Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Dinner... Sort Of

Our friends and co-workers, Dondi and Liana Peleo, invited us to their apartment building's Christmas party last night. The party was in the form of a twelve-course Chinese banquet! The dishes were brought out one at a time - none was huge, but most were delicious, and several looked very fancy. I took pictures of most of them, so here they are.

This appetizer platter had a number of cold meats and fish, including sashimi. Floyd and I both tried some for the first time ever! It was better than I'd expected. The fish above was tasty too, although not much to go around for our table of eight. Oh well, when you have twelve courses, you don't need more than a tiny serving of each!

This crab and rice dish was one of my favorites. See the little white things on the fake leaves around the edges of the plate? They're sweet, glutinous globs with some kind of dark filling. I know that doesn't sound very appetizing, but I really enjoyed them. We were surprised to have a hot pot burner on our table - partway through the meal, the waiter brought a cast iron pot full of whole crabs, mushrooms, veggies, and some other seafood in broth for us to cook ourselves.

What an impressive lobster! To his left are some little fried lobster cakes; to his right is a pile of lobster meat smothered with mayonnaise and candy sprinkles. (Not an uncommon way to eat seafood here in Taiwan.) In the foil was a very tasty pile of lamb ribs in a flavorful sauce. Another of my favorite dishes.

This dish definitely earned the prize for the most unusual food item of the evening. Can you guess? That's right... it was snow pea and rooster testicle soup! As you can see, Floyd and Dondi and I each tried one... but only one. What was it like? Trust me, you don't want to know.

 The final course of the evening was a typical Taiwanese dessert: a fresh fruit platter with oranges, grapes, and bellfruit. A tasty and refreshing way to end the meal.

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