Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Been Awhile Since We've Talked Food

On Friday, we went back to Wheaton for a Good Friday service. Afterward, we took the girls to our favorite Chinese restaurant of all time, Cafe Jasmine. We have lived in a number of cities, and we have never found better Chinese food than CJ. We actually used to drive from our apartment in Chicago out to Wheaton to eat there.

Lucy and Elaine had not had Chinese food before (and Lucy is tres picky), but we thought we'd go for it. They LOVED it. Admittedly, we did stay on the safe side for them. They ate crab rangoon, wonton soup (Elaine had three bowls full), and chicken fried rice. Neither of them was an egg roll fan, but hey, that just left more for us. They loved getting their fortunes too: Lucy's was, "Soon your dearest wish will come true." Elaine's was, "You can make your own luck by keeping money in your bank." Mine was (I promise I'm telling the truth), "Soon you will be met with ingratitude." Wha-huh? That's my fortune??

Darren said, "I think it would be reasonable to drive here, say, every three months or so for Chinese food, right?" Right. As long as I get a better fortune next time.

On Sunday, we went back to Wheaton for church and then for dinner at my brother and sister-in-law's. They bought a new house recently, and we hadn't seen it yet. It was beautiful, and the kitchen was the piece de resistance. I had a pang of envy, but then I figured you probably couldn't cook with cream soups much in that kitchen. It wouldn't do it justice.

The one who does do it justice, however, is my sister-in-law, Rome (Elaine's godmother and both girls' beloved "Tia"). The woman makes and rolls her own sushi. She is the producer of this show (and they've actually shot two episodes in her new kitchen!) I asked if I could bring anything, and fortunately she said no. I can't even tell (or spell) all the things we had. A shrimp and tomato dish. All sorts of roasted vegetables: asparagus, beets, beans, carrots. A Filipino bread--pain de sal (Lucy and Elaine's favorite). Shao mei (spelling uncertain)--pork-filled dumplings. Fruita de crema (also spelling uncertain) and green tea moshi (Japanese ice cream in rice cake) for dessert. Everything tasted phenomenal, and it was all arranged artistically and effortlessly.

"Eating at Tia's is like eating in a magazine!" said Lucy.

Rome had hard-boiled eggs for the girls to decorate (with her professional watercolors!) and she also had candy-filled eggs. Darren and my brother, Chuck, (known as "Tio") hid them outside, and Lucy and Elaine hunted for them after lunch. There were varying moneying denominations on the hard-boiled eggs, so they cleaned up that way too. "Tio is VERY nice and rich," said Lucy, when she saw his big change jar.

Then we watched "Winged Migration" (I highly recommend it) and came home later in the afternoon. All in all, it was a great day, and they invited us to come back soon and stay overnight.

Skip Cafe Jasmine; next time, we'll just eat at Tia and Tio's!


Melanie said...

Very cool! Okay, we're even now! I may have left you craving HJ's but you've got me craving yummy Chinese and an invite to Rome's! Her show looks really good - is it only shown in the Illinois area? Glad you guys had two good days and two excellent meals to boot!

Alice said...

No, you can see her show around the world (if you've got cable!) It's on TFC (The Filipino Channel) and another one on Comcast. It tells exactly where and when it's shown on the website. It's really cool--I wish we had cable so I could watch it! I make do with the occasional DVD of it... :-)

Melanie said...

Oh yay! I will definitely look it up. I dated a guy who was Filipino and I miss some of the food he introduced me to.

Katie said...

That is so cool! Now I want to go eat at Chuck and Rome's. Think I can invite myself?