Soon the cavalry will arrive. My loving mother is coming into town to watch my bumpkins while Warwick and I take a much needed vacation.
My mom is great. Whatever I ask of her, she gives, then gives some more, then digs in her purse and gives some more. Checks her pockets, and gives some more. Shakes out her shoes, and gives some more. You get the point.
So when I eased my way into a conversation that required her to take an extended holiday babysitting my 20 kids, I sort of erred on the side of caution. I told her we would only be gone like 2-3 days. Later, I amended that number, in a VERY low whisper. Mumbling, “My bad, did I say 2-3 days. I meant 5 days.”
I am absolutely positive that I did tell her five days. Obviously, she had to know this because she is flying down here, on a plane. That requires an ARRIVAL and a DEPARTURE time. She’ll be here for 10 days. I know I told her. She’s not hard of hearing. I know she heard me. She had to have heard me. Who else would she have been listening to, talking about a trip to my house to watch my kids?
Shelbi? S.H.E.L.B.I. SSSSSSHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLBBBBBBBIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!
Without any prompting, Shelbi walks into the kitchen.
Shelbi: Mommy, I talked to Nana on the phone.
Me: Oh really? What did she say?
Shelbi: She said she didn’t know when she was coming. So I told her.
Me: What did you tell her?
Shelbi: Well, she thought you and Daddy were going to be gone for 3 days. But don’t worry I told her she’s staying for 10 days. And that you guys are going to be gone a really long time. Much longer than 3 days. I told her your itinerary is set for 5 days, but she might as well consider it 6 days because you get home super late on the fifth day.
Me: Boy, your quite the fountain of knowledge. What did Nana say to all these details? Never mind. I don’t want to know.
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On the account that my mom really likes beef and broccoli, and that I might quite literally fry for my slight indiscretions, we are making Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry. I will offer it up as a humble show of love, devotion and enduring gratitude.
Easy and Quick Beef and Broccoli
1 pound lean beef
4 tablespoons of oil
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 onion, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Garlic Hoisin Sauce (can be readily found in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
1. Mix together ingredients for marinade (vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, water, and cornstarch). Add meat and marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare sauce by mixing together, oyster sauce, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, and water. Set aside.
3. Next, prepare the thickener by mixing together cornstarch, water, salt, and sugar.
4. Heat oil in skillet on high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add onion and broccoli crowns and cook until soft but still firm, about 5 minutes. During the last minute of cooking add garlic and stir continuously so that it does not burn and turn bitter. Remove all vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
5. Add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet on medium heat.Add beef. Brown beef on all sides, and then add cooked vegetables back to skillet. Add Sauce and thickener, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot, over steamed rice.