The days and weeks have been passing so quickly. I try really hard not to wish it was the next day, or the next weekend, or the summer-time. I try to live in each moment, enjoying it for what it is. I feel like lately my efforts have been futile, like time is slipping through my fingers like water and I can’t slow it down. Each morning I wake up and think, I just did this! Where did the day go?!
The cause of my angst? I love where I am right now. My family is healthy and happy. My husband is happy and healthy, my dog too. I am too. Everything is so perfectly good, and I want to freeze time at this moment to keep everything just this way. I don’t want anything to change. I don’t want any of this happiness to be robbed from me.
But of course time will pass, and things will change. This is something I think about a lot and it brings me great fear and anxiety. But that’s true for all of us right? It’s the hardest part of life.
Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of lightning, at once exists and expires. – Charles Caleb Colton
So, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I do with my time. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine and feel there’s no escaping it. To waste time, thinking you’ll always have more later. I’ve been trying to break out of the mold, go to a new place, or try something new, or seek out some new knowledge. I’ll do something that makes me feel good about how I passed the day.
Since I taught in Tokyo, I have carried a love of all things Japanese in my heart. Goodness, that country is amazing. I’ve also been watching a lot of WWII documentaries and reading about that time period (part of that “seek out some new knowledge” bit), and it’s crazy to me that just 60 odd years ago that same country was such a terrible enemy. Time has brought a lot of changes for our world, changes I hope never repeat themselves.
Anyhow, food is my favorite way to remember and celebrate the adventures I had while teaching abroad, and today I decided to mix Kenny’s favorite Thai soup with my favorite Japanese noodles. The result was wonderful!
I was unable to find all the ingredients I needed at my local groceries, so I turned to Amazon for help. Though it is an investment, once you try this soup you won’t be concerned about using the remainder of the ingredients to make more batches of this soup. The dried lime leaves and dried galangal will make about 3 recipes. Totally worth every penny!
Tom Yum UdonPrint Recipe
- 2/3 cup dried galangal
- 2/3 cup dried keffir lime leaves
- 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 3 inch sections
- 2/3 cup dried red pepper (arbor chilis)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp soy
- 1 tsp sugar
- 10 - 15 raw jumbo shrimp, defrosted and shells removed
- 5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 8 - 10oz white mushrooms, sliced
- About 16 oz of udon noodles
- Cilantro for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, add the lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, and red peppers. Cover with 10 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for an additional 10 minutes.
While your broth is simmering, defrost the shrimp and remove shells. Slice the mushrooms. Slice the green onions. Depending on the udon you purchased, you may need to prepare them in a certain way.
Once broth is ready, strain out the spices, reserving the liquid only. Return liquid to the pot and turn the heat back to medium high. Add the mushrooms, onions, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add the soy and sugar, then salt and pepper to taste. If broth is not spicy enough for you, you can add some srirachi.
Add the shrimp and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Prepare the udon according to package directions and then add them to the soup.
Remove broth from heat. Top with cilantro.
The seafood at the counter in your local supermarket is frozen catch defrosted for you; ask for the still frozen shrimp for a more fresh protein.