At mass today, the priest talked about the importance of families eating dinner together because it fosters comm- unication. I realized that not only does my family eat together when we are all together, we even cook together.
Whether it be a big Thanksgiving celebration or a summer bbq, my entire family is often in the kitchen preparing part of the meal. Although my friends call us the Asian version of Leave it to Beaver or Pleasantville, we are different because the men-folk are also in the kitchen dicing away. (This is why I am glad Alex cooks, I could never date anyone who was helpless in the kitchen.)
My return to California this weekend was filled with the things that I missed the most: family time, family cooking, and fresh mango salsa. On Saturday, we had the two year memorial of my grandmother's passing, a Buddhist tradition since my dad's side of the family is Buddhist (kind of). The memorial is more of a celebration, and we had large amounts of my favorite Vietnamese foods. My parent's chicken curry, eggrolls, chinese sausage and sticky rice, etc.
Then today, we had a get-together bbq with my mom's side of the family and some other family friends. My immediate family spent the entire day preparing. We even went to the grocery store together to pick out fresh vegetables (California produce- how I have missed thee), salmon, scallops, and chicken to grill up. When we returned home, everyone had their own courses to prepare and the final product (see picture above) came together masterfully. If there were ever a Top Chef or Iron Chef family, we would be the team to beat.