15 Minute Pickup & Miso-Sriracha Stirfry Sauce

As I've mentioned before, I am a recovering domestic shirkaholic, which is something among so many things I have in common with The Man.

Pair that with the fact that we're both your typical so-called ADD creative types who'd much rather be working on our music, cooking, brewing, etc. in our spare time than cleaning house, and you have a major imbalance in tendency for creative versus practical output.

A cleared dining table - so nice to have when we take
2 or 3 minutes to make it so.

And yet, being somewhat ADD (in a more colloquial than clinical sense), we both know first hand how clutter can stifle our creativity. Being acutely aware of your surroundings is a blessing in many ways, but when your environment is excessively noisy, aurally and/or visually, your senses are diverted and distracted away from your creative endeavors. Not to mention that it just generally detracts from a peaceful and soul-replenishing kind of enjoyment of your home.

It's true that home is first and foremost the souls who inhabit it, but the souls who inhabit it are generally happier when it provides a reasonably clean and clutter free haven from the world outside it.

And yet in this industrial age, we are so occupied and pre-occupied with paying our rents or mortgages, keeping our cars running, and feeding and clothing our families that we can sometimes irrationally cling to leisure time at the expense of reasonable time and effort to de-clutter our environments, which pays in dividends in our increased enjoyment of said leisure time.

This is not news. People like The Flylady and the folks over at Unfuck Your Habitat know that we domestic maintenance challenged are legion, and they have lots of great ideas on how to rehabilitate ourselves.

One tactic our family tries to implement regularly is The 15 Minute Pickup, where (hopefully - we're still working on the discipline of doing it every day) once a day, we stop whatever we're doing, set a timer for 15 minutes, and focus our energies on cleaning house. We start out putting whatever's out of place in its proper place - i.e., cleaning the mess - and with the time left, we get to things like sweeping, mopping, windexing, toilet scrubbing, etc. - i.e., cleaning the dirt.

During the week when it's just the two of us, that means 30 minutes per day devoted to making our home a more restful and inviting place to be. During the weekends, when the older monsters are with us, that's 60 minutes per day. BUT, it's only 15 minutes per person - half a sitcom or 4 songs (if that). And even though we don't manage to do it every day, we often look up halfway to be pleasantly surprised at what we've been able to accomplish in such a short but focused amount of time.

We did manage to do the 15 Minute Pickup last night, and it was ever so loverly to enjoy our meatless dinner, including some Miso-Sriracha Eggplant, on a clear dining table.

"What if I'm the only person in the house who cleans???" you might be asking. Well, I used to be you, and that's a topic for another post, but let me just say for now that that's no way for you to live, and that's no way for the other people in your household to learn to live. :)

Miso-Sriracha Stirfry Sauce
Should make enough for at least 3 or 4 stir-frys.
Time: About 10 minutes

Miso and sriracha come together to make a rich, earthy, spicy and delicious stirfry sauce that would also be delicious as a satay marinade or dipping sauce for lettuce wraps. Make ahead and have a hot and spicy stir fry seasoning on hand for quick weeknight meals.

- 1/4 cup miso (you could also use Chinese black bean paste or Korean dwenjahng)
- 2 Tablespoons Sriracha
- 2.5 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1.5 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1.5 to 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce

- optional: red chili flakes to increase heat without increasing salt
- optional: 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, if you're a fan of peanutty flavor :)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Stir fry your ingredients as usual (my tips for a great stirfry) and add the sauce to taste in the last 3 minutes or so of cooking. You want to give the sauce a chance to caramelize a little bit in the heat and oil.

If you're using eggplant, Chinese, Japanese or Indian work best.
I made 1/2 a pound for 2 of us, with about 1/4 cup of the sauce. :)

To cleared dining tables and the meals made all the more delicious for them.


Full stir-fry album HERE and pan-roasted version HERE.



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