Saturday, December 7, 2013

We’re Headed to Paradise

Paradise, California, that is.

One beautiful day, Chuck’s cousin Barbara picked us up at the RV park in Lodi and we headed north and west to the town of Paradise. The object of this trip? A visit with Chuck and Barb’s Aunt Martha and two of her sons, Steve and Neil.

We spent some time just talking while sitting in Martha’s living room and soon the conversation turned to lunch. Where should we go? Mexican or Chinese? We had just decided on Mexican when Martha told us that we could get a large round table at the Chinese restaurant and it would make for easier conversation. That sealed the deal. Happy Garden Authentic Chinese Cuisine it would be.

You will find today’s blog rather short of text. I wanted to be part of the conversation and that is hard to do when taking notes. But you will see from the photos that the restaurant is large and brightly colored with dark chairs and the tables covered with red cloths,

with Chinese ceramics,
and with Chinese prints hung against paneled wood walls.
We agreed that we each would pick one dish from the long menu and each would be passed, thanks to the handy lazy Susan in the center of the table. And, just in case we needed more food, added one additional dish. We had a lot of food.

Martha, Chuck, and I started with cups of flavorful hot and sour soup. And then the plates began to arrive.
Shredded Pork in Hot Garlic Sauce with bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, celery, onions, and carrots.
Garlic Green Beans with carrots and onions.
Orange Chicken tossed with hot chili peppers and fresh orange peel.
Hot Spicy Noodles with scallions, garlic, chili peppers and bean sprouts stir fried with ground shrimp and chicken in a hot and spicy brown sauce
Honey Walnut Prawns—prawns coated with house-made honey mayonnaise sauce and topped with glazed walnuts and garnished with lemon slices and red cherries
Hunan Beef (Kings’ Beef)—beef with a light egg batter fried to crispy with hot chili pepper and peanuts. Specialty created by Head Chef Jia Zhong
Fried Rice
Sesame Chicken
The lazy Susan was spinning as we all sampled one or more times from the serving plates. Finally we had eaten our fill and, as you can see from this photo, we took the remains home in three to-go boxes.
l. to r., Steve, Neil, Barbara, Martha, and Kate

Chuck and I took the one containing the green beans and the spicy noodles back to Lodi with us and it fed us amply the following noon.

Way too soon we had to pile back into our cars but, before heading back to Lodi, we made a quick stop back at Martha’s for apple pie and ice cream. We really should have taken a photo!

Truly a 5.0 Addie visit.

As a footnote: I know that the Christmas season has officially begun. Last night I saw my first commercial for the Clapper. Are these sold any other time of the year? And for the redneck who has everything, you can buy Uncle Si and Willie Chias. Not familiar with Uncle Si and Willie? They are the stars of A & E’s Duck Dynasty. And am I the only one who thinks that K-Mart’s Jingle Bells commercial is really funny?

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.