I've been around the interwebs for quite awhile. I met my husband in an AOL Chat Room (I know!) And I met my best friend on AOL, too. This was back in the last century... in fact, it was nearly 20 years ago. In those days, I would attend get-togethers for DC AOL people from time to time. Always anxiety producing for me, these meetings actually, generally, went very well.
Although if you handed me a martini, I could keep you laughing for hours with stories of internet dating. But that's another topic altogether.
Last night, I attended a DC Food Bloggers event. Even before I left the house, I was certain I would be the oldest person in the room. I changed my clothes a million times. I didn't want to hear "My mother has that sweater." I was pretty terrified, but I had a secret weapon. My Party Wings.
These Asian inspired chicken wings have been a winning recipe for more than half my life. I first had them at a catered event, wrangled the recipe from the caterer, then tinkered with it until I was satisfied. I've never carried a single leftover back into the kitchen - they are always eaten up.
Sticky, sweet, tangy - perfect. I even made a couple of new friends last night, and I give the wings credit.
Yes, I was the oldest blogger in the room. I was relieved to see two women my age in one corner, but when I talked to them, it turned out they had crashed the party. How funny is that?
In general, I didn't feel any more out of place than I usually feel, being wracked with social anxiety, and in fact, I found I shared an interest in food, photography and restaurants with everyone I met. Yes, I will do this again. Yes, I will.
And to the Artist who made that pate en croute? It was hands-down the most delicious, beautiful, photo-worthy item there. I wish I'd taken a picture before it was cut and devoured. Kudos.
Here's the recipe for Party Wings. Don't forget extra napkins.
6# chicken wings, cut into three parts, the tips frozen for stock)
1/4 c fermented black beans
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c toasted sesame oil
1/4 c unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
2/3 c hoisin
1/4 c horseradish
1/4 c dijon mustard
1 T minced garlic
1/2 c ketchup
Combine everything but the chicken. Stir well. Add chicken and marinate overnight, or 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400•. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange wings in a single layer.
Bake the wings, basting and flipping them about halfway through. Cook a total of 45 minutes.
Taste a wing when the come out of the oven, because they'll go so fast you won't get one otherwise.
PS Thank you to Elyse, who has two children who explained why I had the coding showing up in the last blog post. I knew I should have had kids.
PPS Chicken pot pie is coming next.