Friday, April 16, 2010

Bi Bim Bop and Loads of Gratitude

Sometimes I sit here with my photograph up and my recipe all written and wonder what the heck am I going to write about.  I think, have I had any startling revelations lately... no.  Is there something exciting happening in my life to talk about.... no.  Is there some news to report that I find particularly interesting or captivating.... no.  Have I traveled anywhere to talk about that... no.  Am I really that boring?  Um, well, yes and no.  I think I am a pretty upbeat person and all in all, am pretty fun to be around.  But having kids has definitely slowed down the exciting factor in my life.  I am certainly not complaining about that.  Kids are a precious gift that I thank God for all the time.  Having them at such a late age makes me even more grateful.  And stable may be boring to some, but it certainly has its advantages too.

Sometimes I look around at other blogs and it's not that I feel jealous, well maybe it is.  I would love to travel and see the places that people talk about or live in.  I am really a vagabond at heart.  While I love my home I have always enjoyed travel and I have enjoyed moving to new places so I can discover what that particular city has to offer. 

When I take a step back though I realize that I have so much to be grateful for.  I am a stay at home Mom, because of this, as a family we have had to give up certainly luxuries in our life.  Like, I think I am sometimes one of the only person in Middle Class America that does not have a cell phone.  Does not have cable.  Does not have a second car.  Does not go on a vacation every year.  You know, really all that stuff doesn't matter.  Sure I would like these things.  Right now I am grateful my husband has a job that affords me the luxury of staying home with my kids.  Our sacrifices also afford me that luxury.  I am grateful for healthy, happy, vibrant children that make me laugh, cry,  and scream.  I am grateful for a husband that drives me absolutely crazy one minute and the next minute I fall in love with him all over again.  I am grateful for the abundance of friends in my life, the ones that are new, the ones that have been in my life forever, the acquaintances at the gym that make me smile when I go.

I am grateful of course for having food on my table, recipes to share with you.  That is where I travel.  I travel to foreign lands with my food.  I love to learn about other cultures and food is a great place to begin learning.

I am grateful for all of you who visit my blog, I love the comments. They remind me that I am not alone and that there are other people who are surfing the net like me looking for companionship, commaradare, similarities, differences, opinions, (shopping), a laugh... just simply a connection.

Bi Bim Bop (Korean)
adapted from this recipe

1 pound sirloin tip steak or meat of your choice
1 cup teriyaki sauce (recipe follows)
3 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
2 cups bean sprouts
8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large radishes, sliced or julienned
2 cucumbers, sliced

4 eggs
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Marinade for vegetables:

You can use seasoned rice vinegar or
mix together:

1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Hot chile paste, to serve on the side

Freeze the beef for at least 1 hour to make it easier to handle. Slice, cutting across the meat's grain, into 1/4-inch-thick strips, or smaller. Marinating the beef will certainly kick the flavor up a notch but I didnt find it totally necessary because there is a lot of flavor going on here already.

Cook the rice so that it is ready when you want to assemble the dish.

In a medium sized sauce pan bring about four cups of water to a boil, drop in sprouts and allow to cook for only 20 seconds, then remove the sprouts rinse under cold water (to cool them enough to stop the cooking process). Drain on paper towels. Set aside.  Next, cook the spinach the same way.

In a small bowl, mix the sprouts with 1 or 2 tablespoons of the vegetable sauce (seeand half the garlic. In a second bowl, do the same with the spinach. Set aside.

For the marinade: In a small bowl, mix together sugar, salt and vinegar. Set aside.

Marinate in enough of the vinegar mixture - a little more than half - to coat all the cucumber pieces. Slice the radishes into thin strips and marinate in the rest of the vinegar mixture.

Heat sesame oil in a large, wide skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the beef, discarding marinade, and add beef to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef cooks through, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how thinly the pieces are sliced. Set aside and keep warm.

Into the same skillet, crack the eggs and fry each egg about 5 minutes on one side. Then flip over and fry for 30 seconds on the other.

Divide rice among serving dishes. Spoon beef, sprouts, spinach, cucumber and radish into their own discrete areas decoratively on top of the rice. Top each with the fried egg. If you wish, spoon some chili paste into each serving and stir the ingredients together. Or let each diner mix his or her own bowl.

Serves 4.

Teriyaki Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup rice wine (mirin- not rice wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon black or white pepper

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Vegetable Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sesame oil

1 teaspoon black or white pepper

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Makes 3/4 cup.


dawn said...

i am so guilty of not writing enough in my posts. i need to work on more/better stories, but sometimes i wonder do people really read them? i mean i like to get straight to the photo and scope out the recipe, you know? like this photo, that's enough for me LOL

Barbara Bakes said...

What a sweet post. I've often thought I should start a gratitude journal. Looks like a fun, delicious meal.

Mimi said...

Great post. Being truly grateful for what we have is the key to being happy. Have you read the book Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison? It's a great book for Moms.

grace said...

good for you, lori! we should all make an effort to be thankful for what we do have rather than griping about the things we don't. :)
interesting recipe--what an awesome name!

kat said...

A lovely post Lori. In a culture that seems to breed complaining & desire for what everyone ese has I think its important for all of us to step back from time to time & remember all we have.

Katy ~ said...

Lori, this has been a lovely post, and I enjoyed every word. I am a self-described recluse and happy to be so, but I find that I have so many wonderful blogging friends that my world has expanded far far beyond the boundaries of my little home in the hills. I too am so grateful for the friends I have found, for the recipes and foods I have shared. The world is made smaller if we can all, metaphorically speaking, sit at the same table and share our foods.

Megan said...

I had my child later in life too and I think I'm a much better parent for it! I thinking staying home with the children is so much better then many luxuries. And the time goes so damn quick! Loving the gratitude attitude!
Dish looks pretty darn tasty too! :)

The Food Librarian said...

Great post Lori! I need to step back and reflect as well, and not be jealous of my jet setting friends. - mary

Mary said...

As usual another lovely recipe and a beautifully written post. Some thoughts if I may. The things you seek don't come at the same time and they rarely come when you want them.
They aren't really the things that make us interesting anyway. Of all the things you now possess or will possess in the future, heart and spirit are what will mark you measure as a person. "Just sayin'."
Hugs and blessings...Mary

-K said...

Thank you for the post. It made me think of all the things that I am grateful for as well.

And, I had to share this - we got the book Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park and Ho Baek Lee last week. My daughter and son love the rhythm of the book, and there's a recipe at the end too. I think I'll try yours and Park's. Thanks again!

Oh, and I made your recipe for candied orange peels over the holidays last December, and they were wonderful. I shared them all, and had to make a few more batches.

The Blonde Duck said...

Of course we visit! You make dishes from all over the world that are fascinating!

ChrisCampuzano said...

thank for share, it is very important . ̄︿ ̄

Murasaki Shikibu said...

You're very good at writing about things without bringing in what society defines as *exciting elements*. It means you're a good writer. I can say with all honesty that I can read anything you have written randomly and be more entertained than a lot of articles where people are kind of rattling on about how great their vacations were. As you know I don't have children, but I think it's great that you are staying home with yours and place more importance on the quality of your family life over 'keeping up with the Joneses'. I personally think you're living a wonderful life, Lori. :)

Lori said...

Dawn- Sometimes I cruise to blogs and I think forget the writing, get me to that recipe or to that beautiful food. But then there are writers/blogs that I follow and share some kind of connection with. I read everything they say and feel like I get a glimpse into their life, what they have to offer in intellectually, experientially or spiritually.

Even though you may not write much in your posts, I like the things you say to people in the comments you make on their blogs. I often read other peoples comments because I enjoy getting a sense of them. I guess that is why I went into therapy. Personalities are fascinating to me.

Mimi- No I have not read that book but I certainly will check it out. Thank you for the recommendation.

Mary- I love what you were "just sayin'". I consider you a wise woman. This is a case in point.

K- thank you and I am so glad you enjoyed it. We loved those candied orange peels too.

Murasaki- Can I just say that your warmth and beauty comes through in your comments. I always look forward to what you have to say both in your comments and on your blog.

Julie said...

I hear ya, I get jealous of what everyone gets to do, or has, or knows. But when it comes down to it, I'm very blessed. Your dish sounds wonderful!