I have some very exciting news to share with you! My dad is in town from Michigan for a visit, his first official visit since he moved back to Michigan from Tennessee EVER! If you read my blog or know me well, you already know this so this isn’t news, right? Not to keep you in suspense any longer, the news I am talking about is that my dad came all of the way from Michigan to bring me…(insert exciting drumroll) Michigan Chinese Food!!!! OHMYSTARS! (and moon, sun, and all the planets!) It is that good, for real. You are all very jealous now, I know. Try not to covet my delicious Michigan Chinese food, please. If you come to my house I will share with you, but eat first because I probably will not give you enough to actually make you full. (Sorry, not sorry.) How can I be so rude and selfish? Because this is the best, most delicious blend of just the right spices, rice, veggies, sprouts, and pork that you will ever taste. This is the stuff dreams are made of. I crave this stuff like a pregnant woman craves pickles and ice cream. I know that is cliché and pregnant women don’t really crave pickles and ice cream, but you get my drift. Only the Chinese people that are immigrated to Michigan can make it this way. Even up there, it has to be true Chinese immigrants, or descendants of said immigrants, for it to taste this way. I am guessing that China is much like the USA, and foods are different depending on which part of the county you are in. I’ve never been to China, so those of you that have can maybe tell me if I am right about this. They have some of the same dishes on their menus that we have here in Tennessee, but even those do not taste the same. I think it is not only the way they prepare them, but also the spices they use and the quality of the ingredients. My go-to dish is Almond Boneless Chicken, and I have never seen it on a menu anywhere else in the country, and I try Chinese food in every city I spend more than one day in. I have found dishes called Almond Boneless Chicken, but it is not prepared or served the same way. This is breaded chicken, served on a bed of iceberg lettuce with sliced almonds and then a brown gravy-like sauce on the top. Then there are the egg rolls, oh the egg rolls! They are crispy and flaky on the outside, and inside they are hot and soft and filled with cabbage, veggies, pork, and the perfect blend of spices. Before any of you tell me how unhealthy this meal is, I already know this and I do not care. You have to have happiness in your life, and this includes Michigan Chinese food. When I visit Michigan, I try to eat it at least once a day. The entire drive home, I usually think about how I should have bought some to freeze and bring back with me, although I never have. I then crave this meal daily for a few weeks, and then less often forever, until the end of time, or until I get to back up to Michigan and have some. My family will back me up here as I mention it frequently, “I could go for some Michigan Chinese food!” We have a pretty good restaurant here in Powell that I will eat on occasion to help with the withdraw effects from the crack-like food. My dad is my hero now, and I know that he truly loves me with all of his heart because he brought me this food all of the way to Tennessee. Happiness is Michigan Chinese food. All of my Michigan peeps, please beg your local restaurant to move to Knoxville or Powell and tell them I personally will keep them in business. Or they can give me the recipe and a few cooking lessons and I will attempt to recreate it myself. They are pretty tight with those recipes, I have asked before, so I think if you get one we could probably make some money. I know you all think I am completely crazy now, and I am, but that is a different story for a different day. I am speaking truth here, and you need to either drop by my house today for a taste, or rush up to Michigan first chance you get and have some of this deliciousness. Your welcome.
Now you know my dad made it safely and made my year by bringing dinner! We are so glad to have him here and are going to enjoy his visit. We don’t have any big plans, but if you can think of something we should do with him or show him while he is here, please leave a comment for me or send me a message. I wish I had thought to score some Home Coming tickets to tomorrow’s Tennessee game, but I didn’t. (So maybe I am a very bad daughter?)
I managed yesterday to clean out a couple kitchen cabinets, including our medicine cabinet. I am embarrassed to admit I had vitamins in there that had expired in 2008. Yep, 6 years ago, actually the year the boys were born. I cleaned that cabinet out about 9 months ago and I have no idea how I missed those expired bottles. I am wondering if, upon reading the dates, I felt nostalgic and just kept them because of that. I know it sounds stupid, but if I had been having a bad day and had the boys on my mind then I can see myself doing that. I also have one bottle left with Michael’s name on it. I plan to keep it forever. I long ago threw the actual pills out, but it is the last bottle of medicine I bought for him. I keep it in the very back of the basket, but when I am searching for something specific and reading all of the bottles, I find it comforting when I read his name. It is surprising, even though I know the bottle is in there, when it ends up in my hand. I always let myself read it a few times and just hold it for a minute while the memories flash through my mind. Usually it is comforting; sometimes it is more than I can bear. It is funny how grief can come back at you when you are not expecting it and knock the wind right out of you. I can sometimes be taken back instantly to that moment, the last moment I was with him, and I can see his face and his expression. I am still not ready to share that, and there are only three other people in the world that were there with me that day. I bet they still see that look in there memories, too. I will only say it isn’t pretty, and it is everything except comforting. While it is such a blessing to those left behind to know that you are going to lose a loved one and to be able to say goodbye, it is so much harder for the dying person to have to choose to go. I find it so horrible that someone with a terrible, terminal illness has to not only suffer through the illness and the treatments, but then has to decide not to live anymore. People say “the cancer took him” but that isn’t exactly how it goes. It is a choice to finally let go, harder and longer for some than others, but it is a choice.
This week in my bible study, “The Intentional Woman,” I learned how Jesus and I have something in common. I have read this particular verse many times before, but did not take from it what the book explained to me. It’s so great that God’s word will meet you where you are and give you something new and exactly what you need every time. Matthew 14:13 “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” Jesus needed some quality alone time! How awesome is that for those of us who need this on a regular basis? This simple verse teaches me so much about Jesus and myself. Something that I need to help me emotionally is also something that Jesus needs. The next verse says that the crowds followed Jesus and when he saw the large crowd he had compassion and healed them. He had compassion. Do I have compassion for my family when I am trying to sort through my thoughts and need to be myself? Sometimes, of course, but other times I am snappy and grouchy. You can bet the next time I will be slower to snap, and have compassion for their needs.
Harper is stirring, so I will save the rest of my thoughts for the next blog. Have a great weekend!
|The best Chinese Food you will ever eat! Thanks, Dad|