I can hardly wait.
It is now very noticeable that the days are shorter. The Help and I went out just after 6 pm last night and it was already dark. As we passed the golf course, The Help lamented that his days of Sunday outlaw golf are gone for the next few months. True dat.
I am looking forward to a holiday this week. It's nice how the week is split in half. Fall intersession was just over a month ago, but it seems like a long time ago, and Winter break seems like it's a long way off as well. I know it will come quickly, but at this point, even Thanksgiving seems far away.
Before I left work on Friday, I made sure to have my mid-quarter grades figured out. The same students who earned Fs for the 1st quarter are earning Fs for mid-quarter. Both Fs are due to non-attendance. I absolutely hate it that attendance gets held against schools. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to see that the child gets to school. The person who decided to hold student non-attendance against individual probably never taught a day in his/her life. But like it or not, the local public education system has deteriorated to the point where now schools are crucified when the non-attendance rate is high. These chronic non-attenders would not attend no matter the school, but to the state office, non-attendance of a student means the school is not doing something right. What a crock!
On the bright side, my school doesn't fault teachers for failing chronic non-attenders. One of my friends taught at a school where the dumb administrator told her failing students was forbidden. The administrator told her that failing students is the job of high schools. No wonder we get so many students who cannot do the work! Only high school administrators must know the value of a high percentage of students passing end-of-course exams.
Okay, enough bitching about work. Time to start thinking about what to make for dinner. When D1 was home, I'd always be stumped as to what kind of chicken dish to prepare. D1's affinity for poultry was limited to ginger chicken soup, gai jow, and, occasionally, cold ginger chicken. KikukatMom could not get over how D1 could stand the strong ginger flavor of the soup. With D1 away, shoyu chicken is D2's oft-requested chicken dish. And for D2, the star anise is the best part...she loves to suck on the points of the stars at the end of the meal.
click on recipe title for printable recipe
3 lbs chicken
3/4 c shoyu
1 tbsp honey
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 c water, divided
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1" piece ginger, sliced fine
1 star anise
2 tbsp shao hsing wine
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp chopped green onions
Parboil chicken for 10 minutes. Rinse chicken and drain well. Set aside. In a medium pot, combine shoyu, honey, brown sugar, 1 c water, garlic, ginger, star anise, and shao hsing wine. Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes. Add chicken to pot. Simmer 45 minutes. If time permits, refrigerate overnight and skim off hardened fat or use a fat separator to remove oil if not able to chill overnight. If chilled overnight, heat chicken until simmering. Remove chicken to a large serving bowl. Remove and discard garlic and ginger. Combine cornstarch and 1/4 c water. Stir into simmering liquid and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour over chicken. Garnish with green onions.
Many, many thanks for all the birthday wishes this weekend.