Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'll Pass on the Jellyfish

We went to a big birthday party this week.  It was one of those big "ZERO years" for someone we had known for more than thirty years.  The party was held at a huge Chinese restaurant in Sacramento.  There were about forty of us, ten to a table, and it was an eleven course Chinese meal.

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The soup was good, until I checked on what "fish maw" was just now and discovered it's a fish's air bladder.  If I had known that I wouldn't have eaten it, though the crab (in reality "krab") was good. 
The Combination Platter was put down on the table and looked kind of like Chinese antipasto, with two different things that looked like salami, something that looked like sweet and sour pork, and a mound of what I thought was rice noodles.  I chose one of the "salamis," a couple of the sweet and sours,and a big spoon of the rice noodles, which I love.  I had a chopstick full of noodles on the way to my mouth when our hostess started explaining about the "jellyfish."  I literally retched as I put it in my mouth, not wanting to be impolite, but managed to choke it down.  In truth, it wasn't bad--a bit too chewy for me, but I don't do adventurous eating.  If I know what it is, I can't eat it.   I remember my first boyfriend daring me to try his father's sweetbreads the first time we went out to dinner.  Heck, some bread that was sweet? I didn't understand the laughter.  It was very good.  It was years later before I found out what it was I had eaten.
The honey walnut prawns were familiar and delicious.  No problem there and I even ate the deep fried flounder, though it included eating the bones, which were friend crisp.  By this time I was taking very small portions of anything I was uncertain about.
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The chicken was also delicious, and I was glad that nobody was expected to eat the chicken head.
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When the 3 seafood delight came I pretty much passed it up. There were things in there that I was very suspicious of, but I did eat the mixed mushrooms and veggies, though it contained several types of mushrooms and I'm generally pretty squeamish about anything but plain old regular mushrooms.  But when I had taken a class from Martin Yan, he took us to a gourmet Chinese meal as well and the best thing on the menu was a dish that contained 7 different kinds of mushrooms.  Heck, I even took some of the noodle basket that the mushrooms came in.
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The rest of the meal -- noodles, rice and birthday cake, were pretty safe (and delicious)
I often wish I were more adventurous trying new foods, but I just am not.  Walt enjoyed everything at this banquet and I might have had my taste buds expanded if only my taste buds had been more open about trying new things!

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