On Llama Toms and Bibimbap

I’m operating at about 85% these days. As I attempt to keep focused on what makes me happy, nasty bits of why-is-this-happening slouch in. They stage sneak attacks. They are annoying and uncomfortable, like biting down on an unexpected bit of foil in during a meal.  Biting foil is not as bad as biting a bee. I nearly bit a bee once while on a picnic.  It had flown onto my peanut butter and honey sandwich, excited about this new delicious food source and then (from the bee’s perspective) a giant cave with teeth closed in.  The bee stung me – I in no way blame the bee for this – and then flew off in a huff. It hurt an astonishingly amount, my tongue swelled up like a zeppelin, and stayed that way for hours. A repeat of the bee event would take me right down to operating at 40%, so I am avoiding picnics until my world rights itself again.

It’s annoying to still be in recovery mode from The Fire 5 months after the event. I’m impatient as I swing from abnormally forgetful to ultra-reactionary. For example:  My parents added me as someone who can gain entrance to their safe deposit box this week. It was interesting to see the advances in security. It’s no longer a matter of two keys. There are secret codes and palm scans involved. The overall point of the exercise of adding me is, of course, that I need to know where to find the legal stuff after they die.  While I managed to be pleasant and helpful while with them, I had a meltdown once I got home. Having a good cry is okay, I guess, but then you must wash your face and reapply makeup, all the while thinking that at 55 you should really have more coping mechanisms than the ones you used when you were four.  So, in a combative mood, I choose to highlight a couple of bright spots that happened this week.

The first happy thing is that I now own a pair of Llama Toms.  I love TOMS shoes. My original collection of them got burnt up in The Fire, except for the pair I wore out of the condo that night.  Last year around this time, I saw the limited edition of Llama Toms – as you have probably discerned, the pattern has cute little Llamas on them.  I procrastinated about buying them, as 4 pairs of Toms shoes seemed excessive. Regretting my rational approach a few days later, I tried all sorts of back channels to buy them, but Llama Toms were gone. This week they came back in, and I bought them. I’ve worn them every day since.  They are adorable. Try saying this out loud: “Llama Toms”.  I bet you just smiled. Who knows why those two words in conjunction create a smile, but I’ll take all the ones I can get as I attempt to edge up to being 100% again

Another fun word to say is Bibimbap*, which is a Korean dish. My friend Cathy Chang introduced it to me and I am forever grateful. Our eldest son is staying with us for a while, and he loves this dish almost as much as I do, so I happily make it more nights than I should.  It’s vegetables usually mixed with some sort of meat (although not necessary), served over rice and an over-easy egg plopped on top. If you have the dish in a Korean restaurant you are going to get interesting and colorful vegetables which I am sure have deep meaning to them.  I keep it simple and use the veggies we have on hand or just a bag of broccoli slaw.  It cooks up in about 10 minutes.  Since there is an egg in the dish, Bibimbap can be legitimately eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I made Bibimbap just the other night, and no sneaky bits of foil appeared to spoil the meal. My son and I ate the delicious, nurturing food from large bowls while watching an off-beat Sci-Fi movie, “Ex Machina”, which I mostly recommend.  As we did so, I looked down and smiled. On my feet were my Llama Toms, and for a few hours, all was right in my world.


(Amounts are just whatever is appropriate for number of people you are feeding)

White or Brown Rice

Vegetables such as peppers, onions, green onions, diced

Bag of Broccoli slaw (I get organic it really does taste better)

Olive Oil and/or Sesame Oil

Soy sauce or Coconut Aminos

1 or 2 eggs

Your choice of meat if desired (already cooked)

Precook brown or white rice and set aside.  Sautee any vegetables you like together in a large pan, in olive oil or sesame oil.  After the vegetables soften, dash on a generous portion of soy sauce or coconut aminos (try them they are yum) and cover your pan to let the vegetables steam and soften.  Then after a couple of minutes, toss in the rice and pre-cooked meat and let that cook for another couple of minutes.

In a separate fry pan cook one or two eggs over easy.  These slide on top of your mixture.  We like to top with Chili Sauce.


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