"Aha," she said, in her most deep, fierce voice! "I am the knight! And who are you?"
"I am the fair maiden, Sir Knight," I replied.
She looked me up and down, and said,"No, you are not a fair maiden. You are the cook of the castle."
Are you kidding me? Even in the realm of fantasy, I am still, just the cook. At least I'm the castle cook, though, and not like a normal peasant, right? I could have to work scooping manure, or be locked in the dungeon for witchcraft (been accused of that once or twice...). I supposed I should be grateful for my lot in life.
Crispy Orange Beef (from Allrecipes)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (I forgot to pick some up, so I just used dried)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
oil for frying
Lay beef strips out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow to dry in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice, salt and soy sauce (I also added 1/2 tsp sesame oil). Set aside.
Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Toss dried beef in cornstarch to coat. Fry in the hot oil in small batches until crispy and golden brown; set aside. Drain all of the oil from the wok except about 1 tablespoon.
Add orange zest, ginger and garlic to the remaining oil, and cook briefly until fragrant (I also added about 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds). Add the soy sauce mixture to the wok, bring to a boil, and cook until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add beef, and heat through, stirring to coat. Serve over steamed rice.
And an Update
Oh yes - and for those of you still reading - thanks for your concern over the past little bit. We survived the swine (only Lu got it), had my car professionally cleaned (thank heavens for the free detail coupon when we bought the car...) and even packed John matching clothing for his brief trip.
However, the day after returning to school, Lu's school called once again. She vomited in her classroom. I learned that that can be the first sign of strep. Mothers, take note. So, she was out for another two days of school.
But...for now, everyone is healthy and well. I'm beginning to see the humor of the past two weeks, and counting my blessings they're over. I wonder what next week will bring?!