There is one thing I really appreciate about my Mom. Ok, there’s more than one but this one is really big. She always made food seem like an adventure. When there was something new to try she always tried it and she was excited about trying it. She made us feel as if we were definitely missing out by not trying it.
When the first green peas were ready to pick, we fought for our share. When we had fresh lettuce salads in the spring, it was a time of excitement. She presented new recipes as though they were a new found treasure. “Guess what I made!” and we would all dive in ready to share our opinion on this interesting new dish.
As a result, her children are, for the most part, not picky eaters. And all of us eat adventurously. When we spent a week in Haiti with Aunt Mary we eagerly tried each new dish. Some of them thought the banana porridge was going a bit far, but none of us regret trying it. When bert came home from the Philippines he proudly told us about the moment on the plane when the stewardess was passing out breakfast of either egg sandwiches or “Chou lo tolko” (ok fine, it was something like that). All of his comrades asked for an egg sandwich while Bert said confidently, “I’ll have the Chou lo talko” He had no idea what it was and I’m not sure that he had much more of an idea what it was after he ate it than he did before he ate it. That’s beside the point, however. The point is that trying this food, no matter what it was, added richness to his life.
In the last year we’ve discovered a lovely little Thai place in kingsport that inspired us to try cooking some Thai food ourselves. Sharon has nearly perfected her sticky rice and spring rolls are surprisingly easy, fun, and delicious.
We’ve always loved Chinese food and we have an awesome buffet in Middlesboro but recently a friend of ours was telling us about a Chinese takeout place that’s there too. Tonight I had a chiropractor appointment so Sharon went with me and when I was done there, we suddenly remembered this little Chinese place. We felt it was an opportune time so we found it on the GPS and after some twists and turns and a wrong turn or so, we finally found it on a back alley. Sharon parked, looked around, and announced “I am definitely not going in there.” I got out quickly before she could leave.
“We are so going in there. You’re gonna regret it if you leave. ”
“What if we die?!”
“Greg eats here all the time and he didn’t die”
I marched in and Sharon followed reluctantly, still quite uncertain.
I scanned the menu, and ordered confidently.
“I’ll have the shrimp lo mein”.
He looked at me and rattled off a whole row of broken English much to fast. I caught something about chou mein and lo mein and assuered him I really did want the lo mein, while mentally pulling a blank on what the difference is between the two.
Our food was ready in about 5 minutes. We climbed back into our car and drove out into the main part of town before stopping to eat it.
It was piping hot and delicious. Fresh Cabbage rolls and General Tso’s chicken and fried rice on top of the lo mein, which was a mixture of bok choy, celery and onions.
Sharon says she’s never eating there again. She loved the food but she’s a little more grossed out than I am. I think I’ll eat there again. It was good. And besides, they have a big menu and I think it would be such an adventure to try everything on it