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Working, mostly, and dealing with the usual late-winter hassles.

February is almost always a thin month around the household, budget-wise:  the winter electric bill (this being far northern New Hampshire) is enough to make strong women weep, the registration and auto inspection (and the associated necessary repairs) come due at this time, and no matter how careful I am to line up sources of income for midwinter, something always comes around to knock my plans into a cocked hat.  If the plans themselves don’t fizzle out like damp firecrackers, then some unexpected expense leaps out of the underbrush and shouts “Stand and deliver!” like an 18th-century highwayman.

Also, it’s been cold.

But here – in lieu of a half-formed rant on the decline of the past perfect tense, or another round of homonym peeves – have a recipe.

Spicy Stir-Fried Ground Beef

(My source for this recipe called it “Korean Beef,” but I suspect it’s approximately as Korean as my Great-Aunt Nellie.  What it is, though, is cheap and fast and good, and everybody in the house likes it.)

Ingredients

    1 pound lean ground beef
    1/4 cup brown sugar

    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1 Tablespoon sesame oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
    1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    salt and pepper
    1 bunch green onions, sliced

Instructions

Heat a wok or a large skillet (but it works better with a wok) over medium heat. Brown the ground beef in the sesame oil. Add the garlic towards the end of browning and cook for a couple of minutes. Drain the fat.

Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper and red pepper. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Serve over steamed rice and top with green onions.

If you like things really spicy, as we do here, you can throw in some Szechuan chili paste, or Korean hot red bean paste, or sriracha to up the octane.

This feeds three people amply, and four people reasonably.  More than four people, and you probably want to up the amount of ground beef and adjust the other ingredients accordingly.