Dim Sum Diaries
Well Happy Veterans Day to everyone and it is also Hubby and my 13th wedding anniversary. Extremely low key...the present I bought for him won't be delivered till the 18th. We went out to a nice dinner with the kids and when we came back, I sat down to blog while Hubby and the kids played a round of "Zombie Hunters".

Forgive the bad picture quality, it was taken w/ the cell phone cam in very crappy lighting (I photoshopped it so it doesn't look as bad as before). Apparently I am the zombie in this scenario.

Have been extremely fixated with 50's ephemera lately, so have been buying up a lot of 50's cookbooks and such. Not that I plan to cook any of this stuff...apparently the head chef of the Better Home & Gardens Kitchens publishing these recipe books back in 1958 was named Susan (a lot of the dishes are named after Susan)...oh btw did I mention my real name is Susan LOL...the dishes are a bit on the heavy side...

Seriously, thats like several layers of white bread with various creamed meats in each layer and then a very heavy cream cheese frosting smothered over the entire shebang.

Here's a better picture of the cover I snagged off of etsy:

That picture is SOOOOO 50's. Most of you are probably too young to remember this stuff. :p

But one reason I dig this stuff so much is because the drawings are so cool...for example...

That pic is from this book, and I borrowed the image from LP, who are way more talented then I at scanning (although my computer is being upgraded and won't be available for a few more days).

All of this I am very nostalgic about probably because it reminds me of my paternal grandparents' apartment in San Francisco. They lived on O'Farrell Street near Japantown. My dad, mom and me and my sister would go up there to visit about 8-10x a year. Yei Yei (paternal grandfather in Chinese) lost his first wife and son in the war against the Japanese way back in the day. He eventually remarried (to my current paternal grandmother) and emigrated to America. He graduated from Columbia University and did very well working in management at Wells Fargo.

He kept stacks and stacks of Reader's Digests and Life Magazines from the 1940's and 1950's (I should know I was bored when I visited there as a youngun and I read them all). He and my grandmother had since moved to their separate rooms and Yei Yei's room was filled with vinyl records from floor to ceiling. He had a very small path from the door to the bed, every other inch of space was taken up by the records. Their furniture was very 60's and every morning when I visited we would have oatmeal (with heaping spoonfuls of sugar), eggs, toast and coffee (I didn't drink the coffee).

It was a completely different experience for me. My grandparents were quite urbane and clearly acclimated with the Americanized way of life (Yei Yei often made trips to various bookshops around the city). Spending time with them was like catching a glimpse of how "real Americans" lived (zomg oatmeal for breakfast every morning!!! and coffee!!!).

My father's side of the family had a lot of issues that even now I shake my head at...but I think can really appreciate those times I spent as a child in that 6th floor apartment on O'Farrell St in San Francisco.

Interesting side note...the I still have the dining room table that my grandparents used (they used to cover it with a vinyl checked tablecloth). It's very kitschy and formica-ish, but as my dad can't bear to throw anything away, Mom refuses to have it because she hates it, my sister is too fussy to have such an ancient object in her house, so I was the inheritor of the table when I got married (and apparently I don't have it in me to throw it away either). We've since gotten a nicer dinner table so the old table is now in the living room for the kids' computer desk. The formica coffee table is in the garage and the formica student desk with the annoying banging drawer has been assigned to son (who doesn't know any better and think it's just a cool desk (it was made back long time ago from the wood of a real captured pirate ship......)....

Every time Dad comes down to visit, he makes his way around the house to inspect aforementioned table, desk and coffee table and make sure they haven't been thrown away. He'll nod his head and knock on the dining room table with his fist...

"Good stuff," he mutters, "Built to last."