But it's the quote that I saw in one of their videos that struck a chord in me and really inspired me.
“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”― Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven was one of my favorite composers to play growing up, as I was perhaps influenced heavily by classical-audiophile Father, who also loved Beethoven. I remember reading his biography several times as a young girl and not really fully understanding what his handicap of deafness meant to a musician and a composer. But one simplified message of Beethoven's life (he was an incredibly complex and NOT simple man) is this - there are no limits to what you can push yourself to do, provided you want to do it enough. Sure - he had genius and an abundance of God-given talent that most of only dream about, but he also was DEAF. And he never let it stop him from composing some of the most beautiful music.
The Piano Guys - they are trying to push the envelope in terms of classical music - and I definitely appreciate their greatness and talent. And their willingness to push the limits of music beyond practice and truly elevate it to art. I want a little piece of what they do, to feel that power and that glory that comes from great music. Watching what they do - it's made me a bit hungry for more artistic expression in my life. I may have to wrestle the piano away from Daughters.
Many say that cooking is also art - with secrets to unlock and a taste of the divine on the plate. I definitely have experienced such food at delicious restaurants, but I can pretty much say that the food I cook is still practice and not art. (Although friend SH does say that my kimchi grilled cheese sandwich is a bit of inspired genius) I know that I'm not the most talented chef, or the one who knows the secret of foods - but I know this..
This chicken stir fry is yummy. In Korea, it is usually made in a hot pan, and you cook it as you eat. You end up smelling like all sorts of deliciousness when you leave the joint, but your stomach is so full you don't mind the smell. (The person you come home to may feel differently.) The combination of rice cake, sweet potatoes, spicy chicken and fresh scallions - well - you be the judge. Artistic skills are not required. Once the ingredients are prepped, it's really just about cooking it all together. Don't be scared of the spice factor either - looks spicier than it is.
Korean Spicy Chicken Stir Fry (닭볶음 or 닭갈비)
1 ¼ lbs chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
3 tablespoons gochujahng Korean chili pepper paste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ground Korean chili pepper (gochugaroo) (reduce this amount o reduce spiciness)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons of oil
½ of a head of cabbage, roughly cut
½ of a medium onion, diced
1 Korean sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick slices
1 jalapeno, sliced into rounds
¼ lb of Korean rice cakes (the stick kind) (If they were frozen, soak in water for at least 30 minutes to
5 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
sesame seed as garnish
In a small bowl, mix together ingredients to marinade the chicken. Mix together garlic, gigner, gochujahng, soy sauce, sake, honey, gochugaroo, curry powder, sesame oil, and black pepper. Add to cut up chicken and mix until all the chicken is fully coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. (Can be made one day ahead.)
While chicken is marinating you can cut up your vegetables (if you haven’t already). Set aside until needed.
After chicken has marinated, heat a wok over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and the vegetables all at once. Cook for thirty seconds stirring, and then add marinated chicken on top. Begin stirring and allowing the vegetables to cook and the chicken to get cooked. After fthree minutes of stir frying add the rice cakes. (If you add them too early they will be soggy before the chicken is done.) Continue cooking until chicken is fully cooked and vegetables and rice cake are tender, about 5 or 6 minutes more. Add scallions and cook for an additional minute.
Serve with white rice, OR alternatively, make fried rice in the same wok using the leftover sauce in the pan to coat the rice.