Monday, June 4, 2007
I should be getting used to this by now, but these hospitalization postponements leave me lower than Paris walking the "red carpet" to county jail.
In the great scheme of things, a few days aren't going to make a bit of difference in my calendar or chemo, but it's a letdown just the same.
I may not be able to raise my blood counts, but I do know a sure-fire way to elevate my mood. On the way home from CoH, I stopped at Full House in Arcadia for a quick dim sum lunch. The frenetic, noisy pace and the tea carts filled with steamed, fried or baked delicacies snapped me almost instantly out of my slump.
Since I was by myself, two orders - baked pork cha siu baau and shrimp shumai (for a total of $3.60) - were enough to make a satisfying lunch. The restaurant provides a small dish of hot mustard and chilli sauce, but soy sauce is nowhere to be found. When I asked the waiter for soy sauce, he brought a bottle of the brown stuff AND a fork.
I wonder if asking for soy sauce in a dim sum restaurant is equivalent to wearing a sign that says "NEWBIE." It reminds me of the time I doused my Japanese steamed white rice with soy sauce at the home of the Dais, a Japanese family who took me under their wings nearly 30 years ago. They winked and poked one another with their elbows. "She's an American alright," they sighed. I never felt more insulted.
Since that moment, a drop of soy has not touched a grain of rice and never will. Have I committed the same faux pas by dipping my dim sum in soy mixed with hot sauce?
I contemplated this question while picking up fresh cream puffs at Beard Papa's. Judy first introduced me to these Japanese sensations in December, but I wasn't willing to drive to Hollywood and Highland as she did. Now there's no need since this latest location opened in Arcadia, bringing the total in California to 13.
What makes these cream puffs so special? The room-temperature puffs aren't infused with cold custard and cream until you place your order. At room temperature, the outside pastry, an airy combination of choux and pie crust, stays airy and crisp. For me, refrigerating a pastry is like, well, putting soy sauce on your rice.
Now I'm wondering if my sudden need for an afternoon nap was more about an overdose of carbs and fat and less about my cold.
(Do you know if soy sauce is a no-no in a dim sum restaurant? Do you have a favorite dim sum restaurant? Have you tried a Beard Papa's cream puff? What did you think? Do you think cream puffs will go the way of Crispy Creme donuts? Do you put soy sauce on your rice? What foods and/or restaurants are "mood elevators" for you? Please share the answers to these questions in the comments section.)