Overcoming Some Fears

This weekend has been a whirlwind! We left town Thursday night for St. Louis. Dad had a conference to attend on Friday and Mr. N, Miss A and I were tagging along to enjoy a little change of scenery and visit the City Museum. The weekend wasn’t without its challenges – Miss A caught a cold, the conference hotel left a little to be desired and the wi-fi didn’t work (gasp!).  That said, we did squeak out some good times – dinner with an old friend, a visit to Union Station, lots of pillow fights, giggles and a few winery stops.

But my favorite part of the weekend, by far, was the three hours Mr. N and I spent at the City Museum. With Miss A under the weather, she and Dad stayed back at the hotel. Fortunately at 2-1/2 years old hotels are still a major novelty – elevators, fluffy bedding, escalators – it’s a virtual kids museum in its own right. As for Mr. N and I, we kept busy climbing through tunnels, shooting out slides, caving, crawling in cages suspended high above the ground, and descending 10-story slides! As a sufferer of a fear of heights and a claustrophobic, this was both a death-defying and positively exhilarating experience for me. It was a thrill to overcome some mild fears and truly explore with the wonder of a child again. Needless to say Mr. N had the time of his life, and often tried stuff first to make sure it was safe for me! So, if you ever visit St. Louis – it’s a definite must-see for children and adults alike.

So that brings us to this evening. We knew we would be tired and in need of a quick  recipe for our last night of Chinese cuisine for this experience (although I have a feeling Chinese food is going to become a staple in this house after these last few weeks). We opted to make an Easy Chinese Chicken Curry. We pulled from several different recipes to really create our own take on the dish. And – spoiler alert – it was a hit all around again!

The prep was very easy – we mixed the ingredients for the sauce first. Miss A is really getting good at measuring out solid ingredients – and she loves it. She had pulled aside all the ingredients that were “hers” to add to the bowl. She was kind enough to leave Mr. N one or two things to do, one  of which was the curry paste. As you can see, Mr. N wasn’t sure of this stuff – and neither was I, curry being another fear of mine.

Once the sauce was mixed it was time to break out the wok. Dad heat the oil and began browning the chicken. After a few minutes we added the onions and water chestnuts to the wok. Miss A then helped Dad to add the sauce which we brought to a boil, reduced to low and simmered for 25 minutes. And voila, dinner was about done. As the curry chicken simmered, Mr. N continued his work on our “Eat, Play, Love” logo which he plans to unveil after its perfected (which could be a while, he takes his artwork seriously!).

Once the chicken was cooked through, we served it over jasmine rice. As I mentioned before, I’ve always feared curry – I think due to the strength of its aroma. However, I’ll be the first to admit this dish was very, very good and not at all what I was expecting. This cooking around the world thing is accomplishing one of our goals. We’re all trying foods we likely otherwise wouldn’t and while the results are often mixed, tonight as with our KungPaoChicken from last week, we were all pleasantly surprised. Dad and I both gave this dish four spoons, and Mr. N and Miss A both turned in a three spoon rating after eating every single bite! This is another dish that will likely end up in our rotation.

While this dinner was a tasty end to our weekend adventure, it’s a beginning of sorts as well. Not only did I overcome a fear of heights and small spaces (see below – Mr. N and I suspended in a cage above the city), I also learned that making Asian-inspired food at home isn’t all that hard or scary – and it’s definitely tasty. And in an added bonus – I can now order something other than sweet and sour off of the Chinese food menu!

Print this recipe: Chinese Curry Chicken

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