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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Nesting Daddy & Cooking Mommy
Sorry, still no nursery pictures. I have a plan, and if it works, it will more than make up for it.

This was a daddy nesting weekend. He spent a good part of last night making sure we had all electronics covered.

This morning, we got up and headed out to the park. It's Sugar Camp weekend. Sugar Camp always takes place one weekend in March. It's a joint venture between the Lions club and a local high school baseball team. They have an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast with real maple sugar. There are wagon rides that will take you down to the sugar shack where they process the maple syrup. You can all see the trees that are tapped and the lines carrying the syrup. Another area demonstrates how they used to process the syrup over a campfire. A third area shows how to make kettle corn over a campfire. Sometimes they have a huge tree and a double-saw and they "help" the kids cut off a slice of the tree. They then show them how to count the rings. Other times they'll have an ice carver out there. It's a lot of fun. Jim hasn't missed a year in over 10 years.

Afterwards, he cleaned out the car. Took it in for detailing, oil change, and all those things a car needs, then came home and installed the car seat. We ended up going with the Britax Marathon. I wanted the Olivia pattern, and Jim wanted the Platinum (booooring) pattern. Since I got the better car seat I wanted, I let Jim win this battle. He made a good point. There's plenty of pink in her life to balance out his gray, black, and red choice. Besides, you can buy spare covers on Ebay. I can still get my Olivia there.

While Jim was doing the car thing, I made congee and browned some ground beef for the freezer. I was going to make meat loaves, but Jim voted for the versatility of just having browned ground beef ready to go.

Congee is a common breakfast food in China. It's basically a thick chicken and rice soup that you add in different things when eating. It's one of the first foods given to babies and most chilren from China find it familiar and delicious.

I got this recipe from one of my travel mates, Therese. It's cooling now before I pack it up and freeze it. I snuck a taste and it's delicious.


1 rotisserie chicken (leftover is fine. If you’re going to use a whole chicken, remove the breast meat and save for later.)
4 qts of liquid (low-sodium chicken broth or water and chicken bouillion)

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, place the chicken, including bones, skin, jellied juices, etc… Rough chop your vegetables, and add them to the pot. Cover with liquid.

Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a healthy simmer, and set the lid askew to partially cover. Check every hour or so to stir and add more boiling water to keep the liquid level approximately the same. Allow to simmer for anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours or so (the longer the better).

Remove from heat and strain broth through a colander and into another pot. Return broth to the heat, and heat to a low simmer. Once the broth is simmering, add 3/4 cup (or so) of dry, uncooked long grain rice. (You can also add left over cooked long grain rice instead. It works equally well. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked rice.). Don't add too much rice or it will cook up into a thick, pasty gruel. Allow this to simmer, covered, over very low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so, to keep rice from sticking to the

When the chicken and veggies are cool enough to handle, separate out the meat and shred by hand into bite-size pieces. Add to pot with broth and rice, and discard remainder.

After an hour or so, the soup will be very silky and smooth. The rice will cook down into a porridge-like consistency. You want something like a creamy, watery oatmeal consistency. Not as liquid as a soup, but not as thick as a stew. Correct seasoning by adding salt and freshly ground pepper, or a little more bouillon.

Off heat, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely grated fresh ginger root, to taste, and stir.

This stuff is SO GOOD. You can top with any manner of stir-ins: cooked chicken, chopped green onions, chopped radishes, steamed chopped asparagus, sautéed greens of practically ANY sort, etc...

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Blogger Johnny said...

Errr, congee for me growing up was what you did with the leftover rice from the week's worth of rice.

Got give whitey props for tryin!

p.s. It dawned on me that we might run into each other at O'Hare.

Blogger C.J. said...

That's my choice on the carseat...hmmm...I know who will be 'Olivia' shopping on eBay ;0)

Enjoy that congee.

Blogger Colleen said...

Oh man... what is the difference between the Marathon and the Roundabout? We registed for the Roundabout - because I read great things on consumer reports. Hmmm....

Sounds like you had a nice and productive weekend. :-)

Fun weekend! Starting to feel 'real', eh? Your congee recipe sounds good.. I'll have to try it.

As for the car seat, I actually think you might really be happy with your choice... it is really shocking just how filthy they get and quickly too!

Keep on sharing all this stuff cuz I am drinking it like a person dying of thrist!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

your first poster is right--congee is just rice and water....not the extra stuff in your post (?)and yes, some add in pieces of chicken, some ginger, fish and other such items--but the congee she is eating in China is very plain. Basically it's like cooking rice with way too much water--so it gets alomost thick and pastey--mmmm yummy!

Blogger Magi said...

I could swear I've read a million times that congee was breakfast food. Maybe I was hallucinating.

I kind of figured that when we got to China and tried congee that I'd discover it was completely different. But then I thought that the worst that could happen is I have lots of really good chicken and rice soup frozen for when you need a good bowl of chicken soup.

I've got to confess that just rice and water doesn't sound too appetizing to me. On the other hand, if that's what my baby wants, that's what she'll get.

If anyone wants to share a more authentic recipe, I'd be happy to post it!

Blogger Jim McClain said...

"Oh man... what is the difference between the Marathon and the Roundabout?"

About $20.

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