18 years ago, I gave birth to my first-born child. My beautiful baby girl is all grown up.
Where has the time gone!? I’m so proud of what she has accomplished with her life so far. A talented musician, illustrator, photographer, writer, thinker and budding knitter. And now she’s off to university, ready to start the next chapter of becoming a fully fledged adult. My heart is sad, because she’s going to be so far away but it’s time. It’s tough to be a parent – you have to let go at some point, don’t you?
We had a small family dinner to celebrate her birthday. Sylvia wanted a chicken noodle salad:
She’s been thinking of this recipe ever since I first made it about six years ago. For her 18th birthday, she got her wish. It’s delicious, and I don’t know why I don’t make it more often actually. It uses a bean noodle sold in Asian shops. The noodles look like little flat triangles in the packet, but when cooked, they curl up into penne-shaped noodles. They have a lovely slightly chewy texture and are extremely good in salad. This dish can be found in Asian restaurants, but as it’s called by many names, I can’t tell you what you might find it as, apart from “Chicken Noodle Salad”.
I put this dish together using my knowledge of taste and ingredients. As it’s my recipe, I can share this with you. It serves four:
3 chicken breasts (approx 400g)
2/3 of a telegraph cucumber (or a whole small one)
1 capsicum (red pepper)
1 packet glass noodles (the triangular shape)
Poach the chicken breasts until cooked and then set aside to cool. Julienne the vegetables (cut into fine sticks). Cook the bean thread noodles, drain and set aside. Shred the chicken breast into small pieces. Layer the chopped vegetables, shredded chicken and noodles on a salad dish large enough for all the ingredients.
Make the sauce:
1 tbsp sesame paste
2 tbsp peanut butter (if you can buy Chinese peanut sauce, that would be better)
1 tbsp soy sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp chilli sauce (mild)
approx 1/4 cup water
1 bunch coriander
Wash the coriander and pluck off the leaves. Set the leaves aside.
Mix all the remaining ingredients together, adding enough water to make it a pouring consistency. Pour over the prepared salad and top with coriander.
If you like hot, and are able to buy Sichuan peppercorns, you can also grind up three (only three – they are nuclear quality) peppercorns and stir that through the sauce. It will give the salad a nice, clear hot, peppery bite.
Then there was cake:
It’s a spiced apple cake, and we had it with whipped cream. Delish.
Happy Birthday, my sweetie!
Thanks for sharing her happy day. In parting, I leave you with one of her very funny Cyanide & Happiness-style cartoons: