My brothers and don’t need a lot of communication.  One email to suggest a night for a meal is all it takes to get the ball rolling.  Then, a final email identifying time and place wraps it up. 

Once we press send in the middle of a busy day, we all notify our respective family members.  Mentally, we reserve the time and schedule the route.  Afterall, it’s family.

Yvonne and I squeezed in our last-minute work between getting home and getting ready to leave for the family gathering.  We waited for the clock to run past our planned departure time.  Hurriedly we raced out of the house and jumped into our chariot for the night.

I punched into our GPS the address of the restaurant.  By now the rain was falling.  Easily we slipped into the local streets and made our way through vaguely familiar territory.

Our GPS failed.  Or at least I blamed it for taking to the wrong address.  Yeah, operator error was likely the culprit but I bought the thing so I can take out my flaws on it, right?

I reprogrammed it by another formula.  We arrived last in our family.  They cheered when we walked through the door.

All of the food had been ordered.  Just as we took our seats the food began to roll in.  First, the soup came.

It was piping hot.  Mixtures of cilantro, minced pork and rich broth made it very comforting food on a chilly San Francisco night.  The tender melon chunks gave it a hearty healthy satisfaction.

The first entrée of the night captured my attention.  I was not alone.  Everyone was serving themselves a nice helping without any kind of shyness.

Walnut Shrimp was the moniker for this dish.  Glazed just right and carmelized walnut pieces made for a succulent serving.  The colors, the aroma and the flavor were stunning.

This was just the first dish.  Sure we were all hungry but there was a lot more food coming.  Like a typical family, the last piece of shrimp stayed on the plate.  But, unlike other families, several of us were unafraid to reach for the final helping.

The first to call got it.  No one challenged the claim.  But, there were a lot of eyes following it as we passed it across the table. 

Family times are happy times.  Food is just an excuse.  Delicious food is made better with dreams of being together.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography