Monday, February 23, 2009

Wonton factory + random phone call

I received a phone message today... What to do? It's someone from Legacy Emanuel, (they think) they want me to speak at their loss ceremony in May. She mentioned something about perinatal, neonatal, pediatric and hospice losses -- where they read the names of those that they are honoring... They want someone whom can genuinely acknowledge the grief, yet offer hope. I am honored, yet:
  • could I get through a 'speech' without breaking down?
  • can I tell others that 'God is good' - without being too preachy and/or alienating those that might feel lost and forgotten by God?
  • why me? am I just towards the top of their list of people to call because my last name starts with a letter at the beginning of the alphabet and I was one of their more recent losses? or did one of the nurses or doctors give out my name?*
  • do I mention any of the details of my own personal struggles and the situation surrounding Owen's death? how can I do this in a sensitive way that will not alienate someone attending that may have terminated for fetal anomaly?
  • at this point, I feel like the only hope I can offer anyone is that, "Gee, doesn't this suck and hey, you're not alone". I'm not saying that I wallow everyday, but just like many of you that have already lost your little one -- Owen is the first thing I think about when I wake up, the last thing I think about before I go to sleep and I can't count how many times in between those two that I think about him during the day. Not to mention the tiny, random reminders of Owen. And, of course, there are times when there are more good days than bad. How do I know if I'll be on a good day stretch or a bad day stretch in May? Especially since it's so close to one of three days I'm dreading during the coming year. June 18 - the day of our ultrasound finding last year.
Oh, what to do?

*I really enjoyed all of the nurses that I had when I delivered at the Legacy at Salmon Creek -- but especially liked two in particular. After being discharged from the hospital, I chatted with both of them several times, but stopped. I really could use more good friends with a depth of character like these ladies have, but I'd always be 'the woman who had the baby that died'. Perhaps it's just me & something I need to get over...

Each year for Hubby's birthday, I try to make something special for him. This year, I asked him what he wanted. Thus one of the titles to this post. He has been missing my wonton soup. I haven't made it for a few years. And, with good reason -- it takes forever to make (because you freeze a bunch for future wonton soups too). It's like a whole different soup everytime. You can use beef broth, chicken broth or vegetable broth. Add different vegetables, a splash of sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and chili oil, jalepenos, ginger, garlic, cilantro, etc. If you would like to make your own -- here is my own recipe for the wontons themselves.

Makes about 120 wontons
1 pound fresh shrimp
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1/2 pound ground chicken (dark meat)
1T + 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2T soy sauce
2T Rice vinegar
1T + 1 tsp Sesame Oil
16 peeled and finely chopped waterchestnuts (for fresh, go to a local asian market)
4 finely chopped green onions
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 large garlic clove (pressed)
3 pckgs wonton skins

1. Add ginger, soy, vinegar, oil, green onions, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic to large mixing bowl.
2. Peel, then finely chop waterchestnuts. They can tend to start to turn brown if it takes you a long time. To preserve color, you can place in bowl of cold water after peeling.
3. Add waterchestnuts to large bowl with spices (from 1)
4. Peel, de-vein and chop shrimp (into pieces about 1/8 - 1/4 inch).
5. Add shrimp, ground pork and ground chicken to the large bowl.
6. Mix thoroughly (hands work better than a spoon).

7. Fill small glass with water.
8. Place 2-6 wonton skins out at a time. They should be diagonal (or look like a diamond) to you.
9. Use 1 tsp measuring spoon to portion out filling onto each wonton wrapper.
10. Dip your finger in the water and run along the two top edges of the wonton wrapper. I usually have to dip my finger in the water twice (once for each edge).
11. Fold the wrapper in half (bottom to top), matching the bottom two edges with the top (wet) edges and Press. Should look like a triangle now.
12. Wet one corner of the triangle and press it together with the opposite corner.

Easy to freeze into dinner sized portions.

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