Embracing Change Amidst Confetti Fried Rice

Many aspects of my life have changed in the last couple of years.  I spent some time wandering the planet, nailing down life dreams.  I finished my undergrad program and began, got through, and graduated with my masters degree (with sanity)!  I met someone, my new best friend. I’ve gradually started shifting away from (sadly) some of my high school and college buddies.  I met a couple of my greatest friends.  I finally arrived at some downtime in my life in between temporary work after graduation and a real job.  I had time this year to really put great thought into giving Christmas gifts.  I began to volunteer again, something I’ve been longing to do for at least the past two years of finishing school.  I’ve accomplished many things on my post-graduation to-do list.  I just started an exciting new job.  And I’ve embraced Chinese foods.  That’s right.  It’s the singular most-defining aspect of what has changed.

I blame it on him.  That one who comes in like a whirlwind, all quiet and soft-spoken, and all that should be awkward or wrong is just so right in every way.  The one who loves greasy Chinese food in all its glory–and because I love to cook, got me to feel all sweet and giving by making it for him.  Only now he–and I– are embracing how good Chinese food can be when it’s not greasy but home-cooked, with an extra fistful of fresh veggies thrown in, and a little more care in seasoning.  I would have never guessed that I’d fall for soy sauce with honey and sesame oil.  Or long, thin noodles that are missing an accompanying Italian sauce and lovely baguette.  Or rice in all its egg-fried-glory.

I never really thought I’d fall for anything–anyone–at all.  I always thought I’d simply float along.  And be okay with it.  But now, here I am with all this change about me.  With a new outlook on life before me.  And the acknowledgement that even more change is ahead in the coming months.  And that whatever fortune falls my way, it may possibly be the good kind.

Confetti Fried Rice

1 cup rice, uncooked
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. ground ginger or 1 Tbs. grated, fresh ginger
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
3 brown mushrooms, diced
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green peas
about 1 cup diced red cabbage
1 leftover pork loin chop, or similar amount of meat
2 to 3 Tbs. soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
  • Cook rice and set aside.  (I used a brown rice mix but any type works fine).
  • Heat a wok or large, deep skillet.  When it is hot, add 1 tsp. oil and scrambled eggs. Scramble and then transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Add remaining Tbs. oil to wok and add onions, carrots, celery, mushroom, ginger, and garlic.  Sauté over high heat until soft, about 5-8 minutes.  Add the peas, cabbage, and pork, and stir-fry for about a minute more.
  • Add scrambled egg, rice, and soy sauce. Heat through about one minute.
  • Add freshly ground black pepper to taste and enjoy!

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