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Posts Tagged ‘you gonna eat that?’

I am the kind of person who looks at a restaurant’s menu online before she goes out to dinner. I like to have an idea of what I’m going to order ahead of time, to cut down on the on-the-spot decision making.

I am a planner.

But I found out over the weekend that it’s much harder to plan your meal when you’re eating dim sum.

This particular meal made it on my 27 list mostly because Husband has raved about it, and I’m always up for trying new things.

And, to a degree, I knew what to expect: servers pushing around carts full of food that we could say either yes or no to.

dimsum-1

What I didn’t know was how competitive/frantic dim sum could make me feel.

The first couple carts came around fairly quickly, and we enjoyed pork buns and sticky rice – two of the best dishes of the day.

dimsum-2

But then there was a lull.

The next carts I saw were loaded with clams and shrimp and beef and chicken…but they were empty by the time they got to us. And I think that made me even hungrier. I know it added to this frantic need I felt to have to choose quickly (and a lot) once the server stopped at our table.

dimsum-3

Which is why, when the dessert cart came around and we had a choice between custard pie and custard in a bun, I practically shouted, “The bun! The bun!” to Husband, as if there were a time limit on the decision. Or as if someone else would take it if we didn’t act NOW. (Even though there were plenty available.)

In my defense, the custard bun was fantastic – possibly the best dish of the meal.

dimsum-4-custardbun

But it probably would have been just as delicious if I’d been a little calmer about the decision.

Probably.

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Food bloggers (the good ones, anyway) always seem to take photos of whatever amazing dish they’ve just made or had. Not only do they describe in such a way that you resolve to try it (or try to make it), but the photo then makes your mouth water.

I, on the other hand, when confronted with food of the amazing and mouth-watering variety, tend to scarf it down (while still savoring, naturally) and not remember photos until all you see are the dregs on the plate.

Example: our wedding menu tasting this past weekend.

          (What you don’t see are three extra utensils underneath that napkin.                 I felt like Leo in Titanic.)

Our venue coordinator suggested taking photos of each dish at the beginning, so we could remember each of the individual options, and we agreed that was a good idea. Then the first course was served.

We tried a grilled corn chowder with crab meat so rich and flavorful that I didn’t want to try anything else. I persevered, though, and tasted a butternut squash soup (meh) and a port-marinated pear salad (so light and refreshing!).

And I would love to show you the photos because the presentation rivaled the taste. But did I think to click before I devoured?

Not a chance.

In fact, the only photos I have are of the potential main courses, because our coordinator specifically reminded me.

As for the cake…please. Like I would have let a camera get in between me and my sweet tooth.

Everyone has told me that you don’t actually get to eat at your own wedding.

After this tasting, however, I am more than prepared to buck that trend.

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I know Thanksgiving was a full week ago, but I have a few post holiday updates for you:

  • Thanksgiving in LA was wonderful. I met far more family than I had anticipated, had so much fun, ate amazing food, and learned how to make empanadas from the boyfriend’s mom!

(Hermanito responded by 1) not hating me (plus!), and 2) covering his car seats with Dodgers blankets that I was forced to sit on. I’ll take it.)

  • While the holiday was a blast, it wasn’t exactly relaxing. And no downtime means no time to work on the two papers and presentation that I had due earlier this week. Which all leads to a very stressed and tired Liebchen. Thankfully, those projects are now out of the way and I can start the countdown to finals – and after. In just two weeks we’ll be on our way to Puerto Rico and this semester will be behind me.
  • For now, I’ll be looking forward to a New York visit this weekend, testing out a latke recipe tonight, and buckling down to write just two more papers and study for two more finals.

Ready…go!

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When I was in high school, the guys I hung out with used to hold their very own Wing Bowl, as an alternative to the official event. I never wanted to participate – frankly, I thought it was kind of sickening – but I *did* want to attend. Even if only to have a couple drinks and a handful of wings.

I was denied.

I had assumed that the “no girls allowed” sentiment would have subsided shortly after elementary school – around the same time when we all stopped being afraid of cooties. I was wrong – kind of. My friends assured me that I could come, but only if I *served* the wings. And the idea of wearing a particular serving outfit was tossed around as well (several options were mentioned). It just wasn’t worth it to me to see the guys stuff their faces and then, inevitably, puke, so I bailed. But I heard all the stories about how Nick won by scarfing down 75 wings (I don’t know how long he had), which both appalled and impressed me.

Not Nick, but what I imagine they looked like during the contest.

Not Nick, but what I imagine they all looked like during the contest.

I was even more appalled/impressed when I read that this year’s official amateur eater ate 203 wings in 20 minutes! Just the thought makes me gag a little bit. That gut reaction is probably why I’ve only ever entered two, albeit unofficial, eating contests in my entire life.

1) I don’t know if it really qualifies as an eating contest, but once (okay, a few times), out of sheer boredom, I attempted the Saltine Challenge. You know, eating 6 crackers in less than a minute? Not a success. And possible spewing of unchewed crackers on the carpet. I’m soooo attractive.

EXACTLY what they looked like.

EXACTLY what they looked like.

2) One summer in high school I went to Shanghai with a group of about 20, and our guide introduced us to traditional Chinese food. One dish was “drunken shrimp” – meaning that the shrimp were still alive, but soaked in wine, so they weren’t really moving, except for the occasional twitch. We went around the table, trying to see who could stomach the most, and the majority of the group dropped out after one or two. (It’s a little disconcerting to eat something that wiggles, no? TMI?) I stayed in, running neck and neck with a guy who was about twice my size, and just as competitive. In the end, we had each eaten 13 live shrimp, and decided to stop while we were ahead (and not sick).

Maybe it’s a little gross, but I’ll take a few drunken shrimp over a couple hundred wings any day.

Anyone up for a challenge?

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