May the Wild Rumpus continue

Archived | May 8, 2012 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I’d just finished reading a book to the kids, I’ll Always Find You, one of their favorites from years back. It’s not something I do often, just sit down and read to them like that, but I did once, and I happened to come across their old books while I was looking for a photograph. So I read and they were impatient at first, but it didn’t take long for their eyes to glaze a bit and their jaws relax, and their shoulders to settle. I had their full, even-breathed attention.
That’s the thing about a good book, and a good storyteller. You can relax and breathe and let the story take you up, and you float away to somewhere else. I remember well the books of my childhood, those entire worlds between covers: Treasure Island, running around with the Lost Boys, palaces and labyrinths with beasts, big sailing ships and a tiny old man spinning gold out of straw, and pancakes that run around and a wizard and a rainbow. And the island where the Wild Things are.
He died today. The man who wrote that story, Maurice Sendak. He was 83, and had had a stroke, and was sick. I never had coffee with him, but if I had, I would have thanked him for his stories — especially for the notion that a forest may very well rise up in my bedroom at night, and that I might sail on my own ocean to my own island of Wild Things. I believed him. Right on, Mr. Sendak. Bless your dear heart, and the darkness, too. May the Wild Rumpus continue, for you and for us all.
I’m into sandwiches lately with spring having arrived, and I like that I can whip this one up in no time at all. Good for a picnic or a meal, with some rice or salad or simply on its own.
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
2 tsp. oil
1 lb. ground chicken
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T soy sauce
2 T hoisin sauce*
1 head Boston bibb lettuce leaves, separated, cleaned and dried
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 c. fresh bean sprouts
1/4 c. chopped peanuts, optional
2 green onions, thinly sliced
In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and sauté chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and hoisin and cook for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and serve warm wrapped in lettuce leaves with carrots, bean sprouts, peanuts and green onions on the side for garnish.
*Hoisin is similar to barbecue sauce. You’ll find it among the Asian foods at your grocery store.
Makes four wraps. Enjoy!