Slivered Snowpea and Chicken Salad
Milo’s teacher thinks there may be a chance that the little mule will do his homework if I set a timer and ignore him, saying that I have work to do too. We both get a half hour. Unfortunately, it’s the half hour in which I was planning to sprawl on the couch with a good book, but once a temp, always a temp. I still remember how to fake it. Milo doesn’t even bother. He just hopped up and wandered away, bitching to beat the band. I’m afraid if I look up, I’ll see that someone else has helped himself to my couch. Oh wait, he’s back. Better look busy before Big Daddy comes and yells at us both.
Slivered Snowpea and Chicken Salad
Poach a pound’s worth of boneless, skinless chicken breast in half a box of organic chicken stock. Does anybody else think that seems a tad cannibalistic? Like serving Titus Andronicus a stew seasoned with his own chopped-up children? Oh well, steer the course. You too, Milo. Ten minutes ought to do it for the chicken, and I’m sure there are certain high-achieving little girls in his first grade class who could bang out all their Word Wall words in half that time, but my boy appears to have skipped ahead and is now cutting something out with scissors.
Idle hands are the devil’s work, so let’s quit staring into space and wash and string a pound of snow peas. This is probably what those mainstream family magazines have in mind when start in to yakking about fun kitchen activities in which the whole family can be involved. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a one for unsolicited advice…and by the time I go begging for it, it’s usually too late. Say, has anyone else noticed that those mainstream family mags are starting to tank at an alarming rate? I just received obituaries for both Child and Nick Jr. Family Fun. (Uh, anybody want to buy a service article about Six Super Ways to Keep from Killing Your Kids in the Former Yugoslavia?) What could this signify? Is it time for the freaks to take over the world? Because my timer hasn’t gone off yet.
Let’s look at this problem another way.
Q: If Mommy’s kitchen is three feet wide by six feet long, and she has zero helpers, how long will it take her to string a pound of snowpeas without drinking half a bottle of wine and turning into a creature that’s two-parts Bitchmother, three-parts Grounds for Divorce?
A: Back to that bed of nails, you!
If you’ve followed instructions carefully, you should be ready to drain the chicken. Reserve the stock for another purpose. (Other than that, Mr. Andronicus, how did you like the stew?)
Don’t feel bad if you’re still stringing snow peas, because we’re ten minutes shy of resetting that timer for our third time. If you finish before we do, stack them up, and slice them into matchsticks. It’s a mindless activity, but one I find oddly therapeutic. Also, that’s the way you’ll need them later on, so might as well get a jump on it.
Speaking of which, this salad isn’t going to dress itself. No, I’m not going to dress it for you. It’s your salad. You dress it. And don’t whine. For all the time you just spent whining, you could have been done by now. What do you mean you don’t what the ingredients are!? Oh, for the love of…here!
3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
and 2 tablespoons of your favorite nut or seed butter. (My favorite’s whichever one the kids refuse to eat, before it goes rancid and I have to throw it away. Almond butter worked great. Sunflower Seed butter was nice, too, even if it was a couple of warm days shy of joining Child and Nick Jr. Family Fun.)
Mince a couple cloves of garlic and a tablespoon’s worth of ginger, and stir fry them in a teaspoon of sesame oil in a big pan or wok.
Sorry to veer off topic, but Heaven help me, I’m on the verge of biting my tongue in half, that’s how dearly I’d love to feed this child the answers. Anything to put an end to this hellish exercise! Just between you, me, and the snowpeas, it’s the Cat in the Hat.
Oh right, the snowpeas. Throw them in the wok now, before the garlic has a melt down on you. Stir them around for the minute or two it will take Milo to write the letter C. You don’t want to be serving dinner at midnight, after all.
Throw the snowpeas into a bowl with the dressing and the shredded up chicken breast, toss in a couple of slivered almonds or whatever and let’s eat before that infernal timer goes off a fourth time. There’s no reason why this should have taken you more than thirty minutes.
In other news, doesn't THIS look delicious? I'm not sure how long it will keep, though, so if anyone has any suggestions on how to cook it...
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