and physically to the staff who were caring for her during the visit. The staff actually asked my dad to leave early because of her tantrum.

My dad will receive the first of his two-part vaccine this Thursday; Mom will be vaccinated with the first shot early next week. By mid-January, they will be able to put this madness behind them and actually hug each other.

I don’t know how protracted my own wait for the vaccine will be. I long to be able to indulge in Mom’s fantasy world and to finally interact with her up close and personal.

Yes, come away with me! Let’s walk together around this open, sunny square and magically enter a different space, one where kisses and hugs are a normal part of our routine, where the love I feel for you can be shared openly. And if after we part, you still want to be with me, I’ll walk you slowly, ponderously, back into the low building that is your home and leave you peacefully listening to your music.

This is what I want, to steer Mom to a modicum of happiness, regardless of the situation and circumstances. I am waiting with baited breath.

One of my favorite vegetables is green beans. This time of year, I do a little dance of happiness when I see fresh beans in the store. Mostly, though, I cook with frozen green beans. They are reliably easy to use and available year round. Roasted, steamed, sautéed, I like them any old way. Here’s a recipe for green beans almandine.

Green Beans Almandine

I try hard to vary the vegetable dishes I serve my family. I like this dish because it is easy to make and has a stand-out flavor. The combination of lemon and sweet onions is delicious.

800 gr / 28 oz bag frozen green beans

2 Tbsp margarine

¼ cup roasted almond slivers

3 cloves garlic, crushed

4 shallots, thinly sliced

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


Bring to boil a large pot of salted water. Cook beans in water until they turn bright green. Remove to a strainer and rinse with cold water. In a large skillet, fry garlic and onion in margarine until almost carmelized. When onion begins to brown, fold in beans and zest. Add salt and pepper and lemon juice. When green beans are thoroughly mixed, top with almond slivers. Serve warm.

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