on saturday i had dim sum with my sister at a restaurant somewhere near silver spring, maryland. it was my first time having dim sum with only one other person, and i thought it would be weird because dim sum is all about being boisterous and stuffing your face with a lot of people.
…but actually, it was FUCKING AWESOME; when you’re with someone who shares the same taste as you, you are guaranteed to get only the things that you like to eat. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve been to dim sum only to have a table full of things that i only kind of enjoy. what the hell is the point of that? dim sum is like a pay-as-you-go buffet on wheels!!
it’s funny the things i never thought i would miss when i left new york. dim sum has never been a regular thing in my family–it (and dining out in general) is reserved for out-of-town guests and special occasions. but i still always associate it with family outings*, and i miss it the way i miss mooncake during the mid-autumn festival, and congee when i’m sick. i mean, it always comes down to food, right? shopping for it, preparing it, and eating it. of course that’s not all there is to family and home and culture–whatever that may mean–but damn, our bodies remember and respond to tastes and smells, and when i go without bittermelon soup and turnip cakes and banh chiao and other things i don’t know the names of, i feel like i’ve lost something. we are what we eat, and while i often enjoy being a greasy, soggy, perfectly salted french fry, or maybe even a cool mint chocolate clif bar, i also want to be my mom’s lotus root soup with the little longan pieces in it.
on saturday, i felt like i was home for a little bit, and it was good.
i’d like to leave you with a picture of one of the things we ate: 芋头角, aka taro dumplings–or, as my sister prefers to call them, FURRY HAMSTERS.
hey, the body wants what it wants.
*the first time i went with just my friends, i was like, DAMN I’M GROWN