Tuesday, December 30, 2008

misfortune at the golden china ...in bed.

it's the most wonderful time of the year. the end of the year, that is. and since i'm at home for the week reminiscing about the good times past (what few there were) with my best friend, he suggested that i should end this year's post with a story of things past. so gather 'round kids, and prepare to be entertained by the story of the day my sister met my best friend thomas for the first time and also stopped eating egg drop soup forever. the story of an adventure at the golden china.

first, a little background information...
in a small town whose most popular restaurants are huddle house diner and bojangles fried chicken respectively, the golden china was unique not only in that it offered delicious tofu all the time, but also in it's brightly painted exterior which depicted lanterns, dragons, and most exciting of all, panda bears. it was decorated with christmas lights year round and they always had a chinese new year celebration extravaganza, which i actually never attended but sounded like a real good time. they had satellite television with chinese programming and best of all, NO BUFFET. people at buffets remind me of pigs at a trough. not to mention how unsanitary they are. i should tell you though, that even without a bacteria breeding buffet i did get food poisoning there once, but i don't hold that against them.

once upon a time...
thomas and i had just started living together in a little brick house near the university where i did my undergrad degree, the first of many houses that we lived in together over the years. my younger sister was home visiting from college. we were going to get lunch and since my sister is vegetarian we immediately thought of golden china and their bean curd and vegetable delight.

we arrived only to find out that the golden china had decided that they would close during lunch on saturdays. not to worry. i should mention that the golden china stood adjacent to what can only be described as a meth motel called "the varsity inn." the people(family?) that ran the golden china not only ran this motel, but lived there. so as we stood there trying to decide where to go instead, the manager/owner, mr. chang, runs out from the motel and assures us that we shouldn't go anywhere as he will open the restaurant and cook for us personally. we tried unsuccessfully to decline as this seemed slightly odd since we had never seen mr. chang do anything but harangue the poor waitress who i heard he didn't even actually pay, but apparently "no" was not an answer he was willing to accept.

so he opened the restaurant for us and everything was going great. then my sister orders a cup of egg drop soup. she was saying how delicious the soup was when the conversation took an unappetizing turn. i'm not sure exactly what thomas says to my sister at this point. i believe it was some sort of comparison between eggs suspended in gelatenous broth with a certain class of bodily fluids. i do remember my sister pushing the mostly uneaten cup of soup to the side, refusing to eat the rest and stating that she would never be able to look at a cup of egg drop the same.

here's where things get interesting. after some uncomfortably silent contemplation of texture and egg drop soup, we got our entrees and began to feast. i noticed a bright flash from the kitchen, which i assumed was created safely within a wok as part of the cooking process. we keep eating. then thomas brings our attention to a large cloud of black smoke which we can see through the window is billowing from the back of the restaurant. we contemplated leaving, but reasoned that surely mr. chang would tell us if something were up. the smoke must be coming from somewhere else. yeah...that's it...

wrong. we quickly realized that the golden china was indeed on fire when the fire department arrived and rushed in the back. still, no mr. chang. not wanting to chance being incinerated, we threw some money on the table and got out of there.

i'm not quite sure what the point of this post was. the golden china didn't burn down. mr. chang was fine. and next time we ate there, everyone involved pretended nothing amiss had ever happened.

happy new year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

you're a mean one martha grinch

i have been utterly and totally defeated by martha stewart and her army of impossible to achieve good things. this hurts, martha, i mean really hurts. for years i have had your back, but now i see the truth you stone-hearted old cow.

since the vacation period has left me with a bit of free time, i decided to make the december desert of the month featured in martha stweart living. you see, never having been a girl to pursue something half-heartedly, i decided that if i was going to eat carbs for the holidays, then i would reindulge in a full on sugar extravaganza otherwise known as the chocolate-coconut charlotte.

i'll try to spare you the myriad of bad things that happened whilst trying to make one good thing. basically what had happened was i tried to make the chocolate ladyfinger base of this enigmatic dessert of the month. after a great deal of patient assistance from my mother, i ended up with the following: one giant ladyfinger the size of a cookie sheet, sticky chocolate goo all over myself, and an incredible urge to drink.

i'm still not quite sure how this is all going to resolve itself. except for the drinking part. time to break open the reunite lambrusco. a steal at $5.99. a very good thing indeed. as far as the dessert...let's just say that it isn't going to look like the picture.

i had just started to get into the christmas spirit too. and martha stole it. took all my holiday good will and absconded with it to her connecticut country home. put out all the magazines you want peddling fake christmas cheer. i know you're up there in the northeast laughing at all us poor bastards trying to emulate a dessert you never even attempted to make yourself. i pity the intern that had to put THAT together for the photo shoot.

anyway... merry christmas to all and to all a night filled without the unreachable goals set forth by an aging ex-con who not only doesn't know christmas joy but delights in stealing it from others...thanks heaps martha....
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