La Famille Ensemble

Monday, June 20, 2005

la famille
La Famille

My family likes to move. My parents have moved a lot in their lifetime, from China, Singapore, Canada... my sister as well... though not quite as drastically, and I suppose you could include me in that merry gang of carpet-bagged rascals. What this means is that since I was 15, we have rarely been together as a unit for more than 2 weeks. So, it's always an occasion when we are in the same room.

They are loud. Actually, my sister and my mom are loud. My dad, if encouraged, can pontificate for hours but these days he seems to be a rather sober timid man. My mom can't stop telling you when she likes or doesn't like something. So eating meals together has to take place in a restaurant where you can guffaw unabashedly, or exclaim. A restaurant where dishes are always banging and clinking... a place than can accomodate these unruly unreasonable bunch.

One of the big reasons I came back this summer was to see these crazy folk. My mother, who has since let her hair go back to white, my father, ancient and croaky, and my sister. This Sunday, we had dim sum together in Oakville. Dim sum is that fun way of eating breakfast Chinese-style. People run around pushing carts full of food, and you hail them, bark at them, they bring you miniature plates full of goodies, and you eat and eat and eat until you've had enough.

Dim Sum

In the centre is steamed tripe, my favourite. So soft, delicate tasting, flavoured with salt, wine, sugar and pork lard, hot peppers and green onions. Off to the right is steamed pork topped with shitake, and the left is garlic squid. This was just the first 3 of maybe 17 -20 dishes. I stopped counting when I couldn't breathe anymore.

Anyways, my family had a really good time, and made a big mess on the table. Later, I went shopping with mom at Yorkdale. That was scary. Suburban mall pleasures are not for me. I half imagined all those tight-jeaned turkey legs to explode from their made in Myanmar clothes. And the horrors of blank faced fat thigh shuffling is not to be under-estimated. But, mom was surprisingly resistant, and it's funny how she thinks my taste is tacky. I like my taste in clothes. I like my shirt with the painted tie. Shirts with painted ties are cool... especially when the painted tie features some cyclists racing down a hill.