Theories of heaven

I had a luxurious weekend. My friend Amy visited from the wilds of Maine and requested, nay demanded Chinese food. We met in Chinatown and began to eat our way into oblivion.

We had lunch at Peach Farm, a restaurant with great food and the ambiance of a speak easy. It's a basement locale with no windows, some mirrors to lighten the space and formica tables. But the food.... oh, the food. We shared spicy salted shrimp with heads (they had been alive ten minutes before we ate them) and green beans with pork.

The shrimp were oh-my-god-I'm-in-heaven good. They were crisp on the
outside, succulent on the inside. Each one was a pink crunch of crispy sharpness in my mouth, followed by sweet and saltiness. Some people are put off by eating them with heads, but really they are the best part. Crunchy and flavorful. They looked something like this.

The string bean with shredded pork was a wonderful accompaniment and allowed us to pretend we were eating something healthy. It was at least green. This was slightly spicy, the beans were fresh and the pork tender. There were also a few wonderful chunks of black mushroom in there. I love black mushrooms.

The next morning we were joined by Kevin and Jim for dim sum at China Pearl in Woburn. While the Woburn outlet isn't quite as good as the Chinatown location, it's still very good, ladies in carts walking through the room, singing out their offerings. I stuffed myself on dumplings, more kinds than I can list here. I don't want to think about the caloric content of that meal.

When I die and go to heaven (a big assumption there, I know), there will be trees that bear dumplings for fruit, and flowers with salty spicy shrimp petals. I'll be able to eat all of this luxury without shame, weight gain or intestinal consequence. I'm sure of it. After all, heaven is what we make of it and I will make mine tasty.

(c) 2008 Laura S. Packer


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