My youngest son has a Chinese-American best friend. My oldest son did also when he was very young. We do not live in an area with a high Asian demographic, so I guess it’s just coincidence. Or maybe their is something in my sons’ personalities that compels them to learn of other cultures and languages. I’ll probably never know. We have really enjoyed chatting and eating. We discuss cultural holidays, their family’s histories and how they came to find themselves in the U.S.
We have enjoyed spending time with our kid’s Chinese-American friends. Food is something to bring us together. My oldest just loved the rice served at his friend’s house. It became his favorite food for a few years. In the past we have been treated to glass noodles, five spice pork and other yummy things I do not remember the name of. I always feel so honored to receive their kind dishes. It is a warm feeling to have someone cook their family favorites for you. None of it, however, looked like the stuff the serve at the local buffets. One of our friends from China had never heard of Orange chicken or Fortune Cookies before moving to the U.S. She was not impressed with these faux Chinese recipes. I don’t blame her, her cooking is delicious.
It’s exciting to try something way out of your comfort zone. Today at a child’s birthday party, I was encouraged to spear a hot dog and roast it over a fire. Fun and familiar. What I didn’t expect was for the host to brush a spicy honey mixture on everyone’s frankfurter. I was told it was a traditional recipe. Ok, I’ll admit I was a little nervous about trying it. Did they hear that Americans love everything sweet? The pork flavor was enhanced by the honey and the subltle heat from spice brightened everything up. Pretty good! What came next stole the show.
Our host continued to grill a delicious assortment of meats on the charcoal. Sizzling hot short ribs followed the hot dogs. The Best! It was like I was eating ribs for the first time again. Generous portions were piled high on our plates. They didn’t look like ribs, more like a thin steak. The Chicken wings coming up next smelled scrumptious, but I was to full to eat another bite. I’m sure they were marvelous.
We never know what fine folks our paths may cross with, but it sure is a fun journey.