If I am lucky and live a full, long life, then I think I am at the mid point of my life’s circle. There are many riches to this time. My children are grown up and healthy (TG) so Mark and I are able to indulge where we go and what we do to a great extent. The one fly in the ointment so to speak is just as you launch your own children, your parents start to need your help. “Once a man, twice a child” springs to mind. Mark and I are “of a certain age” This means that our parents are elderly, and although there are many health issues to deal with and I strongly believe that managing an ageing body is not for the faint hearted, there is a richness that comes with old age. Gone are the cares and worries of material things. Spiritual growth and physical comfort seem to be paramount. There is even humour in senile dementia.
A few weeks ago at a small celebration of the mass, in a room with only a handful of people, the words in the gospel repeatedly asked the question “are you so and so?” “no I am not” came the reply, and again “are you so and so?” “no I am not” after the 4th time, my mother who is 82, with Parkinson’s and dementia and very little speech, indignantly asked “WELL WHO DE HELL ARE YOU DEN?” Bless them all, no one said a thing. The priest hiccoughed slightly and continued and finished the gospel reading.
My mother in law also with Parkinson’s, dementia and with very little mobility has the sweetest temperament. Despite the challenges of her situation, she smiles readily and is always willing. Mark and I have been looking after her while my father in law had hip replacement surgery.
What I have discovered in terms of food, is, when times are challenging, like when your children are young, or you don’t have the luxury of time, you pick food which is nutritious but easy and fast to prepare. I have prepared this dish many times with different variations according to the situation and what was available, and this time it was the night before my father in law’s op and we had driven a long distance to get to their forum medicament neurontin home and I knew I had to get something on the table quickly and, as ever, healthily.
The photo above shows Mark, Kirsty and me with my in laws. This was more than a year ago so everyone is upright and looking fine, while the one below shows the circle of life completed with me playing with Colleen’s grandson. He was only 4 months old here and oh so sweet!
Feeds 4 hungry people
The Pork Stir Fry Ingredients :
454g (1 lb) pork tenderloin
454 g (1 lb) chopped mixed veg (broccoli, beans sprouts, carrots, red cabbage, bok choi etc)
1 c rice (I used a mixture of brown basmati and wild)
soy sauce (2 tbsp for pork plus 2 more for rice)
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil (or olive oil)
2 cloves garlic (pressed or finely chopped)
1 thumb ginger (grated)
1 green chilli pepper (finely chopped)
2 salad onions chopped into small rings
Begin by making the marinade by mixing the last 6 ingredients together, which is the grown up way to do this. I often just chuck everything in and swooshle around after chopping the pork fillet into bite sized chunks. Meanwhile heat a wok or large shallow saucepan (needs to be able to accommodate all the veg and rice too) until smoking. Dump all the pork in and while trying hard not to get sizzled at, turn and stir until all the pieces have had a bit of love. Turn the heat down and cover and leave for 5 minutes more depending on how big you’ve cut your pieces. Remember pork should be cooked all the way through.
Tip in the prepared veg and again stir so everything is well coated. These should only need another 5 minutes or so but you need to use your judgement here. They really should be crunchy, not mushy. Spoon in the rice and add the remaining soy sauce adding more if you feel the need.
I wish I had a photo to show you of the finished result, but a mini crisis erupted and I was unable to capture it. Suffice it to say that it was delicious and very easy not only to bring along all the ingredients, but to prepare. Carpe Diem is ringing in my brain!!