Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

Okay. Not really. Last night I dreamt I was in a soap opera. Not just any ol’ soap opera, but Search for Tomorrow, circa 1958. I was in the soap, but not as an actor – it was recording daily life where we all lived and all that went on – and I was just a character in all of it. Kinda like the Truman Show, except I knew it was happening. Sometimes I could see myself in the scene, other times I was in the scene seeing it through my own eyes. Dreams are weird.

Search for Tomorrow was a 15 minute soap back in the day. I really don’t remember what the plot line was other than a woman who was the main character, but in my dream, it didn’t matter.

My mother and grandmother were both huge soap fans – the CBS lineup of Search for Tomorrow, Guiding Light, The Secret Storm, As the World Turns, and the only one I liked – The Edge of Night.

When my brother and I spent time with my grandparents in Bakersfield, we were usually called inside during the heat of the mid-afternoon – and that was when The Edge of Night came on. It was a mystery with Detective Mike Karr – It was very Perry Mason-like and totally unlike the others. It was pretty good.

One morning, I wasn’t feeling well and had stayed home from school – Jr High ’66 or ’67 – and I heard my mom screaming upstairs “NO! Don’t Do It NO! NO!” I went tearing up the stairs thinking someone had broken into the house and was trying to kill her. What I found was her standing in front of the TV with tears streaming down her face – someone had just killed their girlfriend or some such thing.

She blushed, tried to laugh, and tried to explain what had happened. I just growed and went back downstairs. I wanted to kill her.

Did I mention she liked her soaps?!? If you were wise, you did not call the house while her programs were on – she could really get into them.

The only soap I ever religiously watched was Dark Shadows. The first few seasons were really a lot of fun. Barnabas Collins was the gayest vampire, ever. Funny, I actually tried watch a few old episodes not too long ago and couldn’t sit through them. It was too campy even for me! But back when it was new, we made sure we were home at 4pm every day after school to watch it! I couldn’t watch the Johnny Depp movie, either. I tried. It was horrible.

Dreams definitely are weird. I  really don’t remember them very often and very seldom remember a lot of detail. Like lst night, they tend to make sense at the time, but once you start looking at them, they can just be improbably weird as hell.

So what causes weird dreams? Something you ate?!?

I really didn’t eat anything strange, yesterday… We picnicked at Monmouth Race Track and I ate a cookie, and a piece of cake – not part of the normal regime. And we had grilled chicken – the same chicken in tonight’s salad. We had leftovers.

If I have a weird dream, tonight, I can blame the chicken.

We brought cold chicken and carrot and raisin salad to share with everyone – and had enough to bring back a bit for dinner, tonight.

I took my Oriental Flank Steak recipe and reworked it for chicken breasts. I cut each breast into thirds, marinated them, grilled them, and then put the breasts into the second marinade overnight.

It came out pretty good, if I do say so, m’self!

Chicken Breasts with Spicy Garlic Marinade

First Marinade:

  • 2 tsp peeled, minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup rice wine or sherry
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 (or more) tbsp chili paste (Sambal Oelek)
  • 2-1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into thirds

Second Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup rice wine, or sherry
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 (or more) tbsp chili paste (Sambal Oelek)

Mix the first five ingredients in a bowl or pan large enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Turn once or twice if you think of it. Discard any remaining marinade.

Make the second marinade.

Broil or barbecue the chicken and place in the second marinade.  It’s best to make the day before and let sit in the refrigerator (I use gallon-size zip-lock bags) to meld flavors.

You can eat as is or: mix with chilled, cooked noodles; or spoon over lettuce leaves for a luncheon salad; or mix with bean sprouts; or put out mini pita breads and a spread for sandwiches.

Just let your imagination run wild!

It’s really simple to make but just screams flavor. The marinade will work with anything – from shrimp or other seafood to pork, beef, or chicken.

Have fun with it!