Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Flied Lice

Back in the bad old days - the mid-1960s when I was a kid, when we were far less politically correct - the polite name for African-Americans was Negroes, and all of our parents smoked - it was considered pretty funny to imitate some Asians' inability to say the English "R" sound, and call the Chinese-American dish fried rice "flied lice".
That's what I made for supper tonight:

Chicken Fried Rice

2 eggs
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. oil
2 - 4 TBLS more oil
1 carrot, diced
2 -3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed or put through a press
2 TBLS peeled & grated fresh ginger
5 - 10 Shitake mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced
2 cups shredded chicken, or however much you have
4 cups cooked rice
1 bunch of scallions, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

Soy sauce, vinegar, Mirin, toasted sesame oil, sugar - for seasoning
Siracha, for serving [and beer]

Best the eggs with the tsp. of sugar. Heat 1 tsp. of oil in a non-stick skillet, and pour in the egg, tilting the pan to make a thin egg pancake. Lift up the edges of the egg and let the uncooked egg run under; when it is firm enough, flip it over - it's OK to cut the egg sheet in half to turn it. Remove the pan from the heat with the egg in it, and set aside to cool.

Pour the 2-4 TBLS oil into a larger deeper skillet (doesn't need to be non-stick), and add the carrots. Stir abd cook them a little bit, then add the garlic, ginger and mushrooms, and stir fry a few more minutes. Add the chicken and stir well to coat it with oil, and shred it up a bit. Add the rice, scallions and water chestnuts. Pour in the seasonings to taste: soy sauce (2-3 TBLS), vinegar (about 2 TBLS), Mirin (1 TBLS) , toasted sesame oil (a drizzle), sugar (a pinch or two). Remove the egg sheet from the pan to a cutting board, and slice it into thin shreds. Stir those in, too.

Stir fry till all is combined and warm, then cover and let sit for a few minutes. Eat a big bowlful topped with Siracha, while drinking a beer, and reading the New Yorker magazine.

I've also noticed that my 20-something sons use some of our old favorite un-PC epithets, too; they refer to their dumbass friends as REtard and douchebag, or just plain douche.

Somehow I find this comforting; at least they've picked up our slang. Maybe it's because of all the press saying that now that Obama's elected, the [dark?] influence of all of us Baby Boomers is finally fading. Though I think I had my comeuppance on that one years ago - if I ever start to feel regretful that my generation never really brought about true social change, much less the armed revolution, that some of us were calling for, all I have to do is remember what my mom said, "Oh, I am so grateful to you kids - you made it OK for an old lady to wear trousers anywhere."

So that's it - the legacy of my generation - casual day. Thanks, mom.

I am actually a little baffled by all this waning of the boomers talk - partly because I haven't amounted to much myself yet, so how can our day be over? but also because by some people's calculations, Obama is a Boomer, born in 1961. Personally, I prefer to categorize him as a Gen Xer, he's 3 years older than my best friend Rach, and everyone knows that the Gen Xers & the Boomers are totally in cahoots. Joe Queenan even posits that it's our two age groups working together that brought about the gourmet coffee movement, got us a Starbucks on every corner.

Maybe that's better than casual day.

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