Friends, I have been away. To give you the short version, my mom had brain aneurysm surgery at the beginning of January and unfortunately, suffered a stroke during or right after. She's spent 2 weeks in the hospital and is now in a rehab hospital. She's improving everyday but it's a long road we have been set upon.
Here's something I can tell you: if you're a food lovin' fool like I am, it's really, really hard to assist someone you love with a "mechanical soft" diet. Know what that means? It's not pureed, which is gross on a whole other level, but it's not much of an improvement. It means whatever is on the menu gets chopped up beyond recognition. Tastes the same, but presentation goes out the window. And bless her heart, I think my mom has been served mashed potatoes at every meal. I mean, everyone loves mashed potatoes, but if you want to kill that for someone, just serve it to them meal after meal after meal.
My dad and I spend every day at the hospital, helping with therapy, hypothesizing with the doctors, watching and observing. I have to hand it to Neil; he has really stepped in and taken the wheel many a night on the dinner front because after spending a day in a hospital, you return home a victim of the mental time suckage vortex. You hardly know your own name and all you want is wine.
Today was a really good day and I was excited about cooking tonight. I mean, that's my hobby, right? I had a beautiful pork loin that I had already cut up into chops. (Used part of that yesterday for a crockpot going all day at my dad's pad and one here!). The remainder I used tonight for stir-fry. For some reason, my mind settled on the "beef with broccoli" idea but with my boneless pork. So, I followed my basic Bw/B recipe and just jazzed it up a little.
I sliced my pork into thin strips and marinated it in 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 Tbs cornstarch, 2 Tbs Sherry cooking wine and 2 tsp sugar. I then stir-fried chopped onion, small broccoli florets, & julienned carrot. I took those out of the wok and then added chopped ginger and the pork. After a couple of minutes, I added my veggies back in, added the marinade liquid and some chiffonaded (is that a word "chiffonade-ed"?) spinach. Served it over fragrant jasmine rice and we were happy little people.
You know, if I were to chop up the pork, I bet this could qualify as "mechanical soft." It sure as hell looks better than what mom's been getting at the hospital!