I love a good rollercoaster….
And theme parks…..
Oh! – and that feeling you get when your tummy lurches as you drive over that little dip in the road….love that too.
Reading this, it may seem safe to assume that I am a thrill seeker. Maybe even a lover of challenges and life’s scary moments….. Well, how WRONG you are.
You see, the roller coaster ride called ‘parenting’? Well thats in a whole other theme park that does not come with a map, ride ratings or an expensive souvenir shirt at the end.
On paper, i should thrive on this adventure laden ride – It has many ups and downs, dips and troughs, highs and stomach lurching lows and much laughter and smiles everyday.
Yes – I have whooped and walloped, cheered and danced, and looked ahead with excited anticipation at every milestone my kids have achieved. But this week I had my first overwhelming cloud of panic envelope me and it went something like this….
STOP! STOP! STOP! Stop this damn roller coaster ride. They are growing too fast! We are getting off now! let us off, let us off, LET US OFF!
‘Need a trip to the psychologist? ‘ I hear you say. Well maybe I should or maybe all parents have this little thought bubble pop up every now and then. But it hit me like a tonne of bricks this week and i was not expecting it at all.
So, what was the hair raising turn of events made a thrill seeking mother fall to her knees and scream for the pimply face attendant to stop the ride?
Two wobbly teeth.
Last night, Master 5 proudly alerted me to his two wobbly teeth, and puffed out his chest out with all the pride a ‘big boy’ can manage. I put on my ‘excited and happy’ mummy face and crooned how wonderful it was ….but inside i was crying.
What a silly thing to do. What an odd milestone to become unhinged on.
But I love those little baby teeth sitting in their cute little rows. All white and milky, young and new. I have watched each one of them pop up out of his gums with such excitement and now, just when they are all settled in, they fall out….
And in their place will come adult teeth….ADULT TEETH! My five year old cannot have anything adult like in him yet? Surely not.
So what do I do now?
- Well, we have given notice to the tooth fairy
- I have been tickling him more just so I can get a glimpse of those baby teeth in all their glory before they are gone.
- I have taken a photo of them (ok – yes, maybe a psychologist is warranted)
- And I have started to chop his apples and carrots instead of insisting he just bite into them whole
With this last point in mind, I could not have planned this dinner any better if I tried.
This dinner is a favourite of the ‘Stand in Chef’ and since it was his birthday, it was the dinner I had planned to cook all week.
The kids have not had this meal before, but it comprises of raw carrot, celery and cucumber. I thought they would be ok with it as they seem to prefer raw veggies to cooked ones. It has a mild satay sauce ( they love peanut butter, and it is not overly spicy). And now that we have wobbly teeth to contend with at the dinner table as well, it is perfect as the veggies are finely julienned – so not big hard crunchy bits.
I originally got this recipe out of a Jill Dulplix recipe book, and it was titled ‘Bang Bang Chicken’.
Weirded name – I am not sure what it means and probably should google it but I have never been bothered too because it just taste so good. Who cares!
It is fresh, delicious and light, but has the luscious decadence of a satay peanut sauce drizzled over it. It is a cold dish, but i serve it with hot jasmine rice and think it just passes muster for a winter dinner (but ideally it is a cracker of a summer meal)
It is easily assembled, with the only fiddly/time consuming bit being the julienne of vegetables. If you have a mandolin or a good grating option on a food processing appliance it is much faster.
Firstly, poach the chicken in the aromatics until it is cooked and shred the meat up finely with your fingers.
Add this chicken to the vegetables and toss together along with a little sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. For the sake of the kids, i leave the spring onions out of the main salad and just place it on top of the ‘big souls’ serves as a garnish….along with some chilli.
It is then time to make the satay sauce. Combine all the ingredients until a thick peanut satay sauce is made. Drizzle over the vegetables. Serve with hot rice.
Done and Dusted
So the verdict…
Initially, master 5 years turned his nose up at the satay sauce. It was brown and ‘peppery’ but he managed to eat most of it and there was not much complaining.
I served Miss 18 months as a separate pile of chicken, carrot and rice. I did not offer her satay sauce as i did not think she would like it. But, she insisted on some and enjoyed dipping her chicken and rice into the sauce. Go figure.
She donated most of her carrot to Master 5 years plate, but on the whole there were a lot of new flavours for her to experience and explore so i was chuffed that she gave it all a go.
So on the whole, a successful meal
- a yummy ‘wobbly tooth’ friendly meal.
- The ‘stand in chef’ was pleased (HAPPY BIRTHDAY WE LOVE YOU)
- I kept watching my kids teeth as they ate and revealed in their milky whiteness
- and just to sooth my jumbled emotions – an awesome chocolate cake to end the night.
Phew….what a week, lets see what the roller coaster ride brings next week.
BANG BANG CHICKEN, adapted from Jill Dupleix – Good Cooking, the new essentials
For the poaching broth
2 chicken breast fillets
2 slices of peeled fresh ginger
small handful of peppercorns
Add all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and poach for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave in the hot poaching liquid for a further 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove for the pan and shred finely with your fingers. Set aside.
For the Salad
1 – 2 carrots
2 spring onions finely sliced
1 chilli finely sliced to garnish
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
Finely julienne the carrot, celery and cucumber (for quicker results use a mandolin or grater for the carrot and celery. You might not be able to grate cucumber successfully). Add to a large bowl along with the spring onions (or do as i do and leave the spring onions separate and use as a garnish) and mix through sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. Toss in toasted sesame seeds. Then, add the shredded chicken and toss through.
Satay Sauce dressing
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs sugar and salt free crunchy peanut butter
1 tbs sweet chilli sauce
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp castor sugar
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
approx 100ml of water
Mix all the ingredients (except the water) until you have a thick paste. Then, gradually whisk the water in until it is runny enough to drizzle but still quite thick. When ready to serve, drizzle over the salad. Serve with warm steamed jasmine rice.