Adventures in Eating


Oh, my.  Oh, yummy. Oh, deliciousness.

I went to Dim Sum today with my husband and some of my siblings.  It is so much FUN.  If you are not familiar with Dim Sum, let me explain.

Here in Massachusetts, Dim Sum means driving into Boston’s Chinatown and going into a big restaurant that is packed, packed, packed with young Chinese families, mixed groups of Chinese and non-Chinese, college students, babies, toddlers, old Chinese couples and everyone else you can imagine.

There’s no real menu. You just sit at your round table and wait a minute.  Waiters and waitresses come around pushing steam carts full of all kinds of Chinese delicacies in small steam bowls and little porcelain dishes.

Generally speaking, you have no idea of what it is that you are asking for.  The waiter or waitress will point to the various steamed, fried or sauteed items on the cart and say, in very heavily accented English, “bean, beef, very good!” or “mussel, yes?” or “bao tzu, you like!”

I love it.

I love the whole idea of it. I love the incredible smells of the spicy foods. I love biting into a steamed bun and finding a sweet mouthful of something that tastes like custard. I love the adventure of chomping into a crisply fried bit of dough, with no idea what will be inside. Today’s surprises included shrimp and eggplant.

One of my favorite dishes at Dim Sum is spicy chicken feet. I am not sure why, but there is just something so out of the norm about sucking the spicy fat off of cooked chicken feet……

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So often, our lives are simply a set of repeating days.  Toast, coffee, read the news, go to work, eat lunch, home again for the usual dinner. Not bad, nice and comfy.  But still….

How lovely to have a chance to sample an entirely different culture just by going out for brunch!  When I go to Dim Sum, I have a chance to pretend that I am an adventurous world traveler with a love of mystery.  When I go to Dim Sum, I can let go of my usual ideas about food. I can dive into a plate of something sort of wiggly and cabbagy,  and smile at my brother as we both realize that we are munching on slices of spicy beef tripe.

Thank you to my wonderful brother Mark and his wife Sue, and to my sweet sister Liz, for coming to Dim Sum today!  Oh, yes.  And to the ever patient Paul, who would have been perfectly happy with a plate of waffles.

Next time, I hope to get more siblings and some of our kids to join us.  You haven’t lived until you’ve sucked on a chicken foot.