Thank the sweet Lord above for weekends.
All week, I’ve been hung up on whining about where I am in my collegiate career– poor, worn out, and confused with no comfort except that I’m probably about to get poorer, more worn out, more confused and likely homeless after graduation. Aha, the best has yet to come. For anyone who doesn’t remember or hasn’t yet graduated college, this isn’t an abnormal train of thought. It’s really not.
Mind you, all (or most) of this has been mental whining. Nobody likes a whiner and I’m not exactly trying to drive other people nuts while I’m driving myself nuts. That’s a lot to handle.
But but but, by limiting said whining to the confines of my skull, I have no choice but to reflect on it a smidge harder. And guess what… that’s not such a bad thing.
I’ve since come to terms with the fact that a lot of the junk irking me this week is completely illegitimate. For example…
Whine: Chicken wings have next no meat on them, yet seem disproportionately expensive in comparison to the rest of the chicken.
Why it doesn’t matter: I bought the chicken wings anyway, and it’s not like it blew my food allowance for the week. I can afford scrumptious food like chicken wings. I can afford food–period. Let’s be real, the only party with any right to complain here are the ten chickens who died for my dinner.
Whine: My lousy oven in my lousy, overpriced college apartment tends to conk out if you crank it above 400 degrees for over 25 minutes. Excuse me, what? Ridiculous.
Why it doesn’t matter: I have an oven that works a hefty percentage of time, my oven serves most of my baking needs, and I’m competent in using my oven… which is more than I can say for a handful of folks I know. Most importantly, I’ll only be with this oven for a few more months. Perhaps my next lousy apartment will have a less lousy oven.
Whine: Due to circumstances not being as I foresaw, I have to choose between going on spring break to Austin, TX for SXSW or purchasing a new camera that I so desperately need.
Why it doesn’t matter: I don’t need a new camera, I want one. My world will not stop turning without a more advanced camera, I simply have to work a little harder with what I’ve got for a while. Biggest deal in the world? Hardly. I’m fortunate enough to take a seriously awesome road trip with some seriously awesome people to a seriously awesome city for seriously awesome experience in like 8 days… who even complains about something like that?
Whine: I don’t have time to both fulfill my final stretch of academic responsibilities and hunt for a post-grad job.
Why it doesn’t matter: Once I graduate and enter the grand land of unemployment, I’ll have abundant hours to search for the start of my career. Hey, even if it entails asking “Would you like to make that a combo?” 80 plus times a day, I’m bound to find something.
Whine: I sear, someone is always using the washing machine when I need it. A single washing machine to share between four units… you’ve got to be joking. Not to mention, my neighbors are inconsiderate barbarians. They leave their dried clothes sitting in the dryer for hours after the machine has ceased drying action and they never clean out the dagum lent filter. Rude.
Why it doesn’t matter: I only had a small load of whites to toss in while I had a minute. Having my gym socks clean was not at all imperative at that specific moment. Ultimately, ladies who leaver their clothes wadded up in the dryer for hours will be the ones that suffer… I hardly ever have to break out an ironing board.
I believe the conclusion we’re approaching here is that none of those trite annoyances matter in the slightest. I am surrounded by beautiful people, beautiful things, and best of all… beautiful wings. For that, I am grateful.
In all actuality, there are a few things we can draw away that truly do matter:
ONE. Wings are the ultimate mess-on-your-face food, and they are so gosh darn worth it (especially when celery with blue cheese dressing is included).
TWO. That being that, eating wings with people you’re comfortable with is the way to go. My suggestion is that you make these oven-baked ginger soy coated wings for people you lurve. Cooking dinner for friends is what’s up, and nothing says I think you’re great quite like crisp little chicken flappers. Can I get an amen?
THREE. Baking lightly greased wings on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet allows excess liquid and fat to drip away rather than pool around your precious poultry, making for magnificently crisped skin without ever breaking out a deep fryer. That’s a handy trick, folks.
FOUR. Whining is wasteful…of already sparse time and energy among other things. Enjoy the time you have with people, enjoy small delights, and enjoy working past what you might whine over.
Baked Ginger Soy Wings
Adapted from bon appétit
For the ginger-soy glaze
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp Orange juice
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 2×1″ piece of ginger, peeled, sliced
For the wings
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings, drumettes and flats separated
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring all ingredients and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve honey and peanut butter. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/4 cup, 7–8 minutes. Strain into a medium bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes to thicken slightly.
*Can be made 5 days ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before using.
Preheat oven to 400°. Set a wire rack inside each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Place all ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Divide wings between prepared racks and spread out in a single layer.
Bake wings until cooked through and skin is crispy, 45–50 minutes.
Line another rimmed baking sheet with foil; top with a wire rack. Add the wings to ginger-soy glaze and toss to evenly coat. Place wings in a single layer on prepared rack and bake until glaze is glossy and lightly caramelized, 8–10 minutes.