Yesterday, I played the keyboard at for my church's service. I play about twice a month, and I LOVE IT. I love playing the piano and singing along and making music so that those in the congregation can worship. Yesterday, I thought I played particularly well, so after praise time was over, I floated to Sunday School where I taught the three to five year olds for another hour. Sunday school also went well, and I contemplated on how well my two ministries went. It made me smile and feel really blessed.
When pick-up time for my Sunday students came, I greeted all the parents that I knew, said hi to my former students and just mixed and mingled with the joy that is in Sunday school. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one mother picking up a student who was new to my class. I went over to introduce myself to her and took her hand, gave a nice firm grip and shook it, and looked her straight in the eye. "Hi. I'm Teacher Joanne. I'm your daughter's Sunday School teacher."
The woman stared at me hard for a few more seconds longer than normal, and I figured she had recognized me from when I was in front of the congregation during praise. I looked at her expectantly and she asked, "Aren't you...."
I prepared to accept her compliment about my piano playing. I opened my eyes wider and began nodding, as I expected to hear her say, "The person who played the piano at service who was so amazing?"
But nothing prepared me for the words that followed. "Aren't you the Week of Menus person?"
I was actually very taken aback that she wasn't going to give me any props for my piano playing. I said, "Oh yeah. That's me" and that's really I could say. The woman was visiting our church and went on saying how all of her friends also read the blog and how she's gotten so much help from it. Only, I was still back at the fact that she wasn't going to compliment me on the piano playing. I didn't really know what to say, because I'm not used to meeting strangers in public who recognize me by my picture. During the conversation, I stopped the poor woman and said, "I have to check if my fly is open, because every time I meet a stranger, it's open." She giggled and I laughed and we had a fun moment.
But seriously, I have no idea what to say to people. I'm not comfortable with meeting people in public. I'm naturally shy so the whole experience of being recognized is rather uncomfortable for me. Of course it is incredibly flattering and makes me realize how many people who do NOT know me are reading my words, but uncomfortable nonetheless. Perhaps I should practice some things to say, besides, "I need to check if my fly is open."
I'm much more comfortable finding a good dish to make, cooking it quickly and eating it with good friends. This noodle dish is a GREAT one and it is REALLY quick and easy to make. It is a bit spicy, so if your children are spice adverse, it may not be for them, but Daughter #1 and Son gobbled this one down. Stir frying rice noodles is one of the most quick and satisfying things ever. I served this with Green Bean Bits with Crispy Garlic.
Crazy Rice Noodle Stir Fry
adapted from Ming Tsai's Simply Ming: Easy Techniques for East-Meets-West Meals
12 to 14 oz transparent rice noodles (rice sticks from Trader Joe's are very good)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
4 tablespoons canola oil
4 shallots, sliced 1/8 inch thick (if you have no shallots a small onion, sliced very thinly works just as well)
1 1/ lb ground chicken or turkey
3/4 cup scallions, green and white parts, sliced 1/8 inch thick
3/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup basil (thai or regular is fine) cut into 1/8 inch ribbons
Fill a large bowl with very warm water. Add the dry noodles and soak until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and sambal, and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Heat a wok or large, heavy fry pan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the shallots and stir fy until brown, about 1 minute.
Add the chicken or turkey, and stir fry, breaking up the meat with the back of your spoon. Cook until it is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture, and heat through. Add the softened noodles and fry until everything is tossed together and heated. If the noodles seem too hard, then add water, 1/2 cup at a time; continue cooking to soften up the noodles. Add scallions, cilantro, basil, and toss well. Serve.
Tastes better than my piano playing sounds, but a girl can hope, can't she?