Anyway, things in Miami went really well last week and I got to see a bunch of my awesome work peeps that I don't get to see often enough who are spread throughout the country (and a couple internationally). It makes me realize that they are what drives me because I feel better when I'm around them and our students. Almost six years ago I wouldn't have imagined I'd be where I am today work-wise and had no intention of working for a university. But here I am. And I plan to stay... for the foreseeable future, at least. :)
As awesome as things went last week, it was exhausting both physically and emotionally. I'll be making a transition soon (within the institution) so this Miami trip was special - it was a milestone / end of an era trip because it means that my first 5-10 year plan of my career is closing and that was the last time I was involved in the events side of our "big show." With that comes opportunity. And it's weird. And awesome. And scary. This is where homesick comes in - at the end of my trip, all I wanted was to come home. A colleague told me that she's never seen me homesick before on a work trip and she's right because it doesn't happen often. Home may be cold, snowy, occasionally icy, and cold (did I say that already?) but it's home. I'm sure that a good part of it was looking forward to something familiar amongst the change. When I got home, it felt good.
Since I got home I've wanted other familiar things. I made Grandma D's Mock Chow Mein hot dish from the church cookbook earlier this week - something Mom made a lot when we were growing up and it was one of my favorite hot dishes. And all week I've been wanting cherry coffee cake (Mom's recipe in the church cookbook). I may make that Saturday in between tending to my needy car (put gas in me; change my oil; fix my windshield; blah blah blah), doing some work, and doing laundry. Other familiar things. :) I'll leave you with this:
Grandma D.'s Mock Chow Mein Hot Dish
1 lb.lean pork steak, cut in 1/2 inch chunks1/2 med. onion, chopped
3/4 c. uncooked rice
3 c. hot water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 c. frozen peas
Dip meat in flour and fry meat and onion in 1 tbsp. vegetable oil to brown. Put rice in a large enough casserole for expansion. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and cover. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until rice is tender. Add more water if it gets too dry. Stir occasionally in the oven.
My only notes:
- I added some salt and pepper to the flour that I dipped the meat in.
- The original recipe doesn't say to cover it when it's in the oven, but you need to - lesson learned. :)
- We drizzle just a little soy sauce on it just before eating - we like the extra flavor and then you don't have to put any salt in because the soy sauce has plenty. We use the low sodium kind.