Last night I ate Chinese Takeout from my childhood Chinese restaurant, Chins. Today is their last day in business. Now, some might argue that they are not the best Chinese restaurant in the world, but I grew up on their takeout and therefore I rate all other takeout places on their food. To me, a meal of General Tao's Chicken, Broccoli Beef, and Fried Rice is perfect comfort food.
It makes me a little sad that I won’t ever eat from there again. Many places from my childhood seem to be slowly changing or disappearing. I suppose part of that is in the ways that the world is changing, and because of the recession (or should we call it a depression?) that’s going on in the USA right now.
I’m not going to cry over it- but it will be a good memory of how my family would get the white cardboard boxes in the large brown paper bag. Dad would bring the bag home and we would open it to find the aroma of fried rice, egrolls, and broccoli beef. They always would give us too much soy sauce, spicy mustard, and sweet and sour sauce packets. We probably never need to buy condiments for Chinese food ever again (that is, if they never went bad).
Sometimes we’d eat at the table, but my little sister (now nicknamed DollFace) and I would beg mom and dad to let us have a picnic in the living room and watch a movie. More often than not it was something like Kiss Me Kate, Singing in the Rain, or some form of a Muppet movie.
Last night I was able to share Chins’ food with my best friend and we watched all of the old Star Wars movies. The good ones with Luke, Leia, and Han Solo. She’d never seen them before and we were up until almost 3AM running a galaxy marathon on VHS. Those movies are still brilliant and timeless, although my favorite has always been Return of the Jedi. Ewoks are too cute to pass up. Plus, Bomba’s comment about Jabba sounding like Santa Claus will send me into giggles for days on end.
It was a simple night in, but it reminded me of many Saturday nights from my childhood. Just enjoying the company of my family and watching a movie while eating Chinese food.
I’d call that one of life’s simple luxuries. One of the few I will always treasure and hope to pass onto my children one day. The joy of sharing a meal and a few laughs with each other, never take it for granted, because one day (like Chins’ restaurant) it might be gone.