We’ve been burning the candle at both ends, Frank and I. Work has been busy for us both and as is true, I’m sure, for parents the world over, it never seems like there’s enough time to just enjoy time together as a family of four.
We have one foot out the door as our return to the United States draws closer while still being firmly planted here in Bangkok where we want to enjoy these last few months in the place where our girls were born. It’s a strange trick these transitions play on our hearts. With so much excitement for what’s next, it’s still so important to honor the fleeting moment we’re in.
It’s a bit stressful and strange to know that so much about our lives will change when we leave Bangkok, but I am reminded every day of how fortunate I am to have this unknown element to our future. Most of us spend much of our lives settled into a routine – working and living in a way that is comfortable and safe. As a true homebody, I love to be settled – comfortable and safe are my default.
But the fact that that’s how much of life is spent reminds me that there is something really special about uncertainty. I think that it is in this time where we don’t know exactly what’s next that our little family will discover untapped creativity, and regain a sense of adventure that has faded a bit in this busy time. At least that’s what I hope.
And in the interest of spontaneity and not getting stuck in a routine, I’ve gone right ahead and flown the Bangkok coop in no small fashion. I’ve left Clara and Molly in Frank’s more-than-capable hands, and as this post goes live I’m en route to Florence, Italy! Yep, after having not been away from them for a single night in their nearly 11 months of life (plus let’s not forget the 9 months before that), we knew we were all ready, and I’m going away for a week to see my family.
(I was afraid to tell anyone about this trip until I was actually buckled into seat 36G or whichever one it is, just in case I wimped out at the last minute. But I did it, and I’m on my way and looking forward to many uninterrupted hours of binging on inflight entertainment and drinking gallons of hot tea since I don’t have to worry about little hands. Sigh…I already miss those little hands.)
In honor of this transcontinental moment (they do, after all, epitomize both Asian and Italian cuisines), I give you noodles. Fast, like dinner-in-30, noodles. With tender marinated beef and broccoli and tons of black pepper. See you on the other side.
Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli Noodles
For the sauce:
For the noodles:
- 10 oz. beef sirloin, thinly sliced
- 8 oz. egg noodles (Udon, Soba, or Ramen noodles will all work)
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
- black pepper
- Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Divide in half, reserving one half for cooking. Add the beef to the remaining half and toss to coat. Refrigerate to marinate meat at least 20 minutes, and up to overnight. Stain and discard marinade.
- While the meat marinates, cook the noodles according to package directions. Strain and set aside. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add meat and stir-fry until it begins to brown on the outside. Add broccoli and cook just until broccoli turns bright green. Add remaining half of sauce and cook just until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add noodles, tossing to coat in sauce. Serve immediately, with fresh grated black pepper over the top.