01 December 2011

Thanksgiving Lunch

Shoot (the turkeys). I'm a week behind in posting...while everyone else is posting about Christmas and other festivities, I'm still writing about last Thursday, Thanksgiving. I should've posted this 168 hours ago, since it happened that long ago.

I woke up from my 12-hour slumber (from midnight to noon...and let me tell you, that was roughly how much sleep I'd gotten in the past 3 days added together) to my mum telling me that we were leaving in 10 minutes.

"10 minutes?! Where are we going?"
"HM's family* invited us for lunch at a Chinese restaurant."

HM is my sister's friend, and is currently my sister's age.

So I lounge around, brush my teeth, and instead of having some toast (or congee, because that's no doubt what my mum would've made. Actually, that's what I had on Saturday and Sunday morning), I clamber into the car and feel content that I'm eating a full-out Chinese set meal for my Thanksgiving breakfast/lunch/dinner.

So, I've never had a legitimate American Thanksgiving dinner before, with family. No one in my extended family celebrates Thanksgiving since they're all in China (except for one cousin in Australia). Another year passes, and I've still yet to have a traditional "Amercian Thanksgiving". Actually, my brother and I went to my friend PL's church's Thanksgiving party in 2003, but I don't remember much at all (did I even eat much? Probably not...). Either way, like I said last year, I'm supposed to be thankful all the time,  not just one day in the year (on which we, as a family, argue, anyway).
 Since my parents ordered some set lunch (with a lot of dishes...), while we spent some 20 minutes waiting for the food, the kids (HM, HM's cousins & my sister) got impatient, so we ordered some dimsum. Delicious glutinous rice ball with peanut filling and coconut!! Delicious egg tart!! The kids devoured the spring rolls. My sister noticeably ate food with more zeal...I guess it's because that's what the other kids were doing. "Peer pressure", says my brother.

Note that I have two chopsticks initially, but in the egg tart picture I only have one chopstick. My other one rolled onto the floor :(
This restaurant likes to garish its plates with wafer-thin orange slices and cucumber slices. Here is a plate of  jellyfish, ham, and ...
"Hmm what's that?" - my brother.
"Squid." - I say.
"No it's not. Mum, what's that?" (getting my mum to eat more food)
"I don't know."
"Dad, what's that?"
"I don't know -- let me ask -- what's this?"
"It's squid." -- Waiter.

I was right all along and all I had to do was glance at the slices of white and orange.
 Fried glutinous rice with red bean paste and sesame!!
Still one chopstick.
 Note garnish.
 This one had cucumber garnish, and it was delicious!! The cashews were great, and the white cubes are water chestnut.
Note that I now have two chopsticks. Funnily enough, one of HM's cousins also lost a chopstick. They were trying to shoot a chopstick at a plate using a piece of elastic.
 Mushroom and vegetables. That spongy stuff is also apparently a sort of fungus. It was great.
 My brother ate lobster. I never knew that they gave mini 3-pronged forks with the lobster.
 A chicken (with head). My mentor told me today that she has a Korean friend who used a chicken for Thanksgiving instead of a turkey, which is pretty funny. However, by this time, there was so much food that no one actually ate the chicken.
 Note food. The noodles with mushrooms were nice.

China Gourmet
482 Eagle Rock Ave.
West Orange, NJ 07052

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