Friday, May 16, 2014

Ginger-Miso Baby Bok Choy

Oh, hello there. I'm writing here again so soon! With all the time off I've taken lately this is shocking and wonderful to me. I sat down at the computer today and I actually wanted to blog. Not write, which I do all the time and save on desktop files because they have zero to do with food or recipes and I have no other place to publish this sort of thing, so I just keep it to myself, which is probably for the best because honestly? I don't know anything.

I'm a thinker and slow processor, so when life happens which is all the freaking time, writing helps me process what exactly life just did. Sometimes, I'm completely unaware of what I actually felt and went through until I start writing. I mean, I'll intuitively know, but writing forces framework which gives shape and clarity which is so neat because before that it was just all jumbled up in my head.  

It's safe to say I've been in an accelerated learning time. It's thrilling and confusing all at the same time. I'm in a place where things make complete sense in my head but the second I go and try to put it on paper it gets all jacked up and comes out wrong. I've heard it said that you don't really understand something unless you can simply and successfully explain it to a 6 year old. So, I assume I'm in a gathering phase and just don't understand it all yet. Learning and soaking up but not yet ready to share. It doesn't make for the best writing.

Random picture time, because my husband doesn't read long text without the visual break up of pictures. Maybe you don't either? Please note this has nothing to do with my topic today but it just a tool of manipulation to keep you reading...Look at my cute babies!

The only thing I seem to not be confused about is the certainty that every single person I know is confused too. You know that story about the car accident? If a car accident happened in front of you, you'll see it totally different from where you are standing than the person across the street. It's possible that you can watch the very same accident and walk away with differing opinions on what happened or whose fault it was. I can't even tell you how many times this sort of thing has been demonstrated to me the past few months. Its like the universe has gone completely out of its way to show me this. The car accident thing is a metaphor--of course, for real life. I've been wrestling with this mostly because our minds are conditioned to see situations and people as either "right" or "wrong", but the problem is this is not the most beneficial way to see the world. In fact, we go around all our lives blending both facts and assumptions with downright falsities to get to place where we can be justified-or right, just so that we can live with ourselves. Sometimes we down right lie to ourselves so we can be free to believe what we want. The easiest person to fool is always ourselves. Just knowing this makes things easier and harder. I don't want to see non black and white issues as "right" or "wrong". I just want to have grace and leave space for understanding-or not understanding- it doesn't matter as long as there is space instead of walls. There's always another story, another perspective that also has value and merit. This may come a a shock to you but I am rarely, if ever, 100% right. :) It seems we're always a little bit right and a little bit wrong. And sometimes we don't even know what we are. We're just confused and trying to do the best we can. And that's okay too. But It's holy complicated Batman! 

So you see, I don't know anything. I'm leaving space (because it's my new thing-space) for the lessons to come into focus before I open my mouth in half formed ideas and theories. I do like the process though. I'm finding that for me, embracing questions instead of trying to find absolute answers is the way to go. I'm a tad leery of people with answers. Even well formed, thought out ones. Only because I've come to believe theres no one right answer for everybody. Some may identify with your answers. They may hear what you have to say and think "Yes! me too!" and it means you've found some common ground and connected and you all are likeminded. They are "your people" if you will. I think this is good and fine, just so long as its coupled with humbleness and recognized that your answer is most likely not the golden ticket -THE ANSWER- for someone else. And this, in turn, does not make them wrong. It makes them different. We can leave space for different, can't we? We can agree to disagree without thinking the other is ill-informed, undereducated, crazy or wrong.  

There is absolute truth, however, which is different. Truth can't be subject. Truth is absolute whether you agree or not. However, I think that people who have come to intimately know truth, not just believe in it, but a deep KNOWING of it by experience can see how it becomes simple and recognizable where it wasn't before. You have eyes to see. You know that you know and it doesn't need defending. Truth never does. Once you live in truth you are free to express it without worry for how it is received/perceived by anyone else. I just heard that today. This is real freedom, and since there is no need to convince other people of its existence you can relax. Everyone looking will find truth eventually. This is how I think you can live in the tension of relaxing into holding space, living in peace with our fellow man and all that hippie-ish jazz, but also holding on to yourself and beliefs solidly and being able to voice them- not shying away. I think people receive ideas when we're not pushing them or asserting that they are "better" or "superior" anyway. If they are better or superior, or what I like even better is, if they make more sense or bring peace and clarity, well then, they just will. You don't need to do anything else. The irony is we need to try so hard to find truth but once we have, it seems we need to only stop trying so hard. 

But excluding absolute truth, there is only perspective. And I can hold space for differing ones. 

Sorry, is this vague? My whole life is pretty vague so at least it's appropriate. I'm not talking about anything specific, just a season in life. Just my thoughts. Remember, I don't know anything really.

Oh and food! Yes, the food. I've never really known what to do with bok choy. It's one of those vegetables you read about and think "I should really eat that" but then you don't because, lets be honest, you don't make stir-fry that often and thats the only way you think of using it. Oh, but this way is so much better. Our Natural Grocers has been stocking the most beautiful baby bok choy and one day I just couldn't resist it anymore. I resolved to buy some and at least get it home. Only then would I worry about how I was going to prepare it. I scoured the far corners of the internets when I landed on this, the miso-butter-ginger-lime one. Because, I mean, really. Okay, so this is more of a method than a recipe. Exact quantities will vary depending on how many or how big your bok choy is. So it goes like this:

Ginger-Miso Baby Bok Choy
serves 2-4

4 baby bok choy, rinsed and cut once horizontally down the center
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about a tablespoon)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons yellow miso
fresh limes for serving

I never measure when I make this. If you are a non measurer type of gal, just think this: Equal parts miso to butter, and add some garlic and ginger. 

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium  heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bok choy, cut side down. Add miso (it'll remain in a clump and not mix in right away- this is okay, just let it melt with the heat of the pan) and a few tablespoons of water. Let it heat up a few minutes, then cover with a lid and let everything steam together until bok choy is tender, about 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle bok choy with a tiny pinch of salt (miso is salty already) and spread miso around the pan to combine and coat bok choy. Serve hot with lime wedges.

Don't mind this duplicate picture. Let me tell you how lame I am. I have to upload this picture from Photobucket instead of Flickr, which I've used above becuase i can't share my photos or blog to my Facebook page or Pinterest if I don't. my Flickr account won't let me share my photos and I have no idea why. I've tried all the techy things. I don't know. So for now I have to add a picture from Photobucket, which I won;t use exclusively because it washes out my pictures and makes food look anemic. Blogging has gotten hard and time consuming. Yuck.
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  1. Well, Krysta, you might THINK you don't know what to do with baby bok choy, but clearly you DO! This looks wonderful, and certainly easy (important to be easy, eh?), and with flavor just popping out all over!

    We're going to share this on our Facebook page and in our social media and link here so people can see your recipe and lovely photos of the dish. [The kids aren't too shabby, either. :) ]

    --Your friendly Southern California farmers at Jade Asian Greens