Every time I tell myself that I’m going to eat less and/or healthier (which in my case is less starch, because I am a starch addict) a family function comes along and I have to live with myself after succumbing to the wonders of a Chinese banquet. I just got back from a family celebration and I am carrying around the weight of a small elephant within me. That might be a slight exaggeration, but it sure feels like it. I know I didn’t have to eat so much, but when there’s a constantly turning Lazy Susan bearing tons of Chinese food in front of you, what’s a girl to do?
Even though I love my Italian pasta and my Indian curry and my French bread, there’s nothing like soul food (in my case, Chinese food) to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Or is that just too much food in your stomach? I can’t possibly imagine a life without Chinese food. I panic when I don’t have any for a few days or if there’s no grocery stores nearby that carry any of the supplies I need to make it myself. I had a slightly hysterical moment when I first moved to DC and I discovered that the nearby Safeway’s idea of an Asian food aisle consisted of ramen and soy sauce. Thankfully, a family friend did some research and found a Japanese grocery store nearby (nearby= a 10 minute walk>a 10 bus ride>a 15 minute walk). Ironically, the first grocery store I visited in Ireland had more Chinese food in it. Go figure.
Tonight we were celebrating my aunt’s birthday, and on my mom’s side, she has 5 siblings, so that makes for a pretty big group every time we gather together. Today’s dinner only had 19 of us, which was almost the full group, but we were missing a few people. We took up two big tables in the back of the restaurant. We served the tea. We had the extra napkins ready. And then we feasted.
If there’s one thing my family knows well, it’s how to enjoy good food. We had at least 15+ dishes on our tables. I don’t think I even got around to sampling some, because it was just too overwhelming. Fish, duck, beef, noodles, soup, tofu (I can’t even list all the actual dish names because there were just too many!)…the list goes on and on. The following was taken mid-nomfest: