Meeting new people is something I always enjoy.
I find every story, every journey, fascinating. I believe that everyone has something to offer us if we have the time to listen and the openness to learn.
But it seems these days’ meeting new people is also tinged with a slight degree of sadness.
Not long after the initial “Hello” the conversation typically turns to kids, which is great. My kids are my world. I have beautiful, healthy children. I have battled infertility and I have been blessed.
But what I say aloud and what I feel inside are in conflict. As the conversation rolls on I find myself stuck at this point :
“How many kids do you have?”
“I have two. My delightful little girl is six, almost seven and my gorgeous little man is two, almost three”.
But my internal answer is a little more like this: “I have four. Three who I have carried and birthed. Two whose gorgeous faces I kiss each day and two whose hands I will never hold. One of my angels I carried, I birthed, I saw and I loved. The other I craved and begged for but never touched, never felt. This one was merely more than a dream that turned into a scar on my belly and a wound in my heart. These four are my babies and maybe, one day, I shall be blessed again.”
Perhaps I should answer this way. Maybe the women I speak with would tell me a story of their own. Maybe they too have felt this pain. Maybe it would help me or maybe it would help them. Or perhaps it would just take a light and friendly meeting to a deeper place than it needs to go.
Regardless, whether I say it out loud or internally, these babies are all mine. They are my family, my story and my journey. Knowing them is knowing me.
Coconut Chicken and Mango Salad
- 500 grams skinless chicken breast (I used two evenly sized chicken breasts)
- 1 cup stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons poaching liquid
- 1 large handful spinach leaves, roughly shredded
- 1 handful of mint, finely shredded (approximately 1/4 cup, loosely packed)
- 2 bunches asparagus, halved and the thicker bottom ends halved again lengthways
- 1 large handful snow peas, halved lengthways
- 1 mango, flesh only, thinly sliced
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Place the stock and coconut milk into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add the chicken, return to a gentle boil and turn the heat to low. Cover. Simmer for 12 minutes, turning half way through cooking. Turn off the heat and leave the chicken, covered, in the poaching liquid for 5 minutes. Remove from the liquid and place into a medium to large sized heat proof bowl. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is resting 1/4 fill a medium sized saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and snow peas. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water.
- To make the dressing place the ingredients into a mug or small bowl in the order above. Stir until the honey dissolves.
- Once the chicken has rested cut it into thin slices. Discard any liquid from the dish the chicken was resting in and return the sliced chicken to this bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the poaching liquid and use you hands to mix, add the spinach and mint and use your hands to mix again. Set aside.
- Place a handful of the asparagus and snow pea mix onto four serving plates. Top with the sliced mango. Add a handful of the chicken mix to each plate. Drizzle the dressing evenly over the four plates. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.