Finally, spring has properly arrived. Not that feint that The Weather likes to pull on us every single year in late March, that “Sun’s out – ooohh now it’s raining, in your face!” type of stuff, no, it’s the real thing now, real, genuine spring. Turin, the grey monochrome that I arrived in last year, has turned into a beautiful place, full of majestic, tree-lined streets and surrounded by coloured hills, rather than brown ones.
The definitive arrival of spring means that we can stop being depressed for no particular reason and instead we can start doing things. In winter, when you step out into the cold and dark after a long day of work, you feel like you’ve wasted a whole day inside, and now you’re outside which is worse because it’s freezing, so you go home and you stay there because the day is over anyway. In summer, you can finish work at 8, go home, have dinner, and then go out to do things. Go on, let’s do things that are new and exciting and outside!
All of this joy is, of course, totally worth the nuisance of roaming the streets with sore, red eyes and a runny nose for the next three months. Yes, I’m one of those suckers with hay fever. Along with countless weaklings like me, I will be sneezing off my delicate little nose for all of this beautiful spring period. Hay fever is, as the hoi poploi might put it, “total dirty baws”. Unfortunately, regardless of what your local medicinemonger might have you believe, nose spray doesn’t actually do anything, so there’s nothing for it but to suffer through it patiently.
However, one supposed cure I’m willing to try is to eat honey from the area in which you live. A beekeeper once told my mum this is supposed to help, and she told me. I’m not really sure if there is even a tiny bit of truth to it, but it’s OK, because eating honey is awesome. Unlike eating honey, spraying liquids up your nostrils is in no way enjoyable. Eating locally produced honey: possibly ineffective but delicious. Spraying medicine up your nose: definitely ineffective and unpleasant. I know which one I’ll be going for.
Despite the copious amounts of sweets and desserts I tend to publish here, I don’t actually have much of a sweet tooth. Honey can be used in savoury food as well though, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. So much for cutting down on meat: honey and sesame chicken.
For two, use:
- a couple of chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 3 tbsp of soy sauce
- about 5 tbsp of sesame seeds, roasted
- some red chilli
- some garlic (couple of cloves is plenty)
- a couple of spring onions
- some fresh coriander, to serve
- white pepper
- white rice, to serve
First of all, cut your chicken into thin strips. Mix your soy sauce with the honey, add some white pepper, and leave the chicken to marinade in this mixture for about an hour. After an hour, chuck out the marinade and cover the chicken with sesame seed. Easiest way to do this is by putting it all in a big bowl, then sprinkling over the sesame and possibly tossing it around to coat the chicken properly.
In a wok or large frying pan, heat some sunflower oil, chuck in your cloves of garlic (crushed and peeled, but not chopped up) and your chilli (chopped into thin strips), then add the chicken. Make sure it’s properly cooked on all sides and throughout. Whilst your chicken cooks, slice up the spring onions. Add them last, and fry them along with he chicken for the final two minutes or so.
Serve with white rice and topped with some coriander.