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» Friday, December 12, 2003The Bestest Present
I've been homesick for "real fried rice" for 20 years.
Maybe this sounds odd, but Chinese restaurants make fried rice differently in the South than they do up North. What they serve in the South is what I think of as "food court fried rice," whitish-yellow or yellow rice mixed with peas and carrots, sometimes with bits of onion and chicken or pork in it. I find it very unpalatable and many times overly greasy. It just doesn't have the rich taste I'm used to: dark brown rice (lots of soy sauce) with bits of diced meat, bean sprouts, diced onion, occasionally pieces of egg--no mushy peas or too-sweet carrots. When I go visit my mom, my usual plan is to visit the Empress of China as many times as possible, chowing down on pork fried rice and nothing else. When my mom used to come down to visit, she'd always buy me a quart of pork fried rice ahead of time and bring it with her.
Yesterday at the Publix shopping center on Powder Springs and Macland we noticed that there was a new Chinese place. So since James knew I was going to come home and decorate the Christmas tree and that I wanted to be home for Holiday at Pops, he said he was going to come home by the new place and get us something to eat.
He came home just as I finished putting the final icicle on the tree, saying he'd gotten my usual roast pork with Chinese vegetables. It was a combo plate, and, he added, "You probably won't eat the fried rice. It's darker than usual, but it still has peas in it."
That's okay. I could see right off there were big thick slices of pork in...blink. What was this? The accompanying fried rice wasn't yellow, it wasn't pale, it was brown--not quite dark enough--but...it had bits of diced pork, diced onions, and bean sprouts. No carrots, and the green things James thought were peas were...scallions! I dug my fork in it.
Oh, my ears and whiskers!!!! It's not absolutely positively perfect, but Lordy God, it will do! I had tears in my eyes when I started eating it it was so good.
I left the pork for another time; I can have good Chinese pork anywhere. And I think I know where I'm going for lunch next Friday! Woohoo!