i tried the peking duck…

Well not me…because I’ve already tried the pecking duck. But since it was Ricardo’s first time, he woke up Sunday morning and asked me if they sold t-shirts that read “I tried the PEKING DUCK!” Hmm…maybe I can make him one for fun.

Friday started off early for us. We were at the airport by 5:30 am, had breakfast at Stacks in downtown Campbell with some good friends, headed off to Great America to ride until I literally felt nauseous, had dinner with my parents at a Vietnamese restaurant, and drank corona’s with a late night BBQ at the Mendez house until 2 am.

Looks like there’s a trend for Ric to be hung over at almost every wedding we’ve been to. Poor guy couldn’t eat anything all day Saturday. Thank goodness Dan and Aida took us to Yumi Yogurt before the wedding…or Ric would have passed out and that probably would have meant bad luck or something at a Chinese wedding.

I thought I knew what a Chinese banquet would be like since I had gone to a few when I was really young with my parents. But apparently…this was my first one (in my adult life) and Ric and I were glad to be sitting at a table with people who were much more experienced than we were. Our table was comprised of 2 engaged and 3 newlywed couples. They all helped explaining in detail the workings behind a Chinese wedding banquet. I bothered my sitting companion…Linda Lee with many questions and she generously offered all her knowledge.  It’s good to have married friends to share with you about all the things they learned throughout their wedding planning. Did you know?

  • Most Chinese wedding banquets are seafood…who knew? This was a little difficult being 1) Ric doesn’t like seafood and 2) There were some exotic dishes on the menu like jelly fish, sea cucumber, and shark fin soup. I mistakenly assured him there would be common chinese dishes like chow mein, kung pao chicken, etc., but boy was I wrong.
  • They usually serve 10 courses…holy smokes! And every dish came out one after the other…so we literally dined from 7 pm to 10 pm. And why do they give you the rice as the 9th course? Interesting.
  • The main entree’s usually come after the soup…which isn’t the first thing served…it’s like the thrid or fourth.
  • The beverages are moved to the ground next to everyone’s seat to accommodate for the dishes. So…if I wanted a 7-up…I would have to ask…can you please pass the 7-up and whoever had the 2L bottle next to them would take it out from hiding to pass. It’s kind of like a surprise too because you forget who had the beverage last.
  • The restaurant you reserve with closes down the entire night for the wedding. They put a sign outside that indicates “fully booked” for the public to know.
  • After the pot of tea is empty, you turn the lid upside down and tilt it to the side to indicate you need a re-fill. And if you turn the lid completely upside down with no tilt, that means you would not like a refill. Or something like that…the hidden rules of Chinese banqueting.

Highlight of the wedding? Jimmy and Tina’s first dance, which looked like it came out of a dancing with the stars episode. They glided over the dance floor with perfection and ease…and you know it’s good when the groom lifts the bride into the air. The crowd went wild and I must say I was SO impressed!!

We headed back to the Mendez house Sunday morning for some chilaquiles…a muy delicioso mexican breakfast dish. Wikipedia describes the dish pretty close as:

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Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish. Typically, corn tortillas, which are cut in quarters and fried until golden, are the basis of the dish. Next, green or red salsa, or even mole, is poured over the crispy tortilla triangles, called “totopos.” The mixture is simmered until the tortilla starts softening. Eggs (scrambled or fried) and pulled chicken are sometimes added to the mix. The dish is topped with cheese (typically queso fresco), and/or sour cream (crema), and it is served with a side of refried beans. Like many dishes, regional and familial variation are quite common.

Usually, chilaquiles are eaten at breakfast or brunch. This makes them a popular recipe to use leftover tortillas and salsas.

Moreover, chilaquiles are often lauded as a cure for the common hangover; this is because in Mexico it is believed that spicy foods help in the recovery process from a hangover. However, this remedy is subject to debate since a stomach after a night of drinking usually gets very irritated. Adding spicy chilaquiles might only worsen the stomach irritation.

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Tia Elisa first made this for me when I met her a few years ago so she wanted to make it again for us when we where there. It was quite spicy the first time I had it so she kicked it down a notch, but nonetheless…still delicious. I kept a watchful eye to learn the ways of cooking traditional Mexican dishes, but let’s get real…I’ll never be able to make it as good as them.

As we sat around Friday night, we noticed Ric’s uncle wasn’t having a beer with us which is SO UNCOMMON. He told us he didn’t understand what we were talking about…so I convinced him we would only talk in Spanish if he joined us. I was able to brush up on my spanish skills and of course he asked us if we were going to have a mariachi band for our wedding. It’s like the #1 question from Ric’s family so I suppose I’ll give in and we’ll have them incorporated one way or another. So side note…Ricardo has 3 cousins from the Mendez side (Carlos, Ricardo, and Juan). Funny thing is Juan has a girlfriend named Angelique and we went to the same high school…graduated same year and everything, but we don’t know each other. We were all together one Thanksgiving and can you imagine? Two Ricardo’s, two Angelique’s, Carlos Senior and Carlos Jr. all in one house. I was so confused!

I don’t know how we managed to do all that we did in the time that we were there. There’s never enough time in a weekend. Once again, I’ll be back this weekend for Katy’s bridal shower…one event after another.

p.s. WARNING! If you share your photo’s on facebook, I’m most likely to steal them so I hope you don’t mind too much. Even though I don’t have an account, I have my secret ways.

Ric and Carlos striking a pose with Carlos' Candy Apple Silverado. This truck is so much cuter when you see it in person. But I guess guys don't like it when you call their trucks cute? He looks tough, but Carlos has the heart of a teddy bear. He manages to keep us laughing non-stop when we see him.

Ric and Carlos striking a pose. This candy apple Silverado truck is so much cuter when you see it in person. But I guess guys don't like it when you call their trucks cute? I just can't help it.

Linda walked me through the entire 10 course dinner. She was my saving grace for this Chinese banquet wedding.

Linda walked me through the entire 10 course dinner. She was my saving grace for this Chinese banquet wedding and I was so glad she was sitting next to me.

Ask her to say "Cheese" and you can't help, but SMILE when Melanie smiles. We've seen her grow from a tiny newborn to this adorable toddler.

Ask her to say "Cheese" and you can't help, but SMILE when Melanie smiles. We've seen her grow from a tiny newborn to this adorable toddler.

Ask her to say "Cheese" and you can't help, but SMILE when Melanie smiles. We've seen her grow from a tiny newborn to this adorable toddler. Here she is hanging out with her favorite Mexican rat cartoon character.

Here she is hanging out with her favorite Mexican rat cartoon character. When you squeeze his hand, he starts to open his mouth and speaks in Spanish. We hear she tried to feed him fries the other night.

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2 thoughts on “i tried the peking duck…

  1. samg says:

    actually the restaurant is only closed if all the tables are booked, otherwise you can get strangers walking through the restaurant to get to their tables.

  2. conno cat says:

    yumm. 10 course chinese banquets 🙂

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