CB was travelling this weekend, so while the cat was away, the mice and I played.
The theme for the weekend: Break The Rules.
We left the breakfast dishes on the table and played board games. We stayed in our pjs way past noon. We watched movies. We ate in the living room, in front of the t.v. (don't tell).
And we had Fast Food: Chinese BBQ.
To my utter bewilderment, CB does not particularly love Chinese BBQ. The mind boggles.
Luckily, in this respect, the boys take after me, making CB's absence the perfect opportunity to both indulge and get out of kitchen duty. And indulge we did, happily ripping into glistening slabs of pork and duck, sitting atop bowls of rice and bok choy. A healthy dose of the accompanying BBQ sauce drizzled over the greens didn't hurt. Sooooooo good.
Chinese food just never tastes as good when eaten with a fork and knife. But chopsticks are tricky for little fingers, which is why we love these starter-sticks, which can often be found in toy shops (in Adelaide, try Windmill; in NYC, try West Side Kids). They come in a variety of animals and colors. Whenever I know I'm going to Chinatown, I throw a couple sets in my purse and, if you can keep the kids from snapping at each other's noses, they're great fun.
Apart from providing a sumptuous fast food option, this is also my go-to place when I want to make what is simultaneously the world's easiest and most appealing appetizer: Peking Duck.
There is something about emerging from the kitchen with a platter of tightly rolled Chinese pancakes, strips of succulent duck and ribbons of spring onion peeking out from the ends, that automatically catapults a mere gathering into a celebration.
And really, what could be easier? It's the ultimate cheat. All you have to do is visit the BBQ shop, steam some pancakes, smear on a little plum or hoisin sauce, slice a few onions, pile on the duck, and take all the credit.