Friday, November 25, 2011

Chow Mein and Chopsticks: Celebrating Thanksgiving the Chinese Way

My teacher asked our class, "So what are you all planning to eat for Thanksgiving?"
While most of the students responded with the traditional turkey and mash and stuffing, my friend and I--the only two Asian kids in the class--exchanged a glance.  "Chow mein!"  He hollered. "Rice!" Said I.

Funny how eager the class was to believe us.

I'm not sure how it is in most Chinese families, but I know that our Thanksgiving was celebrated with the traditional turkey and gravy and stuffing and mashed potatoes.  We did, however, add our own Chinese twist: we feasted on our American meal with chopsticks, and for dessert we enjoyed a lovely baked mochi cake with red bean paste.

Truth be told, I don't know a single Chinese person who likes turkey.  I know I don't.  I'm terrified of the idea of eating turducken, tofurkey, or just plain turkey.  Mom and dad complain that rubbing that fifteen pound turkey with seasoning and butter felt like washing a baby in the sink.  Even they were grossed out.  But we all decided to get into the Thanksgiving spirit.  I admire my grandparents, who put up with the hearty (and heart-attack inducing) American meal, however much they disliked it.  Of course, they brought their side Chinese dish so they can at least enjoy part of their meal.