I have a number of good friends who had their children, even later than I had my children, which means that when they come over, I ask Daughters and Son to take care of the little children. The amazing thing is, Son and Daughters are GOOD at taking care of other little children. Daughter #1 ensures safety, Daughter #2 ensures that the child goes to the bathroom (she's actually gifted in this area I think), and Son is the ever present fount of new and interesting toys that the child may want to play with. The three of them are the most awesome baby sitting team ever, and are so good to Friends' children that it makes me pause.
I actually wonder if I should have another child. If only so I can tap into this free, extensive, awesome, babysitting service that is ALREADY INSTALLED IN MY HOME. Not that I begrudge my friends the babysitting service they get from my own, but how come one of my own don't benefit from some of my own!
I heard the story recently of a mother that I knew many years ago (I was her child's Sunday School teacher) who has now a child in college (one of my Sunday school students) and a ONE YEAR OLD. There are 6 children in between the eldest and the youngest, and it turns out that the older children have really done well taking care of the younger ones. And I think I missed out on that benefit. I had Children very close together, all about 22 months apart, and lived life bleary eyed and exhausted as three children all NEEDED me AT THE SAME TIME. I won't easily forget the year of overlap where ALL THREE were in diapers, or the time when mealtimes were nothing but chaos of trying to maneuver with only two hands, food into three different set of mouths. Where was my older child, babysitting assistant when this was happening?
These days, because I am not a benefit of childcare from Children, I look at other ways to benefit from their age and their skill set. Daughters and Son are all fairly proficient at help in the kitchen. Setting the table (Son's great at this) and pouring water, and arranging a pretty table setting are all well done by my kitchen help. Daughters are good at peeling veggies, washing rice, even the occasional loading of the dishwasher. So I guess I haven't fully lost out on their ability to help me out at home.
I tapped them to help me with the following project - which was removing the heads and the bowels of a pile of anchovies I wanted to turn into their favorite side dish. It's tedious, time consuming, so with the soundtrack of The Sound of Music playing loudly, we sat down and tackled the beheading and disembowelment of these tiny little sea creatures. They had done it before so they were quite skilled but even with six hands working, it took almost an hour to collect 1 cup's worth of anchovies.
Once that part is finished however, the rest of the dish comes together so quickly it's a shame. If you can find the super tiny anchovies (a pile can fit on a penny) then you won't need to mess around with the head removal, but you also don't want to use this technique with bigger anchovies. Tiny and small anchovies are the ideal choice for this simple side dish. The end result is an anchovy with a crispy honey coating, which sounds sort of strange (fish candy?) unless you're used to such delicious concoctions and you think - YEAH YUM! Son and Daughters will often gobble up a bowl of these that I leave out, much like one would gobble up a bowl of candied nuts or chocolate.
Please use tiny or small anchovies for this - and if you're using anchovies that are small/medium, you can take time to pull off the heads and pull out their innards. If you're lazy, don't feel like it, then don't, but you will notice an improvement in flavor from this process.
This picture shows you the ideal way to get the head and bowels out together. Grab the head between index and thumb and gently wiggle back and forth and pull outwards. It should help you pop off both the head and that interesting black stuff as well.
Honey Glazed Anchovies (Myulchi Banchan 멸치반찬)
Makes 5 dozen
1 cup tiny or small anchovies (smaller ones where it is possible to remove head and bowels do so)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
To a cold fry pan, add anchovies and oil. Place fry pan over medium heat, and begin heating oil and anchovies together, coating all the anchovies with oil, and allowing the heat to help the anchovies to absorb oil. Continue heating and begin toasting the anchovies in the oil, toast together for about 5 minutes, until pan and anchovies are nice and warm. Add honey to the pan, and quickly mix together, coating all the anchovies with honey, and cook together for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until all pieces are sticky and coated.
Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and remove from pan and cool. Anchovies will develop a crispy coating after cooling.
** for those who can have nuts in their anchovies, add ¼ cup of walnuts to the cold pan along with the anchovies and oil and proceed with recipe as above.
This is the tiny anchovy version - heads did not need to be removed.