Thursday, November 22, 2007

The new compliment...

Well, we've had our first icy winter blast.

This morning, the girlies and I burst out of the back door of our house, bundled up to within an inch of our lives, backpacks flapping behind us, only to find that the Loser Cruiser was solidly frozen to the ground in the middle of our driveway.

Not. One. Door. Would. Open.

And, we were running late.

Ab-so-lute-ly Typical.

I had MEANT to tidy up my space in the garage and park the car properly yesterday afternoon, when I first got "wind" that a storm was imminent... But, I was working all morning, and then cooking all afternoon... and, quite honestly, I forgot all about it. Our autumn has been so beautiful, and the warm-ish (wet) weather has lasted for such an unusually elongated period of time, I think that I was actually subconsciously in DENIAL that winter would ever actually get here.


Of course, that's not actually one of the words that crossed my lips this morning, as I was frantically hacking away at the thick layer of ice on my windshield, while the children did their "Ferris Bueller Hopeful Dance" on the freshly fallen snow, beside me. The words I used (under my breath, of COURSE) were far more colourful and blasphemous. Hey, the perk of having specialized in English Literature is that one becomes familiar with the fruitier Elizabethan curses. And what's the point of spending all that time and money on fancy-schmantzy degrees if one isn't allowed to dust them off and USE THEM every once in awhile?


Anyway, there I was, hacking and cursing fluently, determined to get my little girls through the door of the school before the bell rang to dismiss them at 3.30...

But as blood-boilingly frustrated as I felt at the time, I just couldn't bring myself to regret having "frittered away" my afternoon in the kitchen. Because last night at dinnertime, every single member of the family sat down together at my table, and extolled the virtues of the meal that I had painstakingly prepared for them.

My husband even invented a new compliment. He took an enormous mouthful, closed his eyes and chewed for a moment, then gazed blissfully in my direction and said:

"Oh, my God. You should BLOG this one."

So, here it is, dear readers. The perfect meal. At least, for my family. It is relatively quick to prepare, and I can guarantee you, there will be NO leftovers! Most importantly, it will bring all the members of your family together at the table, eating the SAME repast at the SAME time. It is easy for little people to handle and feed to themselves, which will save endless time and energy. It will give you all plenty of time to chat, share details about your daily activities, and enjoy each other's company. Isn't that REALLY what good food is all about? In my opinion, good food brings us all together... a shared meal feeds the spirit, as well as the stomach.

Sesame Chicken Strips with Garlic Mayonnaise

1/2 c mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried mustard (I like Keene's, and tend to add a little more than this for extra "zing")

Scant 1/2 c all purpose flour
Scant 1/2 c sesame seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 extra large egg
2 tbsp milk
4 or 5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise (against the "grain"-- it holds a shape better this way)
3/4 c vegetable oil (I actually use canola)
Salt to taste

Combine the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice and mustard in a small serving bowl. Cover, and place in the fridge until serving time (this also stops me from eating it by the spoonful, before the meal has even STARTED).

Combine flour, sesame seeds and cayenne on a large piece of wax paper.

Whisk egg and milk in a small, wide bowl.

One at a time, dip the chicken strips into the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drain off, then coat evenly with the seasoned flour-and-sesame-seed mixture.

Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry strips, in batches if necessary, for about 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and sprinkle them with a little salt. Keep them in a slightly-warm oven until ready to serve.

I serve the chicken with the dipping sauce, alongside whipped potatoes (btw, the key to beautifully whipped potatoes is to add plenty of piping hot milk and butter whilst beating the crap out of them until not. one. single. lump. remains) and a vegetable (my kids love steamed broccoli with shredded old cheddar cheese melted on top).

And there you have it. The ultimate family meal. Made perfect by the people with whom you share it.

It's blog-worthy. Trust me.


painted maypole said...

but did you make it to school on time? ;)

mrinz said...

MMM your recipe looks so good. I will definitely try it.

It is so hard for someone here who has never experienced it to imagine how a vehicle could actually freeze!

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

We have the same saying our house, except we sometimes have words about who "gets" the story for their blog.

I'll have to try out the recipe...thanks!

shauna said...

yum! Another great recipe I've got to try...

And I've been sufficiently warned. I've been putting off the task of clearing out the garage so my van will be defrosted and ready to go on the morning of that first freeze. (Thank you, friend! Just one more thing to be thankful for).

(By the way, I love the image of everyone running to the car, their backpacks flapping behind them!)

Leeann said...

I think I just ate 7 lbs of turkey...and it's little brother...and that STILL looked good!

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