“Solvitur Ambulando.” Solve it by walking. Every day–rain, shine, cold, or not enough time. I walk, not to get “in shape,” not to lose a few pounds, but to keep from losing my mind. I leave the house carrying around the stresses of motherhood, entrepreneurship, citizenship, the human condition, a broken agricultural system, and I come home lighter, easier, remembering to breathe. The last few weeks have been magical. Piles of crunchy yellow leaves to shuffle through, golden sunlight, leaves fluttering through the air like an autumn snowglobe. I am a person who takes a lot on. I worry. I’m angst-ridden. I look for things to do that make me feel rooted and connected. Present. Cooking gives me that. So does walking. When I’m moving, my mind can wander. I can remember everything I’m grateful for, instead of just fretting. Healthy, funny, beautiful children. A business I love, that constantly challenges and inspires me. A country filled with people who have more in common than they sometimes realize. A spirit that knows how to renew itself. And farmers who work tirelessly to feed us nourishing and delicious food, keeping us connected to the seasons and the world outside our doors. I can walk through the fallen leaves in a delicious melancholy, and I can come home to cook a dinner like this one, simple and fragrant with ginger and chiles, full of the plentiful, life-giving greens of the season, and feel replenished and comforted and at ease.
Asian Pork Meatballs with Braised Winter Greens
1 pound ground pork
2 small shallots, minced fine
1 small shallot, sliced thin
4 small Thai chiles, minced fine
1″ piece fresh ginger root, grated (squeeze juice from remaining ginger pulp)
salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh greens, washed & torn into 2″ pieces
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. neutral flavored oil (like grapeseed)
1/4 c. chicken stock
Combine ground pork with minced chiles, ginger, ginger juice, and shallots. Season to taste with salt & pepper and form into golfball-sized meatballs. Heat high-sided skillet or wok over high heat, add sesame oil and grapeseed oil and lower heat to medium. Brown meatballs all over, remove to a plate and set aside. Quickly saute sliced shallots, then, rinse greens, and with water still clinging to leaves, add to hot wok, adding more oil as necessary. Briefly saute until wilted. Add meatballs back to the wok, nestling amongst the greens. Add chicken stock and soy sauce, cover and lower heat to medium-low. Braise just until meatballs are cooked through. Serve with warm jasmine rice.