Mayo Roll

Let’s jump right in. The first challenge of 2019: TRY ANOTHER COUNTRY’S CUISINE.

Growing up in Moore, OK I didn’t have much exposure to international cuisine. Or people from other countries. Circa 1980, for international flavor we had a Taco Tico and a couple of pizza places. Also, I’m a picky eater. Fear of condiments. Hatred of pickles. Fish, no thank you. Once referred to as “the big plain, plain” for my continued preference for a plain burger. I’ll own it.

Early in our marriage I had the opportunity to visit Lee in Hong Kong. We explored,  shopped and toured. We ate and ate and ate at …Pizza Hut. Given the opportunity, Lee would have tried the local fare but he didn’t make me feel bad because I wouldn’t. Probably helped that he hadn’t seen me in five months. I was young and afraid. But I’ve grown to like a lot of foods that I never thought I would. I’ve learned to try a lot of foods I never thought I would.

I’m trusting that I can tell you that story and you won’t judge.  Now, I’m fighting the urge to list all of my international food experiences, both here and abroad, to redeem myself. But, no one wants to read that and that’s not what we’re here for. We need to find some food and find it quick.

Not this.

First up, determine what country’s cuisine I haven’t tried. This might be fairly challenging.  Luckily, we currently live in a very diverse area and I’m going to use that to my advantage.  I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of options.

Next, what to eat? I am thankful for my wonderful friends and coworkers over the years who have made and shared delicious dishes from their cultures and traditions. Food from the heart is always the best food.  But, I’m not going to go begging my friends. Not making it myself either.  The book provides a recipe for making sushi which I was up for trying but 1) I’m too lazy to buy a sushi mat and 2) I’m disgusted/appalled that the sushi recipe calls for mayonnaise!  I’ll admit that I’ve never eaten sushi–I know, I know–but I do need to know if mayonnaise is something that one would normally find in sushi.

Anyone up for this challenge? Make it yourself, try a new restaurant, rope your friend into cooking for you, whatever works! What’s the best international dish you’ve ever eaten? Anything you’ve been hoping to try? Sushi eaters…mayo in sushi, is that a thing? I’ll be back here next week with tales of daring eatery and delicious feasts. Maybe you will, too!

Before you go…one of our favorites is Pho (pronounced “fuh”), Vietnamese noodle soup.  If you haven’t tried it, you should.  Almost as good is the creatvity of Pho restaurant owners. Some of our favorite Pho restaurant names:  20 Pho 7, Pho Real, Pho Sho, and the new Keene, New Hampshire restaurant Pho Keene Great.



Direction Over Speed

I’m amazed, and frankly a little scared, at how fast time passes.  A lot has happened since I last wrote and yet somehow I can’t believe it’s been over a year.  2018 was in most ways a year like any other.  I worked, I ate, I laughed, I cried, I moved.  Ah, yes, the ever presenting moving.  It was also the year I turned 50.  That birthday so dreaded by many but also rightly celebrated. A milestone. The combination of its approach, an additional major life change and an unassuming little yellow book are what initially led to this blog.  I knew I wouldn’t complete the challenges by 50 but I’m ready to start again.  I’ve missed this endeavor.  The planning, the writing and the connection, not only to my faithful, supportive readers but to myself.  Two of my new guiding principles for 2019 fit nicely with this: live deliberately and direction over speed.  As I’ve written before, one of the benefits of this blog has been that it’s forced me to live more deliberately.

My subconscious has been busy trying to convince me that it’s been too long for me to pick up where I left off.  The ship has sailed, no one cares, you (shockingly) failed to finish something again.

Rare sighting of my subconscious watching me write.

But, I’m in charge here and I want to pick up where I left off.  I’m choosing direction over speed.  As a military spouse I find this to be a difficult task.  We don’t feel like we get to choose the direction and once we land somewhere we have to act with speed, ever aware that time is precious and finite. The truth is that whatever the outside forces or internal whispers WE get to set the speed and direction of our lives. Obstacles just make it more challenging and interesting. I’ve said all of this to say, I’m back! There are many challenges ahead and I hope you are still with me. Let’s do this.

Before you go…Facebook has been reminding me that all 69 of you that liked my Before You Grow Up page haven’t heard from me in a while…I’m not sure if that’s supposed to motivate me or depress me but either way it worked.

Ok, I just realized that I’m the 69th person (or probably, more accurately, the 1st) so to the other 68 of you, thanks for reading.