December 26, 2011

What we did on December 25th

In order to better understand what we did on December 25th, when most of the rest of America celebrates Christmas, see this blog post.

Although I had a lot of discomfort with my feet and didn't have the energy to be on my feet in the morning, we did join our friends at 2 PM at Chiang's Gourmet for a Chinese feast. Here's what we ate, all pre-ordered the savvy host with our terrific waitress friend Mabel:

vegetarian spare ribs 
green onion pancake
fried dough sticks with soy sauce and sugar (just like Beijing street food, says Rik)
baked buns with eggs
vegetarian mu shu
salt and pepper whole fish
honey walnut prawns
rice cakes with edamame, mushrooms, greens
green beans with garlic
basil chicken
tea smoked duck

It didn't come in this order. At Chiang's they bring your food in the order it's freshly cooked, not necessarily in the order you placed it. I don't know why this is the case; no other Chinese restaurant seems to work this way, but we like the food there, so we keep going back despite being served out of order.

The restaurant was crowded when we arrived, with the last of the lunch rush leaving. That gave the staff a short break and the noise level dropped enough that we could talk with one another around our very large round table. Next year maybe we should go just a little later at 3 PM. By 4:00 it was starting to fill up again. Finding the right time to go out on Christmas Day is always challenging. At dinnertime, the place is too crowded to be comfortable, and I gather lunch was the same way. Mid-afternoon appears to be just right.

After a totally yummy late lunch, everyone came back here to hang out, relax, play board games, shmooze and have dessert. It was D's birthday, so we ate chocolate cupcakes, pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream, ginger cake and the leftover apple torte from Friday night. And coffee, and tea, and sparkling cider. The teens played Milles Bournes with Rik and watched a movie while the adults kept talking. The last friends left around 8:00, Rik and I cleaned up a bit and settled down on the sofa with Bob the dog to watch the re-run of PBS's "Downtown Abbey."

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