#12 Stories…

Everybody has a story. Each of us is a chronicle of sorts. Today I learned part of the story of a woman who has run a sewing business since 1972. imagine that, the very same year I was born. I’ve been waiting for nearly two weeks to meet her. Part of having a stroke means you are not allowed to drive a car until a Consultant Neurologist signs the requisite piece of paper saying it is medically safe for you to do so. I’m still waiting for my follow up appointment so I am currently dependent on my husband to drive me around. This means I have to coordinate trips to happen on the weekend, when he’s not working.

So today off we went with the skids in tow in my blue mini van that looks like a tank. I call her Bertha. Big, blue and safe and all mine :)I bought her second hand with money I saved up and I totally love her! Can’t wait to be able to drive again. Anyway we were on a mission to get a soda stream with Xmas money and the kids beans and bean bags. We managed this in record time for us and then headed off on the 20 minute drive to Fremantle to visit Port Sewing Centre. I remembered from the previous week when I was first trying to source the missing bits for my machine, that I’d called up and she had told me that sometimes she shuts shop early so I decided to ring before hand to be sure she was still open. Yes she said she was still there and that she would wait. Fantastic!

When we finally found it I was not disappointed. I grabbed my thrifted machine and one of the kids and in we went. It was like a little treasure trove of all things sewing and sewing related. There were old things and new things and me being a novice, there were things I’ve never seen before. It was a feast for the eyes, organised but cosy, clean with just the right amount of dust. Rows of different coloured cottons and ribbons, buttons, and elastics. Bolts of fabric in various hues and patterns and zips of all sorts and colours too.

Out came a lovely woman from the back, a man who had arrived before me asked if she had a certain part for an old Singer treadle sewing machine. She replied in the negative and said his best bet was to try online. She also told him she would be closing down. Oh no! I was a bit devastated as I’d only just found her! he asked when she would be closing but she said she wasn’t really sure. I said I was so sorry to hear it. She went on to explain that she’d been having trouble paying the rent for some time and just couldn’t catch up. She said she’s had her shop since 1972! I said wow the year I was born. Her and the other gentleman both laughed and he said ‘half your luck’ and I laughed too. He said thank you and left and she turned to me and asked me what the problem was with the machine. First I thanked her for waiting. I explained what I was looking for and she started having a rummage in some drawers and went out to the back part of the shop. She came back with two of the things I needed! Awesome!! She started talking to me about her day and that it had been a hard one for her as the building owner had come in and told her she wasn’t trying hard enough and that she should have a closing down sale in her window. He also threatened to lock her out. She looked so crestfallen. How awful to have worked so hard for so many years to end up in such a difficult and stressful situation. Her blue eyes sparkled as she spoke more of her story to me and explained that when she went home today she would sit down and have a cup of tea and just forget about it all for a bit. As I set about to pay her for my goodies, I told her that my heart really goes out to her and that I wish her all the best. I put my arms around her and gave her a hug. She hugged back. She even gave me a card with her phone number should I have any problems with my machine in the future and told me to call on her if I needed any help with it. What a lovely human being. I hope things work out for her and for the best. Everybody has a story. I’m so sorry I didn’t get any pictures of the shop but I’m hoping to get back there soon and then I definitely will.

Port Sewing Centre thank you google images.

Now the recipe for Rescue Ramen as promised.

Firstly you don’t need a thermomix for this at all, regular frying pan or sauce pan would be fine. As I said yesterday, I was just minimising washing up 😉 because sometimes you just need to make things easier on yourself.

What you need aka what I used:

any oil about 30ml

1 x onion peeled, halved and sliced.

2 x Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced thinly.

1 package of shelf ready Ramen noodles

Chilli flakes to taste

2 x generous teaspoons garlic paste

2 x generous teaspoons ginger paste

1 chicken stock cube

2 capfuls Shao Xing cooking wine

2 capfuls teriyaki or soy sauce

1 1/2 cups of water

2 teaspoons of Chinese Chilli sauce or any hot sauce will do really.

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn – you could use any frozen veg or fresh veg, it just depends what you have in your fridge or pantry 🙂

Method aka what I did:

So build your kettle and while thats happening open your noodles and pop them in a decent sized container. When the kettle has boiled pour the water over the noodles to over completely and set them aside.

Then peel and slice your onion

Next put your onion in your pan with your oil and turn it to a medium heat and give it a stir every minute – if your using a thermo just set it to Varoma, stir, reverse and have you timer set for about 3 1/2 mins.

Add your garlic and ginger paste and continue to sauté. if you haven’t already, slice your chicken and add it to you thermo or pan.

Keep giving it a stir. If your using a thermo just increase the timer to 15 minutes and maybe check that all the chicken is getting nicely turned.

Then add your Shao Xing and teriyaki let it cook for about a minute. Next add your chilli flakes, water and stock cube, and last but not least add your Korean Chilli oil to taste (or whatever hot sauce your using)

Now it’s all bubbling away nicely and smelling divine you can add in your veg for the last few minutes.

While thats happening just separate and drain your noodles – give them a rinse if you like – and then plonk them straight into your pan and combine. As I was using George (my thermie) I put my noodles into a larger serving bowl then poured my broth, chicken and veg mixture on top and combined it all. I added some more of the Chinese chilli oil my mum bought while she was here. She got it from the Chinese Dim Sum Restaurant where we had lunch a couple of times 🙂 The staff were more than delighted for her to buy some and trust me it is the best ever.

Anyway so thats my recipe. If you try it I hope you love it xo.

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