Wednesday, May 18, 2011

no crispy noodle, not chinese food

since pastrami to me is different from pastrami to hwubby it stirs me to recall something fascinating and funny. the first time we took my father-in-law, may he rest in peace, to chinese food, he kindly says, suk wah, we love chinese food, you order. so i do. when food begin to arrive my father-in-law says, where's crispy noodle? keep in mind i take the jewish family to a chinese restaurant where no fortune cookies are served unless you specifically ask for it and when hwubby does, the first time we were there, i swear - and hwubby assures me i am just paranoid - i see the owner/maitre'd, mrs chow, roll her eyes ever so subtly as she turns towards me and say, in cantonese, we don't have crispy noodle here. anyway after a little bit of explaining, mrs chow, the owner, totally gets it. it is the daughter-in-law's sacred duty to please the father-in-law. so in no time a big plate of fresh, crispy noodle miraculously appear in front of my father-in-law. he beams and says to mrs chow, i want mongolian beef. i pray quietly, please do not order lobster in black bean sauce, or else mrs chow will tease me the rest of my life. i recall hwubby tell me several times that this is one of their top fave when they go for chinese food. my prayer is answered. and, listen to this, i don't have to ask for fortune cookies. without them i don't think my american family think they have had chinese food.

o yes, here's another good one. over a passover meal a distinguished jew shares this, we travel in china, they bring us food, we look at them and we say, this is not chinese food. well, i'm so glad there is my pastrami moment and here are crispy noodle, fortune cookie, mongolian beef and lobster in black bean sauce times. all are fantastic. i realize they show beautifully that beyond these flavorful and yummy diversity we share fundamental commonalities. we love having great food with family and friends. aren't we one or what?!

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