Food Buzz


Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Pork, ginger, and lime stir fry

Stir fry of pork, bok choy, carrots in ginger, lime juice and kaffir lime leaves over rice

I finally got to use my lime leaves! This dish is from the Donna Hay cookbook, Flavors I mentioned a few days ago. It turned out pretty well for the most part. The only trouble I had was with the lime leaves. The leaves each have two leaflets. So when Donna says "6 lime leaves" does she mean the entire leaf or just the leaflets? I went with the entire leaves, and I guessed wrong. Kaffir lime leaves have a floral tone, which is best in small amounts. My stir fry tasted just a wee bit like soap.

The recipe is pretty simple, like most of the recipes in the book. That's why I love it. The recipes deliver loads of flavor (the book is organized by flavors, from citrus to onion/garlic to chocolate) but are usually quick and easy to execute. The only recipe I haven't liked so far is for a spiced creme brulee. Not fatty enough. I would substitute the milk for cream. It is dessert, after all.

But back to the stir fry. You cook shredded ginger and lime leaves in peanut oil for a few minutes, add sliced pork, then add a mixture of lime juice, brown sugar, and sweet chili sauce (which I'd also just gotten at that Southeast Asian market), cook that a while, add the bok choy, and you're done. I added the carrots as well because they were growing elderly in my vegetable drawer. I also added only a few drops of the chili sauce when she called for three tablespoons. Jasper cries with spicy food.

I had a wild afternoon at the playground. The playground I frequent has two little water fountains that gently sprinkle water into a joined trough, if that makes sense. It's perfect for toddlers. Today a cranky 3-year-old boy was hogging one of the little fountains. He was smashing against the water with this belly so no one else could play with the water. Also, curiously enough, his pants were rolled down so as to expose his little buns. The rest of the kids were complaining and no one seemed to be in charge of him. I pulled his pants back up and tried moving him a couple times but he just resumed his position. So I gave up and took Jasper over to the other fountain. Thirty seconds later I heard screams of disgust from the other kids. Mr. Mooner was gone, but in his place was a lovely collection of feces.

I looked around for Mr. Mooner and finally spied him with the person supposedly in charge of him. He was with a nanny who was completely preoccupied with a newborn. Hence the acting out and potty training malfunction. It was one of those moments when I just wanted to track down the parents and ask them how they feel about public defecation. But who knows, there may be a sad story behind that situation. Someone returned from maternity leave after six weeks because they have to pay for the $800K 2-bedroom apartment in the PS 321 zone, no time to screen nanny, dad had an affair with the last nanny...

Anyway, a very brave and responsible mom named Sasha took it upon herself to clean up the mess while I cowered several feet away, reporting to 311. Later, when I was talking with her and Jasper was mooching food off her friends (always so embarrassing -- I fed him chicken salad for lunch! Protein! And fruit! And milk for crying out loud!) I overheard one of the women mention someone I know, Julie. Turns out they knew each other back when the woman lived in Manhattan. So between that small-world moment and the poo incident my head was spinning this afternoon.

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