The past few week has gone by in a whirlwind, partially because I came back to the world of medicine after being away in leisure-land for way too long, which translates into me frantically trying to recover medical knowledge from the left side of my brain and having to read up on basic stuff during rotations, all after having had two months of coffee-sipping, bike-riding, wedding planning “work” that mostly used the right side of my brain…if at all. On top of that, I had traveled to LA and Dallas in the middle of this busy week, to the point that I haven’t had the chance to run to the apartment office to grab my package that has been sitting there for an entire week. But by far, the most nerve wrecking and extraordinary experience in midst of this was my fiance’s green card interview with the US immigration office.
So a little confession before I go on. I know that I call Y my fiance, but we are legally married. In fact we have been legally married for the past year (just celebrated anniversary!). But in our eyes, our marriage before God and the actually wedding is a more meaningful milestone for us than the courthouse one, hence the fiance terminology. Ehh…just words.
Anyhow, since he is international and I am a citizen, we decided to apply for green card status for him as a spouse of a citizen, since that will make traveling internationally easier, and on top of that, job benefits and so on. We had waited a year (seemed like forever) before we finally got our notice to interview with the government immigration office (big hooray). So last weekend I went up to Dallas to prepare for the big interview this Monday. It’s basically an interview for the government to make sure that you are not faking a marriage to obtain citizenship, which might sound bizarre to you, but happens and is quite commonplace. For this purpose, we spent a month gathering documents that proved our marriage, things like joint bank accounts, joint credit cards, purchase of car insurance together, our cell phone call records, wedding invitations, and even a complete photo album documenting our entire relationship. I know…a physical photo album in this day and age where Picasa rules.
Eventually we gathered everything we needed, and it came time to brush up on interview questions. We googled a list of most commonly asked questions and made sure that we had cohesive answers, to questions like where was your first date, what is his favorite food, and things that normal people have different interpretations and multiple answers to. The funniest question on the list was, “what color underwear is he/she wearing today”. Who would know that…I’m not sure if I can even answer that question for myself.
Thankfully on the day of the interview, the officer had no doubts about our marriage and only went through basic questions like what are his parents’ names. I have heard that when they suspect you, they can question you in separate rooms and ask more intimate questions about each other. (aka. what color underwear is he wearing) Even though this interview was more than a hassle, Y and I did bond over the preparation part…and now we have a sentimental album documenting our relationship to look back to. Not a bad deal.
Now back to food.
My mom, and probably every other Asian mother, used to make this mung bean porridge for me for breakfast on the weekends. Mung bean is a grain pretty unique to Chinese cuisine. It reminds me of split peas that easily soften when boiled and has sort of a subtle fragrance about it. It can be boiled then made into paste for pastry or bun filling. It can be boiled on its own into a dessert soup with rock candy sugar, or you can add tapioca balls or grass jelly for a Cantonese dessert. Or you can simply boil it with rice and make it into a porridge, like I did. It’s wholesome, nutritious and adds a bit of personality to your regular porridge.
Mung Bean Porridge
- 1 cup of mung beans
- 1 cup of rice
- 2 tbsp sugar
Wash the mung beans and rice, soak them in water for 2 hours. Transfer them to a large pot and pour in 4 times the amount of water needed to cover the mung beans and rice. Take the pot to a boil then lower heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add a cup of cold water and bring the pot to a boil again. Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes until mung beans are all split open and soft. Add sugar to taste. Enjoy!