Thai Spaghetti Toss

By: Brady Evans

I still can’t find a Thai restaurant that serves a pad Thai dish as delicious as the dive in the town next-door to where I went to college. I made the mistake once of attempting to change the vegetable selections offered in the pad Thai and the the chef flat out refused. He only makes it one way, he said, and like it or leave it. I liked it.

The place went out of business a couple years into my college career and sadly and ironically the owners began working at the college cafe in the student union on campus. That was awkward.

Thai Spaghetti Toss

This dish is an abomination of Thai food really. Where Thai food uses peanuts as an accent, this one uses peanut butter as a sauce. Where Thai food uses fish sauce, this recipe asks for a dash of ketchup and a splash of vinegar. All that said, this meal is consistently a favorite here in our house. When I first began cooking we ate it nearly every other week. Now it is maybe twice a year, but I wish it was much more frequent.

Thai Spaghetti Toss (adapted from Meals Matter)

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. pasta
  • 6 oz. mung bean sprouts (I omitted in this variation)
  • 8-10 oz. fresh green beans, steamed and then shocked in cold water
  • 3 bunches scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • Chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, lime wedge to garnish
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and diced (optional)
    Sauce
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup hot water

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients for the sauce in a small food processor or whisk vigorously with a fork. This step can be made in advance and the sauce can be refrigerated for 24 hours prior to making the dish.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Combine cooked green beans, scallions, pasta, chicken (if using) and sauce. Stir thoroughly.
  4. Add in mung bean sprouts and serve, garnished with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, and a lime wedge if desired.

Seeing The Foundation

By: Shannon Shull

Best Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here, so our minds have turned
To what time has taught us, to what we’ve learned:
We often focus all our thought
On shiny things we’ve shopped and bought.
We take our pleasure in material things,
Forgetting the pleasure that friendship brings.
If a lot of our stuff just vanished today,
We’d see the foundation of each happy day
Is special relationships, constant and true,
And that’s when our thoughts go directly to you.
We wish you a Thanksgiving you’ll never forget,
Full of love and joy—your best one yet!

–Joanna Fuchs

 I don’t know who Joanna Fuchs is, but I do know that her poem here really touched me. What really stood out is the line about the thought of seeing the foundation of each happy day. I read that and my mind immediately thinks, well, not all days are happy. But then I think about how even if we’re having a tough day, we should always think of the foundation of that day. The what, the who, the how we made it through that day. Whether we recognize our own inner strength that allowed us to survive hardships, those special people who made our day worthwhile or the recognition of all the things we have to be thankful for. If all our “stuff” just vanished today, would we see the foundation of our day?

I’ve made some major mistakes in my life. Some I still pay the price for. Though I know that there is a reason for everything and my God has a plan for it all, even our imperfections, some days it would be all too easy to consistently beat myself up over things.

My only saving grace is to recognize all the things I do have to be thankful for. Yep, it’s the foundation of my days that get me through the pain. The special, constant and true relationships with the precious, loving people in my life, help to hold my sanity together. The innocent and priceless love of these precious beings I gave birth to and the pride I have for their amazing accomplishments and total beauty, inside and out. The weekly joy I get from being a teacher and seeing the looks on these students’ faces when I’m able to inspire them and they sing my praises. The sheer fact that I have a roof over my head and can pay my bills thanks to a secure job in my dream career.

ThanksgivingWhen the negative aspects of my life start to over-run my heart and mind, I have to fall back on the foundation of my day. If I fail to do so, then the inner demons would surely carry me away.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I challenge you to recognize the things that truly create the foundation of your days. I wish you a Thanksgiving you’ll never forget, definitely full of love and joy and above all full of thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson