Do your kids take you for granted?

Last year I was working two days a week, but since the closure of that magazine I’ve been home full-time. Luckily I have this business and a bit of freelance design work to keep me afloat.

I’d like to say the extra time at home makes me a better parent, but it doesn’t. I’m still snappy and impatient, although the house IS usually full of baked goods and the lunchboxes are a bit fancier.

Somehow I’m still just as busy, but the tasks I’m caught up in are more mundane. School canteen last Friday, netball gala day on Saturday, play dates over the weekend, parent supervisor at band yesterday and reading groups volunteer today. Apparently, once upon a time, there was a stack of mums to share all these tasks around. But these days we’re a bit slim on the ground, so out of obligation you pick up more and more (although I’m strongly resisting the P&C).

I don’t mind, I quite like it and maybe one day my kids will look back with affection at everything I did for them. It’s fair to say though, right now, they’re pretty comfortable taking me for granted and just expecting the house slave to be at their beck and call.

Being regular kids, they’ve phased in and out of periods of rudeness and have never been particularly thankful for my presence (perhaps that shows what a great job I’m doing at creating a secure environment). In the past I’ve not been bothered about it. When you’re working out of the home you have other stuff to think about. But when you’re parenting full time it’s hard not to take it all bit more personally. Finding job satisfaction at home can be difficult.

It’s the small signifiers that show me when I’m doing well, like when a meal disappears. Which this stir-fry has done every time I’ve made it. It’s really easy too. You can marinade the meat all day and have everything chopped ready to throw together at dinnertime.

Which is good, since we’re out three afternoons a week. The kids having lives and me being their taxi driver and chief spectator. Sigh.

I never take an easy, tasty and popular meal for granted!

I never take an easy, tasty and popular meal for granted!

Pork stir fry

400g pork fillet (you used to have to go to the Chinese butcher for this cut, but I’ve seen it in regular supermarkets now – see here)
1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
1-2 tbsp peanut oil
1 red onion, sliced in half moons
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 red capsicum, cut into strips
1 carrot, peeled, cut into thin diagonal slices
Handful of green beans, trimmed
Handful of snowpeas, whole or in strips
Splash extra of shaoxing wine

Rice & coriander to serve

Slice the pork into thin, 5mm strips. Toss in a bowl with the 5-spice and sauces. Cover and refrigerate for as long as you’ve got (I do this in the morning and leave it all day)

Prepare all your vegies before you start cooking.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat (as hot as you dare).

Add your oil (do not leave the kitchen!). Cook the pork in batches, stirring often until totally browned but not quite cooked through. This will take 1-2 MINUTES. That’s all! Keep it undercooked. KITCHEN TIP: Do cook the meat in batches – it is so quick to cook that it only takes a jiffie and will be about 10 times yummier than stewed, overcooked pork.

Remove the last of the meat and set aside. Reduce the heat slightly, return the pan and add more oil if needed. Stir fry the onion for a minute or so then add the ginger, capsicum and carrot. Keep it all moving for another minute before adding the beans and returning the meat and all the juices.

Cook everything for another minute, adding the shaoxing if the pan gets too dry.

SERVES 2 ADULTS & 2 KIDS

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1 Response so far »

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    […] read a post on the Vegie Smuggler blog about kids taking us for granted. It really struck a cord with me, but I thought, we also take our […]


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