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About Babies, Marriage and Broccoli May 19, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.

Who, besides George Bush (Sr.) doesn’t like broccoli?  Even Surly Boy, at his surliest, never objected to broccoli.

PhotobucketDid I ever tell you about how he literally cut his teeth on fresh broccoli?  Not his first teeth, but close to it.

Just picture it – it’s early summer, maybe mid-June, and there’s wee little Surly Baby, not even walking yet.  He’s crawling around the back yard, while I’m working in the garden, just gnawing on anything and everything he can get his pudgy little baby hands (and mouth!) on.  Teething rings.  The lemon he’s fished out of my glass of iced tea.  Our husky’s tail, at least until old Caesar wised up and started hanging out in his doghouse.

PhotobucketThen, one day, The Boy found a big old rock on the side of the garden and did what teething babies do – he stuck it in his mouth.  Dirt and all.  Oh, the drooly mud running down his chin!

So I did what mamas do and traded him – the rock for. . . what?  There I was, I was in the garden, and the broccoli was just starting to come in, so broccoli it was!  I broke off a nice floret, checked it for insect life, brushed it off on my shirt, and handed it to the boy for his gumming pleasure.

PhotobucketThat became a regular occurrence during that first summer.  Broccoli, then carrots, then green beans – he loved them all, and even as he grew, he never outgrew his love of veggies.  He just stopped admitting it, that’s all.

Then, years later, when Peeps came into our lives, he produced a recipe for Beef and Broccoli, something that was sure to be a hit!  I’m not quite sure where the recipe originated – the copy we have now is simply the text of an email, dated November 16, 2000, to Peeps.  From Peeps.  He had evidently come across the recipe online and wanted to keep it, and, since this was before the days of Google Notebook, he emailed it to himself.

PhotobucketMy husband is so clever, isn’t he?

Now the recipe calls for sirloin, which is all well and good.  But a while back, we picked up a package of “beef tenderloin tips” super cheap, so we split it into meal-sized packages and (you guessed it!) shoved them in the freezer.  Now this isn’t filet mignon.  Not really – it’s not steaks, just chunks of beef, probably trimmed from steaks.  But it’s tenderloin, which means it’s, well, super tender and will do well in a quick, hot stir-fry.  (That, and if it’s a little under- or over-cooked, it won’t hurt it a bit!)


We’ve taken a few liberties with the original recipe over the years, even beyond swapping the sirloin for tenderloin – but not many!  Although the original called for equal parts of beef and broccoli, I am still of the opinion that the broccoli should be doubled.

Peeps thinks the beef should be doubled.

So we compromise.  He uses the biggest package of beef tenderloin he can find in the freezer, and I get the biggest head of broccoli I can find.   And sneak in a little more broccoli and an extra carrot or two when he’s not looking.  (Don’t tell him.)


That’s what marriage is all about, right?  Compromise.

So, once you’ve straightened out the broccoli-to-beef ratio, the rest is pretty standard stir-fry 101.

You’re going to coat the meat in a little corn starch, then brown it in a rippin’ hot pan.

Remove that and add your vegetables – since we’re just using broccoli and a few small carrots , we can cook all the veggies together.

Add the aromatics (garlic + ginger), then return the meat.


Now we just add the sauce to the rest of the stuff, give it a couple of minutes to reduce, and you’re done.

If the broccoli isn’t quite done (could happen – depends on how big your florets are), just lid the pan for a minute or two and let it steam.  Just don’t forget and end up with mushy stir-fry.   Yuck.

And there you go – Peeps’s Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry.  That he got somewhere, but we’re not exactly sure where, but it doesn’t matter because it’s ours now.

And now, it’s yours, too.  Here’s a printable version, filled with details and specifics and measurements and stuff!



1. judy - May 19, 2010

That looks so good I swear I can smell the smells all the way here.

Why, thanks, Judy! It’s really pretty simple, too.

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