I always say I’m “from” Disney. Everything else about my hometown has changed so much that I literally don’t recognize most of it and anyway, I did really “grow up” at the Disney parks. The Magic Kingdom opened just a few months before I was born. To this day, stepping onto Main Street is like sitting in one of my grandma’s living rooms…well almost. In fact, when we lived in Washington state and took a trip down to Disneyland, I stood with my mouth hanging open the moment I stepped through the gates. It looked, sounded, smelled, so much like my Main Street that I could hardly believe I was in California not Florida. It was such a treat for a homesick FL girl, exactly what I needed at the time. Just a little Disney magic, I guess.
I remember being very little when we saw a model of Walt Disney’s vision for Epcot Center in an exhibit in a building on Disney World’s Main Street U.S.A. It really did look like a city from the future and I thought that somehow it would be in outer space like the city in the Jetson cartoons. When it was finally built and we were able to visit, it was completely different than I’d imagined but just as amazing.
My grandmother on my mom’s side started buying us year round passes as Christmas gifts so we could go anytime we wanted. I think we all were so grateful for those passes. Sometimes we would just go into the park to eat dinner or lunch and catch a few of our favorite rides and exhibits and it was always fabulous to take our German relatives when they would fly over for a visit. Times spent walking along behind them as my mom and Oma chatted away in German are some of my fondest memories. My sister, dad, and I would laugh along with them (they never stopped laughing…only I’d have to call it more of a cackle or guffaw) even when we had no idea what they were saying. Mom would try to translate but would inadvertently translate in English to us and in German to them which always cracked everyone up even more.
Somewhere along the way, we started eating our way through Epcot. Sometimes we would sit down to a nice meal in one of the restaurants, but usually we would nibble our way around the World Showcase throughout the day, picking our favorite things from each country. My husband and I still do this on occasion– quesadillas in Mexico, chocolate in Germany, shortbread in the U.K….always pastries in France. Fortunately, thanks to all the walking, we end up weighing less after a Disney trip than we did before we went.
My mom’s favorite thing to snack on at Epcot was these little teriyaki skewers she would buy at a stand in the Japanese pavilion. From the time she first discovered them, there was a bottle of teriyaki sauce in our refrigerator. I’ll bet there’s one in hers right now.
I thought of her and those bamboo skewered beef strips she loves so much when I was grilling these and it made me smile. Food is pretty cool that way.
1 lb. sirloin tip, trimmed of fat, thinly sliced, and cut into strips
10 to 12 bamboo skewers
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 T honey
2 cloves pressed or grated garlic
2 tsp. grated, fresh ginger root
1 T peanut oil
1/2 c. green onion slices
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Combine marinade ingredients.
Add beef strips. Marinate for one hour.
Remove the beef and thread onto skewers. Pour marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened. Brush on beef skewers and grill until done, about 8 minutes, rotating to brown on all sides.
Makes 4 servings.