In honor of the day (Happy Year of the Earth Ox to you too!) I made kung pao chicken for dinner. Loads of cutting and chopping and mincing of garlic and fresh ginger and green onion and chicken.
The recipe -- one that I've used for years ... used so much in fact that the page has fallen out of the cookbook -- calls for 1tsp. chopped garlic. 1tsp. chopped ginger. Wha? Wimps. I threw in a certain amount that might've been five or ten times what they asked for.
Loads of measuring and stirring -- first for the goop the chicken sat in before cooking and then for the cooking sauce added after the chicken was cooked through. Measuring of peanuts. (Well, I didn't measure, really. I scooped up about twice what the recipe called for.) Counting of red hot dried peppers. Cook this. Set it aside. Then this. Add that. Add that back in. Stir until thickened.
Cooking of rice in rice cooker. Making of veggie to accompany -- in this case, a green salad with cherry tomatoes. Not very traditional but something his nibs likes. (He made it.)
Cut, chop, cook, stir.
Well worth the effort.
We'd seen a bottle of "kung pao sauce" at the grocery store over the weekend when we were getting a fresh bottle of hoisin sauce, having used up our bottle dregs when we were eating egg foo yung the other night. Bottled kung pao sauce? Why? And what's in it anyway?
Still, I'd already been thinking of kung pao chicken and we had peanuts on the shopping list because we were out and I couldn't make kung pao chicken without peanuts. Seeing the bottled stuff kinda shoved me over the edge.
Today seemed like an appropriate day.