Thanksgiving hasn't always been the most fun in the past. My parents divorced when I was 19, and it's been a juggling act during the holidays since then. (For the record, I'm not 19 in this picture. More like 12. The puffy sleeves were a big hit at the Southern California Junior Bach Festival.)
Papa Monkey induced and delivered three babies on Tuesday and another four on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, he sent all of his patients home in anticipation of our arrival at this house for Thanksgiving lunch. His colleague, however, was not as efficient and forward-thinking and had one last patient left who went into labor as Papa Monkey was leaving the hospital.
Brother Monkey, Mr. Monkey, and I watched some early football at Papa Monkey's house while we waited for Papa Monkey to deliver that baby. When Papa Monkey came home, we headed to the nearest open chain restaurant to have our usual non-Thanksgiving lunch. This year, we went to Black Angus.
There's not much to say about Black Angus. You know how it is. It's a typical chain with predictable mediocre food, so I didn't bother taking my own photos.
We started with a Grilled Filet Mignon & Bleu Cheese Flatbread, which was good.
A little after 4:00 p.m., we left Highland to drive to Mama Monkey's home in Riverside. One of Mama Monkey's favorite musicals is The Phantom of the Opera, and she and her husband just saw it again in Las Vegas. This was actually Stepdad Monkey's first time seeing it, and he is now a big fan, too. Since they liked it so much, I played several pieces from the musical while they prepared our Thanksgiving feast.
Oh, how I miss my piano! When the Monkeys finally buy a single-family home, one requirement is that there is room for this seven-foot Steinway grand piano imported from Hamburg, Germany! American Steinways have a matte satin finish, whereas German Steinways have this beautiful shiny lacquer. Mmm...lacquer.
Here are the more recognizable Thanksgiving dishes: turkey (basted in a soy-based sauce with green onions and Chinese spices), white corn-on-the-cob, dinner rolls (wheat especially for me), and yams (wrapped and baked in foil).
kong xin cai (in Mandarin) or ong choy (in Cantonese). I'm not really sure what it's called in English, but it's somewhat spinach-like. It is, however, milder and so much better than spinach.
Mama Monkey is so talented that she can use bean sprouts. Almost as soon as she places her spring rolls on the table, they are gone! There is never any worry about bean-sprout-induced sogginess! Crunch, crunch, crunch!