Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013. Sweet, yet sour.

Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. – Henry Ward Beecher 

It's up to us to decide if this photo is dusk or dawn. I choose dawn.

This is the last day of 2013. I can’t say I’m sorry to see it go. It’s been a year full of spectacular change, some sweet and some sour.

If anything, 2013 has been a year of instruction and growth for me. Internal growth and fundamental change. Last year this time I lived in Halifax and worked at a large advertising agency. My spouse worked as well and I had our dog (Henry) who loved me – and I loved back – fiercely.

Today I am working for myself trying to build a design business with two prongs – city and country. My spouse is in school and, sadly, Henry was taken from us all too soon. There have been a whole host of house troubles, and activity in mostly every other part of my life you can imagine besides health. So it’s been a trying year to say the least. Sweet, yet at times interminably sour.

But tomorrow starts a brand new year, and with it I am offered the two handles that Henry Ward Beecher speaks. I will grab it by the latter, and every day thereafter, regardless of how difficult or unknown the consequences may be. I do see happiness and a better year ahead. What form that may take I’m not sure, but if I allow happiness to happen, as opposed to anxiety, it will come to me.

I hope all of you seize the year and shake every bit of happiness from it, as I plan to do. Of course, if everything went well continuously we would have no appreciation for what we are fortunate to have. It is the bad that makes us pull ourselves together and strip from us what we “think” is important, much like a bitter winter wind.

So I’m hopeful. I have a lot to be thankful for, and with work – hard work – will have more in the future. It will be hard work, but I’m ready to put in the effort. So to celebrate the new year I thought I would re-post a recipe for sweet and sour pork, appropriately.

May the sweetness of 2014 far outweigh the sour for you all. If you look, you will find it.

Sweet and Sour Pork
Prep: 30 min  |  Cook: 20 min  |  Serves 4
1/2 cup vegetable oil (+ more if needed)
1 medium pork tenderloin
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cornstarch
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 tbsp water
Sweet & Sour Sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
10 drops red food colouring
1 tsp salt

Beat the eggs in a bowl and place the cornstarch on a plate or in a plastic bag. (I find a plastic grocery bag easier to use to coat the meat.)

Cut the pork into bite-sized pieces. Heat the oil in a wok. Dip the pork into the beaten egg; shake off any excess and place in the cornstarch. Coat well and shake off any excess. You can do several pieces at a time if using a bag.

Fry 8-9 pieces of pork at a time in the hot oil. Do not crowd the pork. Let brown on one side and then turn and brown on the other. Each side should take about 2-3 minutes. The pork will not be quite cooked through. Remove the fried pork to a dish and repeat until all the meat is done.

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Chop the onion and green pepper into 1” pieces. Peel the carrot and cut it on the diagonal into thin slices.

Wipe the wok clean, add a little more oil. Fry the garlic and ginger for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the onion and carrot and cook until they are slightly softened. Then add the green pepper and fry for a few minutes more.

Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil. Mix the remaining cornstarch and water and add to the sauce. Stir until thickened. Add the breaded pork and toss well. Reduce the heat to medium and let cook for 5 more minutes. This finishes cooking the pork.

Serve on hot white rice.


Feel free to comment. They’re always appreciated. I’ll answer quickly and as best I can. Feel free to share this post. All I ask is if you repost, please give me credit and a link back to the original on this site.

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