Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sake Chicken Wings: Building community

In recent days, my normally quiet, peaceful, child-friendly community has been shaken up.  One of our own community members has perpetrated crimes against others of our community and the neighborhood, community and city have been shocked and outraged by the incidents.

It hasn't been an easy week as somehow I have found myself midst much of the dialogue about the crimes as well as conversations about how to proceed after the crimes.   Because of the very nature of the incidents, it has become clear in the past week that our community has to get to know one another.  This week I met so many new faces, even though they are old people of the neighborhood; I have shaken hands with as many people as possible and most likely have failed at putting the proper name with each face that I have seen. I've met people that I've only heard about and have even gotten to know fairly quickly people that were not known to me even a week ago.  It has been a week filled with anger, outrage, discourse, conversation, and unfortunately much disagreement.

Our community is in the process of recovery and healing after the crimes and dealing with lots of anger and frustration.  As we begin the process of trying to build up our community and getting to know one another, I find myself turning to the words of Atticus Finch, in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.  In this particular passage, Scout, Atticus' daughter comes home, completely frustrated from a day at school.  Her day at school leads to anger towards her nanny which just puts her in an awful mood. At the end of the day, when she's in her arms of her father venting her frustration, he gives her some advice.   "...if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.  You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (Lee 33).   In order for me to manage being a part of this community, it will help me immensely if I can just understand individual people and where they are coming from.  I need to know from where they are coming, where they are going, and where they've been.  I need to stop thinking about how people are so different from me, and instead focus on how I can understand them better.

I won't lie.  It really hasn't been easy at all.  I've suffered many sleepless nights this past week, and the sleeplessness has less to do with the crimes themselves and more to do with the rebuilding of this space in which my family and I live.  But I keep hearing Atticus telling me, in his ever-so-gentle, matter-of-fact way (by the way - if you've not read the book - you MUST), that I too, must climb into another's skin and walk around in it.

I've been preoccupied and unwilling to cook this week, but this dish of sake chicken wings, I did manage to make.  It is the ease and mindlessness of prep that allowed me to put this dish together, and with steamed rice and a bit of ginger sauce, Children gobbled them up with little complaint and discussion.   It was nice, just to think about something else, however brief.
Sake Chicken Wings with Ginger Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 ½ to 2 lbs chicken wings, sectioned off into wings and drummettes (or if you’re lucky only the one part that you like)
½ cup sake
½ cup soy sauce

2 inches ginger root, peeled finely chopped (I use my mini food processor)
1 scallion, finely chopped
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon salt

Method
Mix sake and soy sauce in a container where you will marinate the chicken. Add the chicken. Cover and marinate - at least 4 hours, if not overnight.

Make ginger sauce by mixing together finely chopped ginger root, scallion, oil and salt in a bowl. Mix and set aside.

After chicken has marinated, prepare to cook. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a roasting pan or baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drain marinade (throw it away) and carefully lay chicken wings in a single layer on a baking pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until wings are dark golden, much fat has rendered, and the skin is crispy.

Serve hot with ginger sauce.

Printable recipe

I'm thinking the next time I invite a few neighbors over, I'll be making these.






2 comments:

Lu Ann said...

My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. You seem very wise to focus on building up relationships rather than let fear tear the relationships further. I look forward to trying this recipe, though I'm sure I will always associate it with a need for simplicity amidst toil. That simplicity brings much needed reassurance, something we can use at many times of our crazy lives.

Thank you for your honest post.

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