Yesterday I got the call from school that every parent dreads: the school doctor told me Nadia had fallen in the playground. Before I went into full panic mode, and with a swiftness that I suppose comes from either training in handling freaked-out parents, or the experience of doing so, she informed me that other than a loose tooth and a bit of a scare my kid was fine and just went back to playing.
Phew, another day in Motherhoodville.
Responsible mother that I pretend to be so people don’t think ill of me, I made an appointment with the dentist as soon as I hung up the phone.
Nadia is 6, and so far had only lost her lower teeth, so a bit of a knock on the upper ones is not the tragedy it would be in a year’s time, but I wanted to reassure myself and my husband that I’m responsible enough to look after our kid when he is travelling.
So, a full meltdown later (what’s with kids and dentists?) the dentist tells me what I already know: She will be fine, her teeth are healthy and she will almost certainly need orthodontics later on.
So there goes our retirement fund. I hope our kid is really happy with her straight teeth when she grows up and we have to move in with her because we are old, senile and broke.
This is one of my to-go dishes on the weekends, when my family expects to be fed and I am not in much of a mood for spending lots of time in the kitchen. It all goes into the oven and while it cooks I can relax and read a book, then serve a delicious meal.
- 2 cups of long-grain rice
- 1 lb [0.45 kg] of chorizo (Spanish sausage), sliced
- 1 large carrot , sliced
- 2 large tomatoes cut into eighths
- 1 bell pepper , cubed
- 1 onion cut into eighths
- 1 stalk of celery , sliced
- 1 dozen pitted olives
- ½ cup of sweet peas
- 1 sprig of fresh cilantro (coriander)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika or annatto (bija)
- 3 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)
Preheat oven to 350ºF [170ºC].
Place the raw rice on the bottom of the casserole in a uniform layer. Place the slices of chorizo on top, then carrot, tomato, pepper, onion, celery, olives, peas and cilantro (in the order listed).
Pour the vegetable stock into a pot and mix with the paprika. Heat the vegetable stock until it breaks a boil. Season the stock with salt to taste.
Pour the stock on the rice. Cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven, uncover and stir. If the rice is not cooked throughout cover again and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Serve with salad of your choice.
If you do not have a casserole with cover you can also use a iron-cast or aluminum-cast pot with a metal lid.