A friend is visiting me from Los Angeles. It’s her birthday, and we decided to celebrate by taking the cruise to Alcatraz Island. I tend to take this amazing city for granted until a friend or relative shows up and I take them sightseeing.
It was a glorious day. The sun was shining, and the flowers were blooming, and there was a provocative art installation in some of the old prison buildings. I found that these dilapidated buildings with broken windows and peeling paint were perfect settings for an art exhibition.
The last time I went to Alcatraz there was a bad storm. We couldn’t have picked a worse day. My parents came to visit us from Shanghai, and it was their last day in San Francisco. Against Peter’s advice, I took them and the girls to Alcatraz. Everyone got dreadfully wet and cold, and we shivered all the way home after only staying on the island for one hour. It was quite miserable. That was almost ten years ago. When I visited my parents in Shanghai last month, they talked to me so fondly of the time they spent visiting us. Even the Alcatraz trip became a wonderful adventure.
Looking at the eroded buildings around me today, I thought of my parents, my children; I thought of time — its relentless and indifferent march. And yet in my subjective world, once seized, time is also malleable. It becomes our memory and stretches to fill our imagination.
Black Bean Salad with Corn Avocado Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels, cooked
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Colavita
1 teaspoon lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 Hass avocados, chopped
Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Right before serving, add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados. Garnish with a more chopped cilantro if desired. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from : http://www.onceuponachef.com