The holidays are in full swing and in Beijing the festivities extend clear to the end of January. It’s a time of gathering with friends and loved ones to celebrate our diversity of traditions and cultures. One theme that binds the various winter holidays together is food. A party, a celebration, a gathering simply is not complete without food during the holidays.
This past weekend, my family had the good pleasure of being invited to attend one of the biggest little dinner parties in Beijing as about 50 guests crammed into the home of Theresa and Q Ahdieh. There were some old friends, some new friends, and even people we simply did not have a chance to talk with. Children played games, adults played Rock Band on the X-box, and grown-ups swapped stories and good cheer.
Taking center stage was a table so laden with food it looked cockeyed. The feast included turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and a huge salad all catered from Lily’s American Diner. As if that were not enough, guests also brought dishes they love to share including at least a dozen deserts. There was no possibility of trying everything, so I started with the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (life is short, eat dessert first) and worked my way backwards through the courses to a salad and a couple more cookies (eat dessert last too if you can get away with it). Somehow, I managed not to over-indulge (despite the cookies) thanks in part to the good advice of nutritionist Olivia Lee and her seasonal strategies for the holidays.
This season, whether you are traveling or remaining in Beijing for the holidays, I wish you the very best of family, friends, and great food. Happy holidays!
Photo: Christopher Lay