Monday, July 9, 2007
Dinner with Dad
My dad was in town last Thursday working at the local restaurant for the chain that he works for. He called me in the morning and asked if Adam and I wanted to come down to the restaurant so he can cook us dinner.
Free food? Free homecooked Chinese food by my Dad?! Well, you know I wasn't about to pass on that. :)
Something I still miss even after all these years (9 years this Sept) since I've lived at my parent's house is the food. Everyone says their mom or their dad cooks the best, but in my case it's true. ;) My grandpa and my dad are both chefs and I've been spoiled all my life to have eaten truly yummy homecooked Chinese meals every night for dinner. The rare opportunities that I get to go home to LA nowadays, I usually eat as much Chinese food as I can and I bring it back with me to SD. Chinese food is not the same here in SD... Sam Woo's would be the closest, but it's still not the same.
I picked up a pound of shrimp (head-on) and you-choy at 99 Ranch with Adam after he got off work and we went over to the restaurant. My dad, the sometimes flamboyant but always charismatic man that he is, was busy working so he managed to find a moment to cook us up some of my "favorite dishes" as he says. (Frankly, I'm surprised he knows what I like to eat still to this day. Goes to show that your parents know you better than you know yourself sometimes even when you're supposedly a "grown up.")
He goes off and whips up some dishes for us. Adam went to watch. Food is at the very center (below God, family and me) of Adam's soul and I am amazed at how blessed I am to find a man that can cook great food for me like my grandpa and dad used to. My dad comes back with some homemade soup for us with choy, pea pods, mushrooms, chicken and shrimp in a big bowl. It is no longer a secret to my family that Adam LOVES soup... so they always make sure to make Adam a big bowl of it whenever they see him.
Later on, my Dad comes back with beef fried rice, spicy salty shrimp (my fave!) and some steamed choy. MMMMmm! We actually finished it all. We tried to kid ourselves into thinking it was hard work to actually finish it, but who were we kidding? He he.
We had a lovely conversation and he shared about work. He's down in SD because he's introducing five of his new recipes/dishes and he's teaching the chefs how to make it. It's interesting how both my parents are natural teachers. Wonder where I get it from? ;)
It was nice to see my Dad. I saw him last year around September in San Diego and we had dinner just the two of us. I don't think we've done that ever since I was a little, little girl. Something I'm loving about this wedding process beyond the superficial things like magazines and free invitation samples in the mail is being able to get closer to my family (and Adam's family too). Pastor Vic said in our pre-engagement class at church that something beautiful about weddings is that it has the power to mend and strengthen family relationships. It is my deepest desire to have that happen with my own family. Being fiercely independent has it's ups and downs and even though I am quite happy being my own woman, I guess it's okay to need your parents every once in awhile. :)
I realized recently that a big reason for the strain in my parents relationship with me is that we speak very different "love languages." If any of you haven't read it yet, go out and read "The Five Love Languages." There's a quiz you can take to find out what your love language is (or how you express love) and a quiz for your significant other to find out what his/her language his. Both Adam and I have very similar love languages - "physical touch" being at the top of both our lists. We love the hugs, snuggles, cuddles, and all that sappy couple stuff. However, my parents speak a very different love language. It's not "words of affirmation," which means saying verbally how much they love you or are proud of you constantly. It's also not physical touch which is what tops my list by a huge margin. However, what I've learned to appreciate over the years while being "fiercely independent" is that my parents show me they love me by their actions.
They've always worked hard for my siblings, grandparents and I and even though I hate (with a passion) that my mom nags at me about stupid little things all the time, whenever I go home she always makes sure I leave with everything I need (food, paper towels, haw flakes... hehe, weird "Mom" things like that). And for my dad, it's always been cooking. So last night, the great home cooked meal really truly made me feel loved by Dad which is something I've taken for granted or have failed to notice before.
Slideshow photo credits: Jasmine Marie Photography (new xanga site!)
Book photo from Amazon.com