Do you get those spammy ads in your Facebook sidebar? The ones with a pic of a supermodel labeled as a ’55–year old mom’? Apparently that’s possible with a facemask. I can’t decide if I like them more or less than the emails I get from ‘Arnold A Hornymaker’ offering me Viagra so that my husband can make me moan all night. Excuse me Mr Hornymaker, but I need some SLEEP.
In fabulous advertising fashion, all of these ads are designed to make me feel bad about myself and offer me a trip to the promised land of eternal youth, beauty and wild all-night sex. Because apparently life was so much better back then, when I was 29. Or was it?
Caught up in the nostalgia for parties, clubs, beaches and restaurants I forget how fraught that time was. Monday comedowns. Horrible bosses. Existential angst about if I’d find the right man, nauseating first dates, Sunday morning walks of shame. All more fun in hindsight I reckon.
So here’s the thing, spammers. I’ve already been youthful and agree that it’s wasted on the young. I’ve been more beautiful than I am now but was so insecure I didn’t know how to handle it. And I’ve had all-night sex. And it got me pregnant. So BAM, you can take your facemasks and horny-making pills and shove them.
I like my life more now. I like my kids, my husband, my friends and my home. They’re a comfortable little niche that I’ve carved out of this crazy world. Cuddling my children takes me closer to the Divine than anything else I’ve experienced. The wrinkles seem like a fair trade for a piece of contentment. Besides, I don’t think my equilibrium could cope with a sudden burst of youth or beauty or passion.
To celebrate the simple, here’s an easy stir-fry recipe. It’s not fancy, but neither am I. And that’s just fine.
Chicken & cashew stir fry
1 tbsp peanut oil
500g chicken thigh fillets, finely sliced (you can buy pre chopped breast fillets, but I find they dry out and aren’t as yummy)
6 spring onions, sliced
1 carrot, peeled, finely sliced (or batons are good too)
1 celery stalk, sliced on the diagonal (just so you look authentic)
½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
½ red capsicum, cut into strips
125g can corn kernels, drained
1 bunch bok choy, washed and sliced across- ways (so that you’ve got crunchy bits and separate leafy bits)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp tomato sauce
Fresh coriander (optional)
Serve with hokkein noodles or jasmine rice
Prepare all of your ingredients first so that everything is ready to go.
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat.
Cook the chicken in batches for 5-6 minutes until turning golden and just cooked through. Remove and set aside. Continue until all the chicken is cooked. (Please take the time to do this, you’ll get a much better result).
Return all the cooked chicken to the wok and add the carrot, celery and cashews. Keep everything moving constantly for a minute or so, then add in the capsicum, thick stalk bits of bok choy and spring onions. After another minute, add in the corn, bok choy leaves and the sauces.
Stir until well combined and the bok choy has turned a beautiful deep green (just another minute or so). Serve over noodles or rice.
SERVES 2 ADULTS & 2 KIDS