Friday, November 28, 2008

Fire Chicken

Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday of the year, probably from back in my wrestling days when i was forced to savor every bite, lest i can't make weight a few days later. Christmas is a close second because the meal is just as good, and my entire family gets together. And I've got a good family, although the logistics are usually a little more stressful.

For the last three years, Julia has hosted a dinner for 20 or so ex-pat friends. The meal was spectacular with all the usual favorites: stuffing, mashed sweet potato, broccoli casserole, cranberry sauce, gravy and some incredible turkey (two of them!). Yes, you can find turkey in Beijing quite easily this time of year. The Chinese word for turkey is Fire Chicken (Huǒ Jī), which i think is pretty great. Turkey's aren't native to China and their tendency is to compare an unfamiliar thing to something they know. Hence fire chicken. Other examples are tomato (western red persimmon), watermelon (western melon), and kangaroo (pocket mouse).

Here's a picture of the feast.

One noteworthy event involved the coffee percolator we borrowed from the neighbors. Joe, Reid, and Dan are examining it's inner workings here...

The plan was to make Irish coffee after dinner. Joe brought a huge bag of coffee, a bottle of Jameson, brown sugar, and heavy whipping cream. But tragically, no coffee maker. We borrowed one from the neighbors and figured out how to use it, but it wouldn't screw together completely. We figure it's fine and put it on the stove. Right? I'm sure it's fine.

Well, the thing starts making some noises, which is normally good and means delicious coffee is moments away. So we check it out to see the progress and BOOM!

I was the closest (actually handling the thing) and joe was leaning over my shoulder with curiosity. The pressure released all at once and literally exploded, taking out the left burner on the stove and spraying hot coffee and coffee been shrapnel everywhere. Miraculously, we weren't injured and the wall took the brunt of the force, although i got a few tiny burns on my arm through my clothing. I'm completely fine, but it certainly could have been worse. And the Irish coffee was only only slightly delayed.

By the way, this year, i'm thankful for good friends and long sleeve shirts.


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