The Rock came to my neighborhood today. Literally, down my street, on the main road of my neighborhood.
It’s a 340 ton rock being transported from a quarry in Riverside County (East) to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on the West Side for an art instillation. It’s so big and heavy that they couldn’t take the freeways and had to roll by night on a gargantuan, specially-designed transporter traveling at 8 mph. Obviously this trip took several days, so the rock stopped in several cities before reaching its final destination.
My city decided it was a good excuse for a party.
The local business association pulled it together and arranged for DJs, food booths, vendors and live bands to celebrate “The Big Rock.” Hundreds of people showed up over the course of the day, including every class at the local elementary school.
Silly, sure. But fun. Sort of like the circus pulling in to town. Everybody, young and old, talked about it for days, and showed up to see what the broo-ha-ha was about. Proof that even in a tough urban city of half a million diverse people, small town ways still apply.
Also, that old story about stone soup is somehow apropos here as well. Almost very land has a version. Most involve a hungry stranger who rolls into town with nothing but hunger. At first the townspeople want nothing to do with him, so he starts to make a soup using just water and a rock. Over time the people come together to add a little of this and a little of that, until the soup is rich and hearty and everybody eats well.
Sorta kinda like the big rock on Atlantic Ave. It brought everyone together and everyone is out there now having a great time. Beer. Food. Music. Friends.
Stone soup can also be a soup made from anything in your pantry. So in honor of the big LACMA rock, here’s my recipe for Stone Soup, based on what I have lying around right now.
1 onion, diced
3 pieces of garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup rice
1 quart veggie or chicken stock
half tsp. cumin
half tsp. coriander
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of cayenne pepper
Saute your onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add the carrots. Add the spices and saute for a minute more. Add the rice, coating it in all that good stuff. Then the chickpeas. Then add your chicken or veggie stock.
I suppose you could add some shredded chicken about now if you fancied.
Cover and simmer for, I dunno. 20 minutes. Season expertly. Serve with bread and a salad of some sort. There’s a meal in there somewhere.
A braver, more experienced home cook might try something with lemon…but I’m not sure what….
Enjoy! And Rock On!