It has been a long time since I've posted here! Things have been really busy - we traveled to Fort Wayne for the baptism of our new godson, began the process of buying a home, enjoyed having a dear friend from high school visit, spent a lot of time out in the glorious sunshine, and - perhaps most importantly of all - have been working very hard at ensuring that Matthew knows who his father is.
Matthew has always referred to me as "Mommy" or "Mother" without hesitation. However, he rarely referred to Paul as his "Daddy."
He actually called him nothing. Until one day...when suddenly Matthew started calling Paul by his first name.
When he got up in the morning he would say: "Hi Mommy!...Hi Paul!"
When Paul left for work in the morning, I would kiss him goodbye while Matthew waved wildly from his high chair: "Bye Paul!"
When Paul came home from work in the evening, Matthew ran to him, chanting: "Paul! Paul! Hi Paul!!"
Paul was crushed, even devastated. His own son did not seem to recognize his own father. Matthew has recently grown to love the "Little Critters" book series and his current favorite is the one titled Just Me and My Dad. Paul was convinced that Matthew was so attached to the book because he was secretly thinking: "I wish I had a Dad. Instead, I'm stuck with just a Paul."
After putting Matthew to bed one evening, Paul came down the stairs glaring at me: "This is all your fault! You have to start calling me Daddy all the time so that he gets the concept!"
Psh. No way. Paul's not my Daddy. And I definitely do not want to become one of those couples you see in the old movies that refer to one another as "Mother" and "Father." I told Paul that Matthew would figure it out eventually.
So, lately we have been very diligent about correcting Matthew whenever he fails to refer to Paul as "Daddy." He has proven to still be quite confused. On a recent trip to Fort Wayne, I asked Matthew, who was sitting in the kitchen devouring a bowl of cereal: "Where's Daddy?" He smiled, and immediately pointed to my brother Raymond.
How very, very wrong.
Obviously, this is still a work in progress.
The recipe I want to share today is a take on one of our favorite Chinese dishes. It is so easy and tasty to make at home - and uses mostly pantry staples, which is always a plus. While not the healthiest of dishes, I'm sure it is actually a bit better for you than most Chinese take-out. Paul and I add a tablespoon or two of Siracha to the sauce because we like the heat, but you can definitely eliminate it.
Spicy Sweet and Sour Chicken
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
For the Chicken:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
For the Sauce:
¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 tablespoons Siracha or other Asian hot sauce (optional)
For the chicken, cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken.
Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes so it is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve over rice.