Chinatown – a hint of Asia – part two

Chinatown – a hint of Asia – part two

Greetings to all!

winter beauty

Too short for an essay of their own, we include these thoughts here.

Out on a walk last evening prior to dusk, with the barren desert brown mountains to my left, to my right I observed the dormant trees with their bare branches pointing towards the sky.  These trees, that several people had planted in their backyards, were of a kind that has many thin branches growing near vertically from the trunks.  I have seen these trees with their many branches against a cloudy winter sky, and now against a clear blue late winter sky.  In summer, these trees have many green leaves and provide late afternoon shade for the backyards of their planters.

But, there is a certain simple beauty in this scene of bare, leafless branches reaching skyward.  Captivated by this scene, I paused for a few minutes on the sidewalk and looked at the trees.  It was very quiet and calm.  No wind, not even a slight breeze.  My mind was empty, and at peace.

There is a beauty to nature in the winter time despite the inconvenience, and even the hazards and dangers of snow and ice, and the low temperatures.

Chinese dinner banquets

These are several course feasts that are family events.  Up to nine, or even 10 prepared dishes can be brought to the round tables your relatives and friends are sitting at.  And, Chinese family events usually mean multiple 10 chair tables are filled with people you know well or just slightly.  Wedding receptions, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries are all reasons to go to a restaurant for these times of good company and much food.  (I always liked the fact that at the wedding receptions there was usually a bottle of cognac or good Scotch provided to each table.  (Those were the only times that I drank Scotch whiskey, as bourbon and rye whiskey are more to my liking.))

The various dishes, or courses, consist of various vegetables, assorted meats, fish, and shell-fish, and, of course, steamed rice.  No Chinese meal, even at home in your own kitchen, is complete without rice.  As the waiters bring the prepared dishes at intervals of about 8 to 10 minutes, the center of each table quickly fills up with platters of food.  When there is no more room for another dish, and the previous platters are not ready to be taken away, the waiter simply moves the platters around into a triangle and places the latest entre on to the edges of three earlier dishes.  It is rather amusing to see.  There is always more food than the 10 people at the table can eat.  Not to worry, the remaining food is not wasted, but is taken home in those restaurant styrofoam containers for eating the next day (or two days).

Lucy, my wife of many years, can attest to the fact that I did, on a few occasions, drink too much at these events.  But, then, I did not have to drive home later.  So no harm was done.

Now, let us share these humble pics for your enjoyment.  (These are mainly rough shots of the food on plates for individual servings.  The food has already been placed on to individual plates from the larger oval shaped platters.)

This first pic of prepared crab was from a month ago during home based celebrations of the Lunar New Year.

 

crab

 

Succulents – seen in a home before leaving for the banquet.

 

succulents

 

At the restaurant, we see Happiness, Wealth, and Longevity personified.

 

happiness, wealth, and longevity

 

At the restaurant, a large vase is visible.

 

big vase

 

Now, to the food, in no particular order.  This is a plate of Walnut Shrimp (or simply shrimp with walnuts).

 

walnut shrimp

 

Below, we see Sweet and Sour Rib.

 

sweet and sour rib

 

This is “Salty Chicken”.  But for the salt, there is not much taste to it.  The chicken usually is fairly tender and easy to chew.

 

salty chicken

 

Here we see a plate of Salt and Pepper Crab.  Crab is very popular in these banquets.

 

salt and pepper crab

 

Now for Pork Belly and Spinach.

 

pork belly and spinach

 

This is a plate of “Longevity Noodles”.  This recent banquet was celebrating a woman’s 60th birthday.

 

longevity noodle

 

Longevity, or long life, continues to be the theme in this pic.  These “Longevity Buns” were prepared at home.

 

longevity bun

 

Here we see assorted sea food and snow peas.

 

assorted sea food and snow peas

 

Miscellaneous items for dessert.

 

misc items

 

Thanks for reading!  Best wishes to all!

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