It wasn’t the Chinese food that was scary, not at all. In fact, instead of driving all the way to Chinatown from Evanston, searching for a parking space, waiting ages to be sat, and battling with waiters who might not be fluent in Engish (and my party not being fluent in Dim Sum) we went to The Phoenix in Evanston. An empty street full of free parking was waiting for us and a restaurant with empty tables. Ah, we will be doted on and served our traditional Thanksgiving Egg Drop in peace and quiet.
Back up, back up.
When we made our Chinatown Thanksgiving plans, I was thinking dinnertime and my friend was thinking late lunch. Our moms both got in around 11ish and we talked for the first time around 1PM. My mom and I had already had stuffing and cranberry sauce for lunch.
I got homesick for a Thanksgiving experience that no longer exists in my family. The properties have been sold and the patriarchs and matriarchs have mostly passed on. The grandkids are mostly married with in-laws and young children to shuffle around the holiday season. It just doesn’t exist.
But you know what does exist? Stuffing and cranberry sauce. Arguably the two best things about Thanksgiving, so I made a pan of stuffing. Yum. Bought a jar of cranberry relish from Trader Joe’s, double yum.
When we all touched base at 1PM, we decided that we would go to a movie in Evanston and picked the children’s movie Happy Feet. You know, the tap dancing penguin. Yeah, that one. The rated G movie that had some animated scenes so scary that I could barely watch. A family I go to temple with was behind me. They have three of the most adorable girls you’ve ever seen and I kept thinking, “They are gonna have nightmares.”
Apparently six pack rings around penguin necks, killer whales and crunching ice flows aren’t as scary when you are three as when you are 29. At 29, I have read books about arctic adventures and seen Inconvenient Truth. I’ve watched Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. I KNOW what the Killer in Killer Whale stands for and so Happy Feet scared me, but not his daughters.
After the movie, we tried to decide which restaurant in China town we wanted to go to . Eventually we realized that Chinatown is pretty far from Evanston and we were pretty hungry. With the power of Google SMS txt messaging, I got the address of a local chinese restaurant, The Phoenix, and off we went.
Kung Pao Chicken, Egg Rolls, Dumplings, General Tso, and lots of Tea. And nobody had to wash the dishes (except for the ice cream bowls and stuffing plates and coffee mugs at my house.) Totally stress free, totally drama free and quite turkey free. Now I know why the Jews go to movies and eat Chinese on Christmas! Guess I picked the right tribe, huh?