Friday, July 31, 2009

Midnight Madness Eats

The art of the late night snack.

Dinner taken between 6-8PM. A full belly.

Midnight rolls around and I get the hankerin' for a bit more food before beddy-bye. To ignore the notion of a snack would mean going to bed a tad hungry. It would mean visualizing food whilst lying in bed awake. Only to get hungrier.

I crave a small hot meal. A wee dish of something savory would be best.
I decide to head for the kitchen. Something warm and savory across the palate and into the tummy would be nice. However, due to the late hour, a cold offering from the larder would be quicker and easier. Cold cereal or a some fruit will have to suffice.

Late night snacks were the norm when I was growing up. My family-of-origin made no bones about partaking in the 4th meal of the day: 'siu yé'. And yes, the food would always be warm and savory...

Great memory of late-night eating:
The family would eat an early dinner. After post meal dishes were taken care of - Mom, Dad and one or more of us kids would head out for a movie. We'd walk a few blocks down to Chinatown to one of the Cantonese movie theaters. Sometimes there was a recent film release that Mom or Dad had in mind to see. Other nights, we'd take in a double feature of whatever happened to be playing. It was after sitting through two movies that we'd reward ourselves with some Midnight Madness Eats.

When the show let out around 11PM, it was an unspoken rule that siu yé was next on the evening's agenda. Even if it happened that I'd nod off by the end of the second feature, San Francisco's cold night air, plus the promise of a hot tasty midnight snack would jostle me awake good and proper.

Siu yé? I am sooooo there.

The Chinese restaurants we frequented were all within walking distance - another block or two, maybe three if we wanted to go 'out of our way' for a particular dish. Upon arrival at the chosen eatery, we'd usually find the joint fairly jumpin' with other late night diners. A waiter would motion us to a table or booth, we'd peel off our coats and pass the menus around.

Typically, our late night food choices would be simple ones: a bowl of jook (congee), won ton (soup) or noodles (fried or in broth). The food - tasty. The company - convivial.
I always felt happy and secure taking these midnight sups with family.

For me, Midnight Madness Eats translates to yummy food, laughter and going to bed very much satisfied with life.

That was then and this is now.
These late nights I settle for a bowl of cold cereal with a splash of milk.
Perhaps a sliced banana over top for some real excitement.
Then I sit and eat alone.
Satisfaction of life rating: all things considered and sans jook = still A-OK.

)) sigh ((

** Photo of 'jook' aka 'congee' from this yummy website.**

1 comment:

Lauren said...

That sounds fun... and delicious!