Here’s the thing. This whole no meat thing is difficult. I made it until January 11th when I used chicken stock for my udon noodle soup. I thought I was okay because the recipe called for chicken but I said, “Ha, not so fast. I’ve made it a week without any meat so you’re not going to ruin my streak now.” And then I realized I was talking to the back of a Simply Asian udon noodle box. For some reason I thought that chicken stock was made from chicken flavor, which I guess it technically is but that chicken flavor involves boiling actual chickens. Now that we’ve established how smart I am, let’s discuss how I was assigned two clients last week.
Part of the requirement for everyone completing their practicum this semester is to see clients. The students who are getting their master’s in mental health counseling see community members while everyone getting their master’s in school counseling (yours truly) sees undergrad students from the university. I was given two students on academic probation who I have to see for five sessions each, and based on the previous counselor’s notes in their file they are definitely not looking forward to it. This was confirmed by the fact that they’re ignoring my emails and calls. Side note: I have the keys to a file cabinet with all the clients’ files AND the door to the records room. If stuff like this makes me happy I can’t imagine what having a real job will be like. Benefits? Entire summers off? A job that pays more than $9 an hour? I don’t know if I will be able to handle it.
A friend of mine and I were also chosen to help lead the intro to counseling class that all the first semester students take. It’s a big responsibility because I’m in charge of the practice group counseling sessions that the new students do. Basically they all take turns being the client and counselor and practice the counseling skills they learned that week, like reflecting meaning or identifying emotions. My job will be to do stuff like pick out what they did well/need to work on and offer suggestions when they stare at me like a deer in headlights because they can’t think of what to say next. The incoming class is pretty small this semester so I’ll only have 3-4 students in my group each week. I somehow have to make that stretch to a 90 minute session, and if these kids (okay let’s be honest they’re probably all older than me) are as anxious as I was the first session it’ll be a rough. I almost passed out the first time I had to recite the limits of confidentiality schpiel (spiel?) all counselors give when they’re with new clients. Luckily I’ve gotten over that. Otherwise I’d be the worst counselor if I just passed out cold while explaining that if I suspect abuse/neglect to a child, elder, or person with a disability I’m required by law to report it. So in order to stretch this first session out I’ve planned things like asking them which non-verbal technique is most important to them and why, what strengths and weaknesses will they bring to the counseling profession, and who their dream dinner guest is. Mine’s Judge Judy.
I guess I should briefly talk about the soup. For lack of finding a more descriptive adjective, it’s really, really good, especially for something that took about 15 minutes to throw together. Pretty inexpensive too, which is ideal. I probably spent $10 on the vegetables, stock, and noodles, and it was my lunch & dinner for two days. Like I said, the original recipe called for chicken but in order to make it vegetarian-friendly just leave it out but keep the boiled chicken juice like an idiot. Delicious.
Vegetable Udon Soup
Adapted from Simply Asia’s Chicken & Vegetable Udon Noodle recipe
Makes 6 servings
7 oz udon noodles
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger (I’m cheap and just sprinkled some ground ginger)
4 cups chicken stock (I guess you should probably use vegetable stock I don’t know)
1 cup carrots, julienned
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups snow peas, diced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced (I forgot these whoops)
- Cook udon noodles as directed on package. Drain well and rinse with cold water to prevent them from sticking.
- While your delicious noodles are cooking, heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic & ginger and cook for about a minute. Add stock, carrots, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. If you’re doing this while you’re also making the noodles you’re gonna be dealing with two boiling pots, so godspeed. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in snow peas and mushrooms. If you’re just using ground ginger throw a dash over the vegetables. Cook an additional 3 minutes.
- Technically you’re supposed to divide the noodles into 6 bowls and then ladle the soup in, but I just threw the noodles into the same pot because I wasn’t feeding 6 people, although I did eat almost half of it in one sitting. Garnish with green onions if you’re feeling bougie.