On our car ride home from daycare tonight, we sang songs about chicken, noodles (the big one calls them men men) and practiced answering “What is your name?” in both Japanese and English – in Japanese, her last name would be mentioned before her given name. I threw in my last name to further confuse her – we’ll get her saying it soon enough.
I get home, plant the little one in front of the Leap Frog “Rockin’ to the Numbers” toy, turn on the NHK pre-recorded “Peekaboo” show and start storming around the house. I have chicken soup and stock in the fridge which I had made earlier in the week, which I pull out and ladle into a quart pan. I rummage through the fridge and jackpot (!) – a package of nama Japanese noodles, which I throw into a large pot of boiling water. In the interim, I light the temperamental grill to preheat – and once it is ready, throw on two aji which my brother had picked up for me at the store. Once the noodles are done, I pull out pork chops which I had grilled last night, and cut them into 1/2 cm dices. I also have sauteed cabbage, onion and broccoli left over from last night – pre-seasoned with soy sauce, salt and fresh pepper. I heat up a frying pan, add about a teaspoon of olive oil, and plunk down a third of the boiled noodles to heat up. My intention for this pan is to make my version of yakisoba, or Japanese pan-friend noodles. I add some of the diced pork and veggies, and season with Worcestershire (BULLDOG brand!) sauce, salt and pepper. In another pot, I put a third of the cooked noodles and add (I cheated) the original sauce that was supposed to be used for these noodles – they were left over from the summer, so it is autumn-style Hiyashi Chuka (usually served as cold noodles with a sesame soy vinaigrette dressing with lots of sliced veggies, ham and egg… literally “Chilled Chinese style noodles”) with the diced pork, and some roast beef I found in the cold cut drawer courtesy of hubby. The other third, I put in a bowl and added the chicken stock which at this point, had heated up to make a simplified version of ramen.
I had a sudden recollection of my fish on the grill, so I dashed out of the house, grabbed the two fish which smelled deliciously smokey and fishy – and put them on a plate, onto the table! The little one was cruising around the house and was starting to hover around my feet, so I plunked her into the high chair. The older one is nowhere to found – and then I spun around to find her munching on the fish. I told her to hang on – wait until the other food was on table – and quickly ladled the chicken stock over her noodles, added the sauteed veggies and pork, and swiftly put a bib on her. “Itadakima- su” and off we go with the older one.
The little one is highly agitated seeing that the older one is now contently eating, and just remembered she’s been patiently waiting and cruising around me feet, and starts complaining loudly. Today, she is having mushed peas, sweet potatoes, and yet another repeat of the turkey soup with veggies. She can’t eat fast enough – and starts hyperventilating and crying when I become distracted trying to feed both kids at once.
Hubby comes home, we manage to sit down at the table, and he takes over feeding the little one for a bit while I frantically take a few bites myself – didn’t realize my hands were shaking from running around. I debone the aji for the older one, who devours about 1.5 aji (they are about 20 cms long) and remind her to eat her men men as well.
The little one wraps up her meal which she promptly vacuumed up with banana sauce, and tops off with her milk.
The big one’s day started off with Trader Joe’s organic blueberry muesli and cheerios which she enjoys warmed up in the microwave for 15 seconds. Quick eats, not too heavy on calories or sugar, and good on the digestive system. Daycare definitely knows she eats well at home!
Another dinner battle done… once the girls are down for the night, off to a [laundry] folding party with the hubby….