Banh-Mi & Expectations.

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I had a great idea for these bad boys. Thursday was slightly cloudy, a bit windy, and the kind of day that beckons people outdoors for a picnic. PICNIC TIME!!! Lofty expectations for a September day in Squamish.I wanted to assemble the giant, baguette-sized sandwich, pack a kale salad in a mason jar (maybe border-line hipster? no judgement), pack up our flannel sleeping bag, & set out a romantic dinner on the marina docks, sailboat and the Chief in the background. We would drink bourbon from a thermos, the wind wouldn’t blow our set up into the bay, and we would laugh at every one of the other’s jokes. It would be perfect.No pressure, sandwich, but you’ve got a grand scenario to live up to. Be cool.

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Marinate the pork. Ginger & garlic. 
Real life? Matt got off work an hour & half later than expected (restaurant life-what can ya do?), it had started severely sprinkling, and neither of us felt too hot.
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carrots. turnip. julienne peeler. 
So after my grandeur dreams of a spontaneous, fun-filled, highly romantic night, we ate dinner in our comfy clothes, rain pounding the roof by this point, & watching “Community.” We turned off our brains & didn’t have to be “on.” We just were, with each other, & it was perfect.
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It was really tempting to be disappointed, even in my adult-brain I know I can’t control the weather, schedules, or a sickness that is going around. I can’t control anything, but when there are expectations put on a scenario or on people, it is so easy to become disappointed, discouraged, & disillusioned.
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siracha mayo spread.
Not that we should set our expectations super low or refuse to dream big, but once we put pressure on ourselves to live up to the standard that we have created, and we tie up our identity in that outcome, that’s when we are screwed. That’s when we inevitably aren’t going to be enough.
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ginger garlic pork, & bread with pate in the background.
It’s a delicate balance, the land between not expecting a lot, and pushing yourself and others around you to be everything they could be and more.
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cucumbers & cilantro. 
Maybe part of it is about taking everything a bit at a time. When you bite off more than you can handle, everything becomes overwhelming and more than slightly out of control. You’re on edge, and nothing is ever as good as you want it to be. You breed discontentment. Knowing yourself, how much you can handle, and where your limit is are such important things to remember. Also knowing that you have to reevaluate yourself in different seasons and chapters, because you are going to change and grow. That’s just what happens in life.
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his & hers, with fried egg. 
So there you have it. Sandwiches, and an evaluation of where we are, how much we can handle, and just how much we are not in control. Taking a day at a time, and loving each day as it comes.Banh-Mi. 
serves 4 (or 3, or 2 with leftovers!)for the pork marinade:

1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid soy seasoning (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
one 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled & minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 medium yellow onion, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide pieces

for the pickled vegetables:

3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup julienned turnip

for the sandwich:

1 french baguette
1/3 cup mayo (veganaise or greek yogurt is also acceptable)
2 teaspoons sriracha
6 oz. store bought pork pâté, thinly sliced
1/3 English cucumber, cut into thin spears
10 cilantro sprigs
fried egg (totally optional)

Combine all marinade ingredient in a medium bowl. Add the pork tenderloin, stir to coat evenly and let marinate for 30 minutes.

To make the pickled vegetables, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the carrots and turnip, remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat grill or grill pan over high heat. Grill the pork, turning once, until meat reaches 140F, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the pork from grill/grill pan let rest for 5 minutes, and thinly slice.

Preheat the broiler with the rack in the upper third position. Halve the baguette lengthwise. Place cut side up directly on the oven rack and broil until toasted and brown around the edges, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Combine the mayo and sriracha in a small bowl, then spread evenly across the bottom of the baguette. Top with pâté, pork, cucumber spears, pickled carrots & daikon, cilantro & fried egg, if that’s your dig. Close the sandwich, cut into portions & serve.

Source: adapted from Shutterbean
Listening to: Community

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