We are a hop, skip and a jump away from 2017. How did this happen? I have no plans for anything (cool). I made no lists to check off and did no shopping until a few minutes ago when I panic bought two or three things and then took the dogs for a walk to take the edge off (also cool). It’s like the good old days of last minute everything my family is known for and the reason my dad has gray hair.
Yesterday I made marshmallows that taste like the sweetberry tea we sell at work, a hot chocolate mix and cookie dough for jammy cookies I’m going to roll out and bake today. I want to make some for everyone I know but knowing my history of making things and never giving them away it was best to narrow down a few good folks and my secret Santa person from work as recipients. If this is what being an adult is, I say yes! I can’t do everything, please everyone and be my best self at the same time. I can do two or three things, please my dogs and be mediocre at best. To sanity. *eggnog glass clink*
If you were hoping for recipes for all the sweet treats I made, just must know there are a million links for the exact same things on the Internet. If you’re up for a last last minute grind, I can show you where in a last last minute post. If you don’t make it, know that we all deserve to have a stash of sweetberry marshmallows in brown paper baggies no matter what the season. We grew up with no winter and my sisters and I still ate a marshmallow after every meal when my dad would bring home bags of them from Bombay. That and candy-coated almonds, Tattoo Fusen bubble gum, tape bubble gum, chewing gum. All of the closed market high-class Japanese and Chinese boiled sugar a child could only dream of. You don’t get those days back no matter how hard you try.
But I did try anyway and I now realise that it is a good thing we were only allowed one piece of whatever sweet after lunch and dinner. My teeth can’t take the abuse. I made this broccoli and chard dish for work lunch a few times in the past two weeks, inspired by a quiche recipe I saw in Bon Appetit from Jessica Koslow’s new book “Everything I Want to Eat”. The quiche was great. I appreciated the tower of egg, cheese and cream wrapped in pie crust and it really was everything I wanted to eat. The broccoli and chard were leftovers and since I wasn’t going to be making another quiche, I made stir-fry with all the savoury flavours I think of often as I’m putting in hours filling candy bins at the grocery store just to watch them empty in a matter of days. ‘Tis the season.
I try to keep one hefty vegetable and one leafy green in my fridge for the week and because of the quiche, it happened to be broccoli and chard. I always have onions and garlic + some herbs so meals like this are often my go-to for my dabba (lunch box). Peel the broccoli stem till you get to the tender part and use it in the stir-fry as well. You’ll know when it’s tender enough because you’ll be able to slice into it very easily. The stem has great flavour so don’t waste it. Experiment with the greens you have on hand: Potatoes + carrots + peas, cauliflower + kale, spinach + mushrooms + zucchini are just some ideas for later.
Recipe inspired and adapted from Bon Appetit
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 large red onion, chopped into half-moon alivers
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups broccoli florets and stem
- 4 cups Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 or 2 tbsp rice vinegar (I start with one, taste it and then add more at the end if needed)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 tbsp chives or green onions, chopped (I used both)
- Brown rice or avocado or boiled egg, to serve
Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium. Add the onion and the garlic and stir constantly until they soften and the edges darken a little bit, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli to the pan and toss it occasionally, letting them crisp up and brown in parts, about 5 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and pour over 1 tbsp of the vinegar and the fish sauce. Toss it all together for a few more minutes, until the Swiss chard just starts to wilt. Take it off the stove, taste and add more vinegar or fish sauce if needed. Add the red pepper flakes and serve with rice or avocado or a boiled egg and top with lots of chives or green onions. Microwaves excellently.