Hey, ladies, raise your hand if you married Satan. Yeah, me too. He gets around, huh? I know my kids are gonna berate me when they read that, but this month marks my twenty-first wedding anniversary (been separated the last two years), so the past has been central my thoughts. I got hitched at nineteen because I knew everything and my parents wouldn’t let a boy sleep in my bed unless he made an honest (sic) woman out of me. With no bun in the oven, our nuptials were more like a shotgun wedding without the ammo. I’m not writing this from a place of resentment or regret—I was a big girl and I made big girl decisions. I also got to make three very interesting monkeys, so my dance with the devil was a pretty good deal.
The focus here is more my pathological need to please people. Even though I loved my ex, I knew he wasn’t right for me from the get and the go. But, I allowed his happiness to matter more than mine—even at the cost of my twenties and most of my thirties. (You better believe I made up for lost time after I left him. I defy you to find a public bathroom in SoCal without my number etched into it. Kidding?) To say I was a brown-nose at some of my old jobs would be an insult to colors and cartilage. I had my head so far up one of my former boss’s ass that if I ever got a bright idea, he would’ve needed invasive colorectal surgery to remove the lightbulb. When said boss took my schmoozing as an invitation to try and fondle me, did I retaliate with (warranted) complaints of sexual harassment? Of course not. I wanted to be liked.
Why did I endure so much for so long? Wonky self-esteem. I think that’s the Latin term for it. I wish the reason ran deeper, but no. Even though I made friends easily and developed early, I could only prop myself up when I was in the adoring favor of everyone around me. But, propping up is not the same thing as being happy, and it took years of therapy to realize that if I insisted on being the world’s doormat… fill in the cliché.
Fast-forward to today. I’m out of my toxic marriage (in spirit at least) and know how to be just enough of a hole-in-the-ass to get my little way. I’m definitely finding my own voice. Yet—there’s always a yet—I’m still fueled by a need to be the life of the party. Hell, I created an entire blog to satiate this fact. Was all that therapy was for naught, then, and I’m forever doomed? No, because it seems to come from a healthier, more dangerous place now. I want you to worship me so you can feel better about yourself; so you can discover your daily supply of not having to die over something as silly as disliking me.
Bimodal’s Not-Too-Spicy Chinese Chicken
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 bunch scallions (about 8–10)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp prepared minced garlic or 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp corn starch
Prepare marinade by mixing soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Cut chicken up into thin strips. Pour marinade over chicken and allow to marinate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the veggies into strips (julienne, if you want to get all French about it). Toast the walnuts by heating in a small frying pan over medium heat for about 5–7 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside. Heat cooking oil over high heat in wok. Stir fry veggies for 2 minutes and then push to outside of wok, making room for the chicken in the middle. Drain chicken of excess marinade and reserve. Add chicken to the wok and stir fry for an additional 8 minutes. Add remaining marinade, bring liquid to a boil and add corn starch that has been dissolved in a little cold water to thicken the sauce. Serve with rice.
Even as my recipes go, today’s is pretty special. Why? Because it was the first challenge ever presented to The White Trash Gourmet. My blogging buddy, Bimodal Tendencies, wanted to make some kind of Asian chicken for himself, but the results were always too salty for his liking. (Click here to see his page, but be warned, it is far from child-appropriate.) So, making the smartest decision of his life, he instead put his faith in me and I really hope I delivered. Helping him has given me a great idea for a new feature I’m going to detail next week. I haven’t worked out all the kinks (duh, have you met me?), but it will serve my self-important need to be beloved as well as give my followers a more direct way to bask in my foodie goodness. Stay tuned, you lucky ducks!
TWTG says, “We have to turn the air up or I’m not making out with anybody!”