Monday, August 03, 2009

Life in the Spectrum

Reading this article about autism made me grateful. I'm grateful that my own son's condition is so mild, but grateful also that someone has articulated so clearly what it's like to coexist with such a child.

Interestingly, I just read an article in the New Yorker about a neuroscientist, Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, who is looking at autism, among other disorders, in light of brain structure and neuronal organization. This link is to an abstract, but the article itself is good reading if you care to register (It's free).

Time it was, oh what a time it was

My husband's aunt is in town. She is the kind of woman who will always be the favorite aunt -- warm, affectionate, funny, interested in everything, and always open to new experiences. We wanted to have her over to dinner before she went back to her home in Florida, so we bit the bullet, cleaned the house as best we could, and got cooking.

Because she is on a restricted diet, I made some food especially for her:

chicken marinated in fat-free yogurt with onion and spices, then broiled and sliced and served with the baked marinade as sauce

potato salad with olive oil and apple-cider vinegar instead of mayonnaise

apple sauce

string beans lightly steamed and then tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh basil

steamed corn

For everyone else I made

hamburgers stuffed with feta cheese

macaroni and cheese

lavosh rollups with cream cheese and smoked salmon

and lastly, a tossed green salad that was probably enough for about twenty people

It was a lot of food for twelve people. In fact, I had trouble fitting the leftovers into the refrigerator. At least I won't have to cook too much this week!

While I was putting the food away and getting desert out, Maya and Ziad played the piano and the guitar for their family. They sounded surprisingly good, at least the part that I could hear from the kitchen.

For desert we had the plum sorbet I made from Village Harvest plums, a chocolate cake from the bakery and elephant ears from Costco. With coffee and tea.

After dinner we all went out on the deck and looked at the moon through the telescope.

After everybody went home, my husband and I sat at the kitchen table for a long time, just talking about his childhood and his family.

It was a lovely evening.