kruizing with kikukat

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bang Bang Chicken

I cannot tell you why, but last week was absolutely exhausting.  Perhaps it was because so many things were happening.

Early in the week, I got observed by my administrator.  I had about a week to prepare for the observation.  I was so nervous about the whole thing.  He was a few minutes late in arriving, and that didn't help my nerves.  He is really nice and non-threatening, but still...any observation puts me on edge.

I was worried one kid would be a problem.  I spoke to him quietly beforehand and reminded him of two referrals for theft I had sitting in my desk drawer.  He said he only took a pen.  Funny because when I spoke to him at the time of the pen incident, he denied taking anything.  I reminded him about the noodles he attempted to take earlier in the school year.  He tried to argue by saying I gave it to him.  I told him I gave him noodles the day before, and that did not, in any way, mean he was entitled to go into my things and help himself.  What's wrong with him?  I cannot believe he was raised that way because his family is NOT like that.  When I called home, his family asked that I allow him to apologize for his actions.  My guess is other adults, well-intentioned but misguided, have allowed him to think he can get away with small things.  If I had a dollar for each time this one lady says, "oh, he is a good boy", I could take a trip to Sapporo!  He was visibly salty after our conversation, but that was something he had to deal with.  I plan on reminding him about those referrals, and if I do need to submit them, that will guarantee his banishment from commencement exercises. 

Nevertheless, I did manage to survive the observation.  My students were great.  My admin was impressed with the knowledge demonstrated by my students.  The post-conference went quite well.  I think I need to get some treats for my students for making me look so good. 

The Help and I attended our last regular season volleyball game.  I was amazed at the amount of people who showed up.  Unfortunately, the concession did not have smoke meat bowl.  I guess I will need to wait until next volleyball season to have it again.

In the middle of the week, D2 asked me to attend an informational meeting about an east coast trip in 2016.  Two social studies teachers are taking a group of interested students to Washington, DC.  They are hooking onto a trip with some nice teachers from a cross-town middle school who are veteran travelers with Worldstrides.  Nice to see collaboration amongst schools.  The meeting participants filled a classroom, and the teachers spoke of the perks in going.  One of the other parents asked me if I would send D2 alone or go too.  Seriously? 

Anyway, D2, who really hardly asks for anything, asked me to attend because she is interested in going.  I suppose seeing your sister traveling multiple times a year out of state has some influence on what you'd like to do.  And D2 must have some influence on us because her deposit has been paid.  Perhaps this might be a good opportunity to visit D1.  The last time I brought up visiting D1, D2 agreed to come along but said she would wait in the car.  Ahem. . .one does not travel so far to wait in the car!

My work week culminated with an all-day workshop.  Ugh.  It was painful.  The content was good, but it was still painful.  On the plus side, I did get to see someone I hadn't seen in over 30 years, one of my high school teachers.  Nice to see him still kicking.

Prom season came to an end this weekend.   D1 was fortunate enough to borrow a gorgeous dress from a friend.  I still can't get over how much some people spend on gowns.  I think I lucked out overall. . .short gown and stylish BCBG dress last year and only one long gown (purchased with Macy's discount coupon) this year.  The only thing D1 asked to have professionally done was her nails.  A quick trip to Aunty Tiffany took care of that.  Whew!  Either I am totally done or I have a few years to rest between D1 and D2.  Only time will tell.

And after all the craziness of the week, I was relieved to sit down to a refreshing meal this weekend.  I prepped the chicken early in the day so it would be nice and cold by dinner.  If I was smarter, I would've made this LAST weekend to serve during the week.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1-1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
     1 tbsp vegetable oil
     2 Japanese cucumbers, sliced thin on bias
     1/2 c chicken broth
     1" piece ginger, grated
     1 clove garlic, grated
     3 1/2 tsp sugar, divided
     2 tbsp shoyu
     1 tsp chili oil
     2 tsp salt
     2 tbsp rice vinegar
     1 tbsp mirin

Place chicken in a pot with water to cover.  Remove chicken and bring water to a boil.  When water is at a rolling boil, add chicken and immerse for 1 minute.  Remove chicken and rinse under cold water.  Bring water to a boil again.  Place chicken back in pot.  When water returns to a boil, cover pot and turn off heat.  Let stand 30 minutes.  Bring pot to a boil again.  Turn off heat, cover and let stand 1 hour.  Remove chicken.  Place in a ziploc bag with vegetable oil.  Rub chicken to coat with oil.  Store in refrigerator.  This can be done ahead of time.  In a small pot, combine chicken broth, ginger, garlic, 1/2 tsp sugar, and shoyu.  Bring sauce to a boil and simmer until reduced by half.  Remove from heat and add chili oil.  Set aside sauce to cool.  Sprinkle cucumbers with salt, let sit for 5 minutes, rinse, drain, and pat dry.  Combine rice, vinegar, mirin, and 3 tsp sugar.  Pour over cucumbers.  Set aside.  Slice cold chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Arrange chicken in center of platter.  Garnish with seasoned cucumbers.  Pour cooled sauce over chicken.

*this dish has multiple names:  ban ban ji, pang pang chicken, bon bon chicken

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