Saturday, February 28, 2009

Plan K (Asian Asparagus)

We've had a frantic weekend here at the Wiles household. Every single, best-laid plan was upended, revised, revised again, and in a couple of instances, entirely scrapped. Plan A evolved into Plan B, and suddenly, we were at Plan K, which was shaky at best. Arriving at that rickety plan was an exercise in nimbleness, negotiating, among other things, vomit, flight delays, dog diarrhea, birthday parties, Icee-soaked shoes, the possibility of snow, and car swapping. Plenty of reasons to renege on that idea of a "wine-free" Lent, if you ask me.

But that's the parenting gig. If you're not quick on your feet, you're not dead in the water -- you're just dead. Or you may as well be.

Consider a typical weekend night with a teen and pre-teen. You're going to be home for dinner? Great! You'll be an hour late? OK. Oh -- now half an hour early? I can deal. You're bringing two friends, maybe three? I can stretch. Oh -- it turns out everyone wants to go to the movies and make a meal of Mountain Dew, popcorn and Mike & Ikes?

DO I LOOK INSANE TO YOU? Don't answer that.

Could be time to simplify. I think I'll start by making one of the simplest things I know -- Asian Asparagus. It's not a meal, and since it's served cold, I don't really think of it as a sidedish. I got the recipe from my sister, who claims she could eat the whole dish herself. I actually have. Morning, noon and night, it's simply that good.

Asian Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 small clove of garlic, minced

Blanch asparagus for one minute and drain. Immerse in ice water, drain again and pat dry.

Combine asparagus with remaining ingredients in a plastic bag and marinate, refrigerated, up to four days, turning occasionally. (Note: Tastes best if allowed to marinate overnight before the first sampling, but if you just can't wait, give it at least four hours. Otherwise, the garlic taste is too sharp.)
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