Is that the most accurate way to describe these times? I can’t even make up my mind on a day to day basis how to feel, how to proceed, and what my priorities are. It’s tough because I’m the kind of person that likes to have a plan. On top of that, I’ve been feeling guilty…about a month into the Covid shutdown, I posted that I was thinking about blogging again, after all these years. Yet, almost 3 months later, I’ve left you hanging. I am super sorry.

Every time I start working on a recipe, I stop and wonder if I should be spending my time figuring out how to homeschool or partially homeschool my kids this fall. Should I be working on learning how to grow more of our food? Should I be looking for more freezers and stocking up more? Shouldn’t I be trying to volunteer more? When do I find time to read up on all the current political issues more? Should I just relax?

That’s my way of saying I’m kind of going in non-committal on this. I’m not adhering to a schedule or developing recipes based on requests like I did long ago. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I do know that I really want to document more of my mom’s recipes…for me and my kids, and my cousins who grew up eating my mom’s cooking. I do know that some of you appreciate and use these recipes and if anything, it makes me feel slightly better that I’m contributing something to someone in a positive way.

I really hope you are all hanging in there, figuring out what works for you and your family. In the meantime, stock up on dried goods like everything in this Bean & Barley Congee recipe: dried adzuki beans and mung beans, dried lotus seeds, and barley. This concept is a classic that many Chinese families make, each with their own twist and proportions. Some people add orange rind or dried dates. Some like it sweeter. Caya pours milk into hers. Make it your own! The Chinese also consider it a healthy food especially when using lotus seeds prized for anti-hypertensive properties in Chinese medecine. My kids happen to love this for breakfast so I usually make a big double batch and keep it in the fridge for quick and easy breakfasts that take zero amount of work on those mornings when I wake up too late.

Bean & Barley Congee

Ingredients –

  • 1/2 cup dried adzuki beans
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup dried mung beans
  • 1/2 cup dried lotus seeds
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions –

  1. Soak Adzuki beans for 5 hours or more.
  2. Drain adzuki beans and place in a large pot with barley. Add 8 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes. Add mung (green) beans and lotus seeds. Keep covered and cook for another 30 minutes. Add sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir to dissolve.
  3. You can serve hot, cold, or anywhere in between.