We chose the Grand Palace of South San Francisco.  Everyone knew where it was located.  We climbed into our various vehicles and started our engines.

Text messages scattered and others who were on the road received an update of our family rendezvous.  We had come the furthest, about 2,000 miles.  It was a good enough reason for other family members to convene too.

It’s the Thanksgiving season and everyone is thinking about family.  Nothing draws family together like food.  For the Fong’s there no better cuisine to do the drawing than Chinese food.

The restaurant was not too busy.  Our party of twelve easily found a large round table.  Several of our family know the manager and several of the wait staff.  It was a reunion of more than just family members.

Those who have the connections jabbered away in the premier native tongue.  Enthusiastic gestures and laughter spiced up the ordering process.  A few outsiders shouted out menu preferences.

When the staff departed our family shared pictures of the last four months.  Stories of travels, choices, recommendations and news filled the table and everyone was included. 

Then, the feast began.  These gatherings deserve special menu selections.  This night was one of those special occasions.

 The waiter delivered a winter melon dressed and presented in its finest form.  On a cool November evening, this hot soup served in the actual melon is the best comfort food we know.  It is rich in vitamins, nutrients and flavors.

Each portion of soup was served by an experienced waiter.  He scoops a ladle full of the melon with each bowl served to all of our members.  Steaming with aromas that calms the soul, I smile as I dug into my serving.

No one is shy in our family.  Anyone who wanted a second helping freely helped themselves.  There was plenty to go around.

Next, the waiter brought a spectacular dish and set in on the lazy Suzan with panache.  It was roasted chicken, cut up and laid out over a deep be of sticky rice. This alone could be a meal in itself.

Everyone oohed and ahhed over this delectable dish.  The chicken melted in your mouth.  Aroma of the roasting mixed with the multiple presentations in the sticky rice for an explosion of taste buds around the table.

Just the sight of  it was amazing. but feeding on it heightened everyone’s celebratory mood.  These two dishes was great.  But, they just served as the vanguard to a great evening.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography