I often was told by my parents to not be a “mikka bouzu” or a three-day priest. I never explored the full historic detail or origin of the phrase, but in layman’s terms, my parents essentially were telling me not to be a quitter – and that it was important to be persistent, patient and determined. Three days of fasting and praying certainly doesn’t make one a priest indeed.
Why the phrase? Last night, I was so tired after returning home from a wake for my in-law’s family friend – which topped off a long day of work, and getting the girls fed, bathed and into bed. I contemplated making a peanut butter sandwich, but realized I didn’t have any peanut butter except for the ancient jar of Jif my husband had squirreled away many months ago. I looked at the ingredients, and it bothered me to no end how it contained hydrogenated vegetable oil. Plus, I really didn’t grow up eating peanut butter sandwiches (or jelly either!) and I was not about to start with my girls.
I scraped myself off of the couch where I was curled up under a blanket with my cat who had kneaded herself into sleep. I played a game of peek-a-boo with the refrigerator contents, trying to figure out what I could make that would be 1) visibly appealing 2) tasty at room temperature and 3) didn’t require too much time to eat.
This is what I came up with :
“Seven-types-of-seaweed-salad” – I had picked up a packet, full of dehydrated seaweed (yes, seven types!) at the Japanese store, poured the contents into a plastic bowl to reconstitute for about 10 minutes in filtered water, and then set to drain. I gently squeezed out excess water with my hands as well – otherwise the dressing may become diluted. I tossed the seaweed salad with a soy sauce – grated ginger – sesame oil and lemon juice dressing.
Pouches of aburaage, stuffed with sautéed minced pork, organic spinach, organic carrots, organic onions, seasoned with ginger and soy sauce. Pouch was pan-fried without any oil on a small cast iron pan on low heat. This created a crispy outer layer holding the goodies within. I sealed the pouch with a toothpick during preparation, but replaced with a dry cellophane noodle when packing for lunch.
Braised pork shank, shredded – this was part of my leftovers from Sapsuckers Hops and Grub in Huntington Village. A quick note – the restaurant was an absolute delight – the staff extremely friendly, the food delicious – and the beer list extensive. The main attraction for me was that the ingredients were all sourced locally from organic, sustainable sources including my beloved Makinajian Farm. Who else would have organic deviled eggs as an appetizer? Pricing under $20 for organic entrees – in our area, this is a rare find and a gem. Looking forward to going back again for another meal WITH the kids!
Cellophane noodle salad with julienned organic carrots, organic onions, organic spinach, scallions from our garden, and organic celery, seasoned with salt, pepper, drop of soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds and flax seeds.