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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Garnishing Plates

Mondays can be difficult.  To help ease the pain of a stressful Monday morning, two of us decide to go out to lunch and talk it over.  We decide Chinese food will help take the edge off.  Normally we are greeted by a trio of friendly, smiling female faces, but today everything is different.  All of the staff are male wearing neckties and some of the art work is different.  What happened in a week?  Or is it because we save going out for an end of the week treat?  We are a bit suspicious.

The tables are set with chop sticks.  The menu is now a hard bound book instead of the laminated two sided list of specials.  I've had a morning that needs to shared, discussed and dissected.  Do I have time to choose a meal?  The old faithfuls are still available and so minimal concentration on food is required.

The General's Tofu arrives for my friend and yes, it is different in appearance.  The plate is beautiful and we immediately notice the fancy and colorful flower.  Jewelry for the dish.  Is it necessary?  I also don't understand the sprig of parsley.  I want to ask for a baggie to take it home and use it in a dish - not really, but why is it there? 

Though my minimalist plate is not wearing any jewels, it is quite colorful, the vegetables are crisp and bright with a deep, rich sauce I know will be a perfect coating for the brown rice.

We begin to talk about temper tantrums in the work place when the other employees from our work place arrive.  Though Journey is performing one of their greatest power ballads in the background, we worry it is not enough to mask our conversation and so instead we talk about our families.

We skipped the scallion pancake so I feel quite entitled to have some pistachio ice cream.  The sweet treat is creamy and perfect for taming my own childish reaction to workplace stressors and my friend points out I can use the memory during the day if I need to calm down.  I can sit at my desk, close my eyes, inhale, exhale deeply and chant, "pistachio, pistachio, pistachio." 

Fed Well, calmed and laughing we return to work.  I still think about the flower and parsley.  What are your thoughts about garnishes?

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