I had a fun week last week tweeting on behalf of the Church of England as @OurCofE. I managed to capture my tweets on Storify, so if you missed it, you can check it out over at Storify (I can’t upload it on here because WordPress block it). There are lots of pictures from the parish and tales of day to day life here. It was a great experience to try and share a little of our Vicarage life and what the Church of England looks like in action in the multicultural inner city. The @OurCofE project continues every week with a Christian from somewhere in the CofE tweeting. It makes for a fascinating insight into the wide variety of parishes and ministries within the church.
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The Vicar and I first ate Bi Bim Bap (pronounced Bee Bim Bap) in Singapore, in a tiny Korean restaurant near the Vicar’s office. In those days he wasn’t a vicar, but an engineer working for a structural steel construction company. Bi Bim Bap means ‘mixed rice’ in Korean and my version isn’t terribly authentic, but we still love it. It’s simple and delicious and it’s my go-to recipe after cooking roast beef (we always have brisket) for Sunday lunch.
- Rice (I use Thai fragrant jasmine)
- Beef – minute steak if you don’t have any leftovers from Sunday lunch
- At least couple of veggies to stir fry. Choose from bean sprouts/carrots/Chinese cabbage/baby corn/peppers etc – whatever you like or have in the fridge.
- Light soy sauce
- Vegetable oil
- Barbecue sauce – we use Bibigo Bulgogi Beef Barbecue sauce, which is authentically Korean, but any barbecue sauce will do.
- Chilli sauce – again we use the Korean one available in our astonishing multicultural Tescos, but any will do.
Cook your rice as usual. Then prepare all your ingredients: chop the veg, including a clove or two of garlic per vegetable, leaving each vegetable in a separate bowl. Slice your beef thinly. Make sure you have your oil, soy sauce & sugar handy. Hopefully your rice will be cooked and ready to go now. Heat up your wok or stir fry pan with a splash of oil. Pop in one portion of chopped garlic and once it is golden, add your first vegetable. Stir fry until cooked, then add a dash of soy (around 1/2tbspn per person) and a sprinkle of sugar (1/4tspn per person). Then put the cooked veg back in the bowl. Repeat with second vegetable. And then third, fourth etc if you’re feeling keen, but two vegetables is fine, honestly.
Then pop another dash of oil in your wok and add the beef. Stir fry until cooked (heated through if using leftovers) and add the barbecue sauce. If we’re using leftovers I also add leftover onion gravy at this point – so delicious. Heat through.
Then, using a separate frying pan, fry an egg for each person who’d like one – the Engineer is not keen, so his Bi Bim Bap comes egg free.
Now assemble your dish: rice at the bottom/side, vegetables and beef arranged in little piles on top, fried egg to top it all off. Squirt with chilli sauce to taste, then serve. Mixing is done by the person eating.
I would love to learn to make kimchi, the spicy pickled chilli cabbage dish, to accompany this. All recipes gratefully accepted!
I am being The Church of England this week! I have the password and login details and am tweeting as @OurCofE, telling people about what life is like as a Christian in this tiny corner of the world. I’m trying to tell stories about our life here in the Vicarage and about our parish and life here. I’m taking lots of pictures!
Come the end of the week I’ll try and upload some of the pics here on the blog, so I have a good record. Today was really sunny, so everything looks optimistic and jolly around the parish.
Are you free in Oxford tonight, in the Isle of Wight on Friday, in Essex on Saturday or near Harrow on Sunday? You should get yourself to Andrew Peterson‘s concert with Eric Peters. They are both American singer songwriters who tell the gospel story powerfully in song. You might remember Andrew Peterson from this blog before – he’s the author of the much loved Matthew’s Begats. He and his friend Eric sing of God’s grace and goodness in creation, in tough times, in the Lord Jesus. We heard them in Birmingham last night and enjoyed it very much and came home laden with new music to listen to.
Andrew sang this song which includes the lines:
I thought that all my struggles
Would be victories by now
But I confess
That the mess is there.
Just the song for me!
And Eric sang this:
So, my recommendation is that if you’re available, you should go. Really. Details of the concerts can be found on Andrew’s website – scroll to the bottom of the page to find the links.
A lovely lady came back to our house after church today with her kids. They’ve been coming along for a few weeks – we’ve known them longer – and the kids wanted to play with the Engineer so they all piled back for a bit before lunch. We’re planning the whole family to join us for a meal in a couple of weeks so that her husband can join us too. It was great to chat with her and get to know her better and before she left I asked her for her mobile number, so I could send her reminders about the activities for the kids over half term (Dreamer organises some brilliant informal drop in sessions in the afternoons most holidays now).
I’ve never properly asked her name I don’t think, but I have been calling her one thing. Just to check, I asked her how to spell it, and she gave me a different name. A lovely name, but unusual. She told me she often calls herself something else (that I’d been calling her) when she meets new people because it was more familiar to them. This made me sad – that she’d felt the need to change her name. She also said that she prefers her real name, so I’ll be using that from now on.
If we’d not had that longer time today I’d not have known her real name. A quick five minutes after church doesn’t allow us to really get to know one another. To know each other by name. We need time to get to know one another. The challenge in a busy world is to make and take that time. So that we can begin to know one another as the Lord knows his people:
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
We’ve had some builders doing some work on the Vicarage this week. Because they couldn’t actually fly, they had scaffolding put up the side of the house so they could access our roof. There’s been a damp wall in the attic since we moved in six years ago and they’ve at last got round to having a look from the outside. They found the problem – missing flashing and some poor tiling work. So they’ve been up and sealed it all up. We’re pleased it’s been sorted. And I’m even more pleased that I didn’t have to go up there myself – three storeys of Victorian ceilings make for a bit of a skycraper. Especially not in the bitter cold and sleet that came a little later on.
On my way over to the church hall to prepare for the consumption of soup and flapjack at Lunch Club Lite today, I took a couple of pics in the churchyard. One of the church looking fantastic in the chilly morning sun. The other, alas, of a random bit of flytipping. Or perhaps there’s someone who likes to sit and then practice some balancing tricks between the East end of the church and the Vicarage garden.
Thankfully, Ministry Trainee King spent the morning clearing the grounds, so the chair is no longer cluttering the churchyard. Glad that he’s in charge over there – it’s enough for me to be decluttering the Vicarage (four items gone today, mostly kids’ things that are too small).