Years ago, Uncle Ben’s brand rice sold a frozen rice bowl meal. I was a huge fan. They had Cajun mixes, Mexican style, Teriyaki Chicken, Fried rice and veggies and many others. They were ALL really tasty. There aren’t many option on the frozen food aisle for a one dish meal that is healthy, contains grains and veggies, low fat and cooks in five minutes. I often took one to work for my dinner break. I worked evenings and this was the perfect, quick meal.
One afternoon, I was rushing around, getting ready for work and running very late. I hollered to my daughter, then 10 years old, to please grab me an Uncle Ben’s Rice Bowl from the freezer to put in my bag for work.
She went to the freezer and then found me in my room, looking a little confused, “Um, Mom, I couldn’t find it and…” Rudely, I cut her off.
“Please just hurry, I’m going to be late. Grab any flavor, I don’t care which one.”
Courtney walked back to the kitchen, but then returned to me looking more perplexed than ever, “Mom….I don’t know what you mean.”
By now, I was really getting angry and impatient. “Come on! The box is orange and it says Uncle Ben’s on it. They are stacked up on the freezer door!”
She stammered for a minute, struggling to get the words out before I could interrupt her again. “But Mom! We don’t have an Uncle Ben!!”
She was dead serious and she was telling the absolute truth. No one in our very large family was named Ben. Uncle or otherwise. I bit my lip and walked her to the freezer, opened the door and retrieved a frozen bowl. I silently and slowly underlined the words “Uncle Ben’s”. We both burst into laughter and I’m pretty sure I was late to work that day. Fifteen years later, my daughter and I still randomly blurt out “We don’t have an Uncle Ben!” because the memory is alive and well. And pretty funny!