While I've been restraining myself from picking at my tooth, a few of the Kikukat house denizens have been stricken with World Cup fever. The Help is cheering for the team from Argentina. D2 seems obsessed with Robben and the Netherlands. She was thrilled when they upset defending champion Spain. Aki is cheering for Brazil, the land of his ancestors, and Shaka, thinking waaaaay outside the cage, wants Germany to take it. D1 wants nothing to do with World Cup, and I'm with D1. I'm glad most of the cheering and game-watching of the opening fanfare occurred while I was at work.
For the past two weeks, I worked as a paraprofessional with students who, per IEP team decision, qualified (due to regression and recoupment issues) for extended school year (ESY). I had the opportunity to work with students whom I would generally not see in my normal teaching line during the school year. It was an eye-opening experience, and I have new-found respect for educational assistants. While teachers design instruction, paraprofessionals are often tasked with maintaining consistent implementation of the actual instruction. These past two weeks entailed lots of repetition and giving lots of wait time. I also did some dribbling and shooting (basketball skills). And like teachers and school administrators, paraprofessionals are also terribly underpaid. Mercifully, I did not need to change a diaper or bring home any soiled underwear for washing (I did this when I was at a local elementary school a few years ago. A parent cried and thanked me for treating her son as if he was my own. I opted not to tell her I let one of my own kids eat a can of corn for dinner.)
My stint as a paraprofessional ended on Friday, and today I'm at a workshop with teachers and administrators. This workshop goes on for four awful days. Might as well be four weeks. . . I don't know how I'm gonna make it through the next few days. I'm pretty sure the students at ESY were better company! The students are always fun. . .adults? Not so much.
So for the next few days, I'll be cooking stuff like this sticky chicken wing dish which can be thrown together quickly and uses ingredients I already have on hand.
I got the original version of this recipe from Food & Wine magazine. I eventually do try recipes I find in magazines, but when I came across this recipe, I actually went to the market, bought chicken wings, and cooked this for dinner that night. While The Help liked the chicken, I thought it was too spicy for my taste. Tweaking the recipe, I reduced the amount of ginger and chili pepper so it was more palatable for me. Now its mild enough where even D2 can eat it (D1 can eat anything spicy so the original version was fine for her). Leftovers reheat nicely.
click on recipe title for printable recipe
2-3 lbs chicken wings
1 tbsp ginger, grated
2 chili peppers
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick (2-3" long)
1/3 c shoyu
1/3 c shaoxing wine
1/3 c water
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp oyster sauce
Fry chicken wings in a non stick skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side. Add ginger, chili peppers, star anise and cinnamon. Stir fry for a minute. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cover and increase heat to medium. Cook for 15 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thickened.