Stewing Over Things

Letting emotions stew is never productive. Stewing with tofu is a healthier outlet!

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting a child with FASD are when they get emotionally disregulated.

T’s meltdowns are hard. There are days when the hubby and I feel we are being verbally and physically threatened and attacked.

As life with T teaches us, focus on the big picture. The positive moments far outweigh the challenges.

There is a reason for why T has these moments and we’re learning to better support him before, during and after these moments happen.

One blessing of individuals with FASD is every day is a fresh start. In our experience, T is not one to stew much over things.

For better and for worse, he moves on – even though the rest of us are still reeling from his explosive moments.

It takes me longer to process things, especially when the time and space in my life to do so are so limited.

Writing continues to be my outlet to reflect and to process – so thank you to the blogger community for having coffee together.

Cooking is another outlet. Prepping ingredients, hearing the sizzle in the wok, and smelling the aroma fill the air are soothing to the soul.

Stews and stewy dishes are especially comforting. Here are a few recent dishes that I made:

Mapo Tofu

Mapo tofu is a popular spicy Chinese dish from Sichuan province. Key ingredients are firm tofu, minced pork, sichuan peppercorn and chili oil.

It’s one of my favourite comfort meals and I was glad to finally make my own using this Wok of Life recipe.

Kimchi Jiggae

Jiggae is a type of Korean stew and the foundational ingredients are tofu, kimchi and gochujang (red pepper paste).

Kimchi jiggae is made with canned tuna or pork belly. I’ve made both many times – and made my recent one with pork belly.

Cà ri gà

Vietnamese goat curry is something I love to order at the restaurant. I stumbled across this chicken curry recipe and had to make it.

It was interesting cooking using lemongrass. It turned out pretty well. I will try this recipe with lamb next time!

Silkie Chicken Herbal Soup

Silkie chicken (aka black chicken) soup was a comforting medicinal soup my parents made.

This was my first time making my own and I bought a pre-packaged herbal mix that included ginseng, goji berries and red dates – which made the broth soothingly sweet.

Braised Pork and Soy Sauce Eggs

Out of all the comfort foods I had growing up, this is at the top of my list. This is a staple in many Asian cultures and I recently used a Malaysian variation called Kong Tau Yew Bak.

As a kid, I thought it was a magical ingredient that made the eggs brown and so tasty. It turns out it’s just soy sauce! 😆

Cilantro Lime Rice

A good stew needs a warm bowl of rice. I don’t have experience making Mexican food (unless you count opening a bag of nachos and a can of salsa!)

I stumbled across this Cilantro Lime Rice recipe and had to make it because I didn’t know such a juxtaposition of ingredients existed. It was a perfect match for the braised pork and soy sauce eggs.

Chinese Cucumber Salad

A good stewy dish needs not just rice but a pickly salad.

To be honest, I only made this side dish cuz it looks so cool. As this Instagram recipe shows, it’s easy to make but looks impressive.

As I’ve written in the past, cooking helps me keep cool as a cucumber through the trials and tribulations of FASD parenting.

27 thoughts on “Stewing Over Things

  1. Cooking and writing are both such great outlets. I like how you paralleled Life with T and Stew. Your creations look delicious and your time in this life with T is so important for him. I love the honesty and love you share in your posts Ab. <3

    1. Thank you, LaDonna. It really is soul soothing and nourishing to cook and to write and a healthy outlet for the especially hard moments.

      I hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer! And look forward to your monthly post! 🙂

  2. Cooking is such a great outlet, plus it’s delicious and nutritious! Thanks for sharing some of your favourite recipes for stews. Hopefully your love of cooking and trying new things will eventually rub off on T. Hope you had a wonderful Canada day long weekend and had a great time camping in Tobermory.

    1. Thank you, Linda! We had an AMAZING time in Tobermory. Just got back. The Grotto and FlowerPot Island were so beautiful. And we lucked out with weather too. I’m a bit wiped now but a good sign of a wonderful weekend. Hope you had a nice Canada Day too!

      1. Glad to hear that you had a fantastic long weekend and that the weather was wonderful. It’s funny how much of a difference the weather can make while camping. Hopefully the bugs weren’t too bad. We just got back this morning from our road trip out west through the Canadian rockies. I’m not looking forward to returning to work tomorrow!

      2. Ohhh, I can’t wait to hear all about your Rockies trip. Hopefully we don’t have to wait until 2023 for the recap! 😆 What we’re your Top 3 highlights?

        This week is when I return to office on full schedule. Waking up at 6 am today was an experience. 😆 Good luck with yours!

      3. Everything minus the flight was a highlight! Even just driving around was scenic. It was neat to visit early in the season when many of the mountains still had snow. This made hiking some of the trails interesting (or impossible), but it looked really pretty. We also saw an insane amount of wildlife, including a grizzly bear, which was exciting. I couldn’t get over just how busy Banff was though. We had to wake up super early to get parking.

        Best of luck with transitioning back to the office on a full schedule!! It’s going to be a long week …

      4. Wow, your trip sounded awesome. I hope you got a photo of the grizzly bear even if it’s a fuzzy one from running away! And yes, people are definitely making up for lost travel time everywhere! I hope you weren’t caught in the awful airport nightmares I’ve been reading about in the news!

      5. I sure did!! Some of our best wildlife sightings were while driving.

        Pearson was insanely busy and it took us nearly an hour just to check our bag. Thankfully we didn’t have to clear customs or anything! Both our flights into and out of Edmonton were delayed by about an hour, which wasn’t too bad. I wouldn’t recommend flying Swoop airlines though. It’s cheap, but our flights changed multiple times prior to leaving and the seats are the worst. At least it was a relatively short flight.

      6. Glad the airport experience was not as bad as it could’ve been. Never heard of Swoop before and will avoid in future. 😆

    1. Thank you! I’m by no means an expert chef and if I can make these recipes, anyone can. 🙂 Cooking and blogging have been life-saving outlets during the last two years for sure!

  3. Young T is so lucky to have two such great, understanding & patient parents! I think he will grow to be a wonderful young man … how could it be otherwise? Hang in, my friend. There will be dark days, but when the sun comes out, the darkness should be put away and just enjoy the light. Um … I’ll pass on the tofu … just snacked on some nice healthy crunchy green pea snacks, but thanks anyway 😉

    1. Thank you, Jill! It’s a tough road some days for sure. I hope it’ll be ok. I hope we’re on the same success trajectory as the couple in the recent post you shared. 🙏 Green pea snacks are delicious. I can see how tofu might not be for everyone. 😆

      1. I think you are … I’ve only just ‘met’ you, but I’m impressed with what you are doing, and I can feel your love for T in every one of your posts. Who knows … someday you and your husband and T might find a spot on Filosofa’s Good People post! I had a cat named Tofu once (long story, but he was a three-legged, blind-in-one-eye rescue kitty and the most loving cat in the whole world!) and since then, I find that I cannot even consider eating tofu! 😊

  4. That Mapo Tofu looks great – and that cucumber salad is impressive! Thanks for the shout out.

    You are right – it’s hard to recover from those difficult moments but I love your recipe for “stewing” it out with comfort food. And I love having coffee with you, my friend!

    1. Thanks Wynne. I made the Mapo tofu again for dinner tonight. Was very comforting! 😊

      Life has its hard knocks for sure and it’s best to find alternative healthier ways to stew than to let the emotions stew for sure! 😊 Thanks for the daily coffee breaks!

  5. As always, I appreciate you sharing. I learn so much from your experiences as they’ve helped me to grow and remind me to always consider a different perspective. T continues to inspire me as well when you share his challenges.
    By the way, thanks for the recipes. I’ve been meaning to buy a wok & have grown tired of eating the same foods- not sure about the tofu though, lol.

    1. Thank you, Tammy! We all learn so much from each other. 😊 And a wok is such a wonderful tool. Tofu in itself is very bland. But with the right seasoning and pairings, like minced pork, it can taste quite yummy. Good luck with your cooking adventures!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. It’s a wonderful outlet for me. 😊 And I know that you can relate with every day being mostly a new beginning. It’s a blessing during the stormy moments!

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