For the most part, I expect a lot from myself. Maybe my obsessive revisions come with the philosophical territory – sometimes, it seems that you have to be either a genius or a perfectionist to succeed in this business – but, even so, pretty much everyone knows that the prospect of failure when I’ve done my best terrifies me. Rewind to last fall when I got my first and only paper back from Introduction to Kant, then, and it probably won’t surprise you that I dropped the class, turned tail, and ran when I saw the less than stellar grade. Metaphysics, an incomprehensibly wheezy and Scottish professor, and poor grades were just too much to handle in the midst of a bigger crisis of confidence at the time.
Ever since, of course, any mention of anything even remotely related to the transcendental aesthetic, pure reason, or a priori synthetic judgements has pained me – made me wince, grind my teeth, and wave my arms dismissively – that is, up until last Tuesday. At 1:00 pm that day, I bit the bullet and joined the class for a second time, still dreading raspy, brogue-addled run-on sentences and German obscurity but resigned to the fact that a philosophical education isn’t complete without a good grasp of Immanuel Kant.
It wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was splendid. I hung on to almost every word. Maclachlan’s Scottish mutterings made my head light up with the past year’s worth of formal logic, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. Things actually made sense! A little time and experience has made all the difference. Some things might just be worth re-visiting (we’ll have to see how the first paper goes…).
Bok choy, though, has definitely proved to be one of those things worth re-visiting. I went on this dirt-cheap six-day tour through central China last December, and I swear that greasy, bland bok choy was the only vegetable served on our tour circuit, lunch and dinner, from Nanking to Shanghai. There was even some at one of the hotel breakfast buffets. Not surprisingly, bok choy didn’t make my grocery list after that. But then, a couple of weeks ago, I saw one of my favourite vendors at the farmers’ market selling cute little bundles of Shanghai bok choy and couldn’t resist.
Stir-Fried Bok Choy
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger root chopped
- 1 fresh red chili, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 small bunch Shanghai bok choy (about a quarter pound), separated into stalks
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 tsp honey
- Heat oil over medium-low heat in a sautee pan.
- Add garlic, ginger, and chili to oil and brown, about five minutes.
- Turn up heat to medium, add bok choy, and stir until wilted, about three to five minutes. Add sesame oil.
- Remove bok choy from heat. Sprinkle with cilantro, drizzle with honey, and toss. Serve over rice.
Makes 2 servings.
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