Wednesday, April 20, 2005

First To Find!!!

Yesterday, I happily discovered that one of our local cachers had hid a new cache. Not only that, but it was pretty close by, and we didn't have any other commitments for the day. So it was an easy decision to go for it.

Still, by the time we got our act together, it was afternoon. So I thought somebody else might have been there before us. The terrain was supposed to be 2 (out of 1 to 5, 1 being easiest), so I figured it would be an easy walk. Hmmmmm, not as easy as we thought. We ended up bushwhacking, climbing, sliding, and there was some whining and gnashing of teeth. But eventually, we made it to the cache location.

This was next to a rapid river, Sylvia loved seeing the water and kept excitedly signing the water sign. The other kids just liked the rocks and the river, and were partly looking for the cache, partly just goofing around. We looked, and we looked, and we looked. We looked some more. But still no cache. Cees was asking me whether we finally could go home, and asking me that again and again. But finally, I heard Tara's voice exclaim excitedly 'I found it!!!!!!!!!' And yes, there it was!!!!

Not only that, but we were the very first ones to find it! Always fun to have a first to find. Especially since about an hour later, another local family came to find it, and found out that they were the tenth person there (We were 8 + my friend Iliana). Serves them right for being so unorganized that they couldn't come out sooner :-) :-)

Had a wonderful dinner last night, something that same friend gave me the recipe for last week. We found 'beef' TSP strips in one of our local veggie places, and she made up this recipe with it. I made it last week, and I liked it so much that I decided to make it again. Here's her recipe.

I took a cup of the TSP and poured a cup of boiling water mixed with 2-3
T of regular ketchup on it, set it aside.

After four weeks worth of dish-doing, I drained the few tablespoons of
hydrating liquid out of the bowl of TSP, and I added the following marinade:

1-2 T Kecap Manis (instead of the listed Dark Soy Sauce)
2 t crushed/pressed garlic
1 t cornstarch
1/4 t baking soda
a drizzle of olive oil (peanut or sesame prolly much more authentic)
pinch of salt

Then I made 3/4 of a large onion into long rough shreds (next time I'd
use the whole onion) and then I julienned, roughly, those teensy baby
carrots I got yesterday. I also chopped 3 fattish scallions, and I set
all that aside.

I heated wok on pretty damn high, and when it was well hot I added a
tablespoon or so of peanut oil. I put the marinated TSP & associated
juicy bits in the wok and tossed for a minute, tops --just until heated
and barely carmelized.

Then I added another tablespoon of peanut oil and the carrots & onions.
I cooked them for maybe 4-5 minutes, pressing them with my wok tool
thingie against the side of the wok in an attempt to get the onions,
especially, nice and carmelized while still crispy. Next time, I'd do
the onions solo, and then add the carrots toward the end of this bit.

Then I added the TSP back in along with the scallions & a generous
tablespoon of pepper. I tell you right now, it was a bit much pepper
:-) Next time, I'll try 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. This was good, just a
WEE bit more peppery than I wanted.

I tossed it around a bit, and voila! It was really pretty magnificent
over some brown basmati rice, but I think it would be even a tiny bit
nicer over fried noodles.

Last week, we had it over brown rice too, this week I made pad thai noodles to go with it. It was good!!!!

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