The other day I was walking through Target BD says if anyone ever wants to find me they can go wait in the Target parking lot and eventually they will find me…I think he is exaggerating a little but whatever. Anyway, I am walking through and see a sweet little baby girl sitting in the buggy and smiling at me as her mama shops. I smile at her and she hides her face. So sweet. Her mama smiles at me and says “oh she likes you!” I smile and say “well I have 4 of my own. My youngest is 6 now and my oldest is 11. We are doing things like science fair projects and stuff”. I am careful not to say to her “enjoy it because it goes by so quickly.” I know she has heard it 1000 times and it always made a little sad and irritated when someone said that to me. Still does. Sure does go by fast but no point in dwelling on that. She says, a bit wistfully or regretfully (I could not tell) “oh we will be there one day.”But I tell her “oh enjoy this part but there is a lot to look forward to as they get older. We actually all go to a movie now! We have fun.” She looks relieved and says “oh wow. That sounds nice.”
And I realized how much I used to dread my kids getting older. As if somehow it was wrong, but truth is it is so right. Just right. I enjoyed their babyhood but it was a CR-aaaaaazzzzzzy time in my life.
Now it may be because I had them back to back. Literally. It was a sweet time in my life and I enjoyed it as much as my exhausted mind would allow me to…but this time is pretty precious too. I am enjoying this stage more than I imagined I would, but to be honest I have never thought much about having older kids. I have had to take it one day at a time. Living in the trenches can do that to you.
This brings me to a new thing I am digging about my kids growing up some. I am sure ya’ll have heard it said “and the teacher becomes the student…” and I can definitely apply that to parenting, especially in this new place we are in. They teach me just by doing. I am usually the one who decides what will he made for supper because well…if I don’t make a decision early in the day and get my stuff together, we would end up eating cereal or take out pizza every single night. To be honest though, sometimes deciding what to fix for supper gets a bit redundant and well…exhausting. Especially when I try to keep it interesting but also make sure most of the family will like it. My head spins sometimes. The kids or BD will make a suggestion from time to time, but for the most part, the buck…or menu…stops here. But the other day, my 9 year old, who has recently discovered a passion for honey chicken at a local Chinese buffet (shout to Sumo…holla!!), googled honey chicken and found a recipe for me. She wanted me to try to recreate it at home. Now, I am all about experimentation in the kitchen, but on my schedule. See…I want help but I want it when I want it. Ah…the plight of motherhood…or is it womanhood?? I am workinSo I took the recipe and said I would get around to it. The next day, I thought to myself, why not? Why not try to make honey chicken at home?? My child is brilliant!! (She really is) And while I am at it, why not try my hand at my favorite, won ton soup. I had been meaning to get around to it but I never had. Why not indeed? So I got the ingredients and last Friday night I set out to recreate some of our Chinese food favorites at home. I guess if I tell the truth, it turned out well. Me taking off down that path with my daughter was fun and it definitely yielded some yummy results in the kitchen. This just goes to demonstrate that though the days of me being head honcho in the kitchen all the time might be over, we are coming to a fun new place where my kiddos are having a say, finding what they like and finding their voice. They are, whether meaning to or not, encouraging me to try new things. Just another thing to relish about these precious humans I birthed getting a little older. There is more to it, we all know that, but it shows me that this part of the journey can be fun. Not that them growing up some means that they will wash their own laundry yet, or take care of themselves when they are sick…and that’s ok. I am not ready for all that. We are moving into new territory, but we will ease into it. As Shelby says in Steel Magnolias, “There are still good times to be had Miss Claree!!” but I will embrace where I am headed rather than wish it away, but mostly I will enjoy my honey chicken loving kids and do the only thing a mama can do…make some more of this mind blowing, über delish honey chicken.
Honey chicken lovers delight. This recipe from http://www.damndelicious.net is easy to follow, pretty straight forward and yields some tasty honey chicken. So here’s to braving new territory, accepting life as is, and some really good honey chicken. Enjoy!!!
Stuff you need~
1 pound of chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1 cup Buttermilk
1 cup flour
for the sauce~
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
what to do with the stuff~
Heat your oil in a skillet. Add your buttermilk to a bowl. Put your flour in another bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Set aside.
Now…your oil should be getting ready to fry. One piece at a time, dredge the chicken in flour then put in buttermilk and then back in flour again. Press to coat well with flour. Working in batches, add the battered chicken to the hot oil and cook until crispy. About 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a large baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain the chicken.
Ok…in a small saucepan, add Apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and red pepper flakes. Over medium heat, bring this mixture to a boil and then reduce heat. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until mixture has thickened up some. 2-3 minutes should do it. Drizzle this luscious stuff all over those little fried chicken pieces. This turns them into heaven. Heavenly honey chicken. Amen.