My Joyful son, whose joyfulness has been challenged by teen-itis – and probably by his mother’s response to his teen-itis, turns 16 this month. I miss the days he would say wonderful words like, “Great cookin’, mom” or sneak up behind and hug me. You’ve heard about his humor:
“Joyful has grown beyond snuggle-buggles and telling me he loves me, but he communicates in code now. Let me give you an example:
“Mama? Can I have a pet anaconda (or warthog, sheep dog, otter, or any animal of the week)?”
That’s code for, “I love you, Mom.” Now that I have broken the code, I just smile, saying, “I love you, too.” Funny, he hasn’t asked for a pet anaconda for awhile.
Then there’s this question. “Mama,” he asks (mama is the word of choice when he wants something. Mom is for the really serious stuff). “Mama, can I have $15?”
After hearing this question for months (of course, I didn’t turn over the money), I broke another code. Money was code for hug. The amount he asked for determined how many hugs he really wanted.
He hasn’t asked for money in quite a few weeks, either.
He no longer brags on my food. Instead, he will say, “Great dinner, Mom. . . . Not.” I’ve learned that’s code for “YUM.”
In another post, food humor pops its ugly head again. We call him Bear, so one day when he got in the car after soccer practice all cold and shivering, I asked him,” What’s the saddest sight in the whole wide world?”
“I don’t know. Your cooking?” he answered. I almost forgot my joke.
You need to really visualize that answer before reading further.
On Super Bowl Sunday – Yes, I realize you’re thinking, “You’ve been holding this story for how long?” Sometimes there are things that need to be said first before you can say other things – and I cannot say everything at once. I have tried that. It doesn’t work.
But I digress (my very favorite word). On Super Bowl Sunday, I made my delicious Pain au Chocolates and. . . . my Hot Wings.
Prep: Wings or Thighs, washed. Pat dry and place in a bowl. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons lemon-pepper.
I recommend at least a medium-sized deep-fryer or you will be frying forever.
Make ahead or while the first batch is frying.
(I double this recipe)
4 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 Cup hot sauce (I use Texas Pete’s)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice of one lemon
Don’t let the 1/2 Cup Hot Sauce scare you away. When it is all blended together and the wings all sauced-up – the heat from the sauce is not what it sounds like. Instead of a devilishly hot dish that leaves your lips seared and searching for a glass of ice water, everything combines leaving a tangy, warm batch of heavenly wings, lip lickin’ good!
How do I know? Well, the son who is always saying things like, “If Nanny comes over and takes it out of the oven (the lasagna in the oven), it will just be that much better” or, “Did Nanny cook it? ‘Cause then we know it will be good.” Sigh – yes, that son – well, he said something marvelous.
He walked into the kitchen filled his plate, took a bite and said, “I just might need to go find some stretchy pants.” That is a 10 star endorsement! I guess if you put enough heat(hot sauce) inside the boys, it forces the good words out!
But I digress. After 12 – 13 minutes in the deep-fryer, turn the basket onto a paper towel to drain and sprinkle with a rub. I make my own:
1/4 Cup Paprika
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
After sprinkling the rub onto the wings, turn in a bowl and drizzle with sauce.
After the delicious Hot Wings, the Heavenly Pain au Chocolates disappeared – like magic. I am still trying to figure out who stole the Pain au Chocolate off my plate.