By Erin Walgamuth
I am writing to you from my sister-in-laws house in Northern California. My daughter and I are on a 1300 mile road trip. We left on Thursday, June 3rd right after school. My daughter got in the car and let out a sigh of relief followed by a huge smile.
“I am now officially a senior mom, its sooo weird,” she said as I pulled the car out into the last-day-of-school traffic.
We set off on our adventure up the I5. Fortunately the weather is cool for this time of year as the air conditioning in our car has stopped working! It was a beautiful drive, but the best part was traveling with my daughter. We pondered the choices she will be faced with in the near future and the fact that she is so very fortunate to have choices to make. We listened to anything she chose from her Ipod. We laughed a lot and I told stories from my childhood, which was the reason for some of the laughter.
About an hour or so past Sacramento the landscape changed to rolling hills and oak trees. A storm was coming in from the west and the lighting was beautiful. My daughter had her video camera out and filmed the countryside until nightfall. We rode in silence for some time through the beautiful landscape as the sun began to set.
On Friday evening we enjoyed visiting with family that we only get to see once a year or so. We made a delicious dinner of grilled salmon and salad. I made coconut rice with cilantro and pistachios. It got rave reviews so I decided it would make a good Recipe of the Week.
Coconut Rice with Cilantro and Pistachios
1 cup of white Jasmine Rice
1 cup Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 small bay leaf
½ cup shredded coconut, sweetened or not
⅓ cup raw, coarsely chopped pistachios
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
I use Trader Joe’s Jasmine Rice and their light coconut milk. The price is right and the coconut milk has a lovely flavor.
Bring coconut milk and chicken broth to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add rice and bay leaf. Follow cooking directions on rice bag.
When rice is cooked, turn off heat and remove bay leaf. Add coconut, cilantro and pistachios. Toss to combine all ingredients and serve.
Tomorrow we leave for the coast to visit my son. It’s a straight shot west from here on a winding mountain road that follows the Trinity River. I feel so fortunate to have this chance to see family and to spend one-on-one time with my daughter. I don’t know how many more road trips she will want to go on with me, so, I am enjoying the heck out of this one.
Enjoy the rice dish and I hope you have the opportunity to spend time with your children this summer.
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.
If you would like to submit your own recipes, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Do you love Erin's recipes? Get our latest Hometown Recipes directly from Erin to you once a week! Our free weekly Hometown Recipes newsletter will keep you up to date on her latest delicious dishes, sign up now!