When Claud and I were first married and Daphne was a few months old, we saw a movie called, "My Life" with Michael Keaton.
In it, Michael Keaton's character has three months to live. He makes a movie to give to his unborn child who he desperately wants to leave an impression on although he won't physically be there for the child.
He sees a woman who tells him that the most important thing about raising children is to "marinate them in love".
Here is the “Love Stew” as it is cooking on the stove.
A photo of the “Love Stew” ready to be served
Claud and I took this lesson to heart. We both left the movie theater with that sentence permeating through our minds.
We talked about it often.
We truly believe that if you can just always marinate your children in love, it won't matter where you live, how much money you earn, how you teach them lessons or anything else.
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 whole chicken deboned and chopped (see my deboning chicken video on my YouTube Simplyfoodify channel). You can buy boneless chicken if you prefer. I buy whole chicken so I can make chicken stock.
1 large yellow onion, sliced
2 sweet red peppers, sliced lengthwise
3 Tbsp. wok oil
2 Tbsp. mustard seed
1 Tbsp. Turmeric
2 Tbsp. curry
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 bottle of beer
1 can baby corn
2 cans coconut milk
1 C. mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (more if you prefer it spicier)
Pour the wok oil into a stock pot. Once hot, but not burning, add the onions and peppers. Cook until the onions are clear and soft. Add the chopped chicken. Add the mustard seed, turmeric, curry, thyme and salt. Mix together and let the chicken brown with all of the seasonings. The herbs will stick to the bottom of the dish. In five minutes, move the chicken to one side and pour in the beer. Scrape the seasonings into the beer from the bottom of the pot. Simmer for ten minutes. Make sure chicken is cooked through. Then, add the baby corn, coconut milk, mushrooms and Srirachi Sauce. Simmer for five minutes more. Pour over Basmati rice and serve.
As long as at the root of everything you do, you intentionally soak them in love, you will be parenting correctly.
Not long ago, Daphne spent some time with another couple and when she came home we asked her how it went.
She said they were very nice and she had a great time. She paused to think for a moment and then continued, "They aren't in love like you two."
Claud and I looked at each other and smiled.
We knew what each other was thinking. We are succeeding in marinating our children in love.
She is beginning to notice it. I got a little choked up, as I tend to do, and gave her a big hug and told her how much I love her.
There are so many ways to marinate your children in love. It could be anything as long as love is at the heart of the activity.
For our family, cooking has always been a passionate activity. It is an easy way to involve our children in something we love; and thus, marinate them in it.
Early in our marriage, when Daphne was about three years old, we were very broke. We lived in a tiny apartment and had one pot and one pan. I was so impressed by the delicious food we could cook with only one pot and one pan.
I really wanted to write a cook book for people who couldn't afford to buy a lot of cooking implements.
Without all of the supplies, we still made amazing food. I never did write that cook book. It's never too late.
One dish we made often was a Thai chicken dish with coconut milk and curry.
Each time we cooked it, we would change the ingredients depending on what we had.
One time, we would add sweet red peppers and garlic and other times we added lemon grass and lime leaves.
When we cooked, we would plop Daphne up on the counter and let her help adding ingredients to the dish.
Every time she added something, we would say, "Put lots of love into it."
She would pretend to sprinkle magical love into the simmering pot.
Once she asked what we were making and since this dish constantly changed, we didn't have a name for it.
She recognized the smell of the chicken cooking in curry and said it was "Love Stew". She was right.
Although the ingredients constantly changed, the one thing that remained constant was the sprinkling of the magic love into it.
Eight years later, we have developed "Love Stew" into a precise recipe.
Now, we pretty much make it the same every time.
Only now, I have to make two pots of it: one with chicken and one with tofu or shrimp for Daphne.
As a matter of fact, usually she makes hers right next to me as I make ours. It has become a regular favorite dish in our extended family as well.
Last week, my sister Jessica called and said she was making Love Stew. My mom makes it too. Everyone calls it Love Stew.
This is the recipe we now use. You can substitute tofu and shrimp for the chicken and you can make it as spicy as you dare. Enjoy!
Please see a video on my blog (yovia.com) of Claud and me making Love Stew for our family.
I promise next week's recipe has nothing to do with chicken: I'm chickened out. I'm thinking a tasty Sunday roast.