Posted tagged ‘Chinese bluegrass’

Bluegrass Wonton

August 7, 2009

        Every Friday for a quarter century, at least in the absence of a medical emergency, I eat at Chang’s Chinese.  They have the best oriental chow in Harvey County.

        You can set your watch by it.  When my daughter would drive home from college, if it was 12:30 she didn’t bother to call, but would proceed to Chang’s to eat lunch with me.  She never miscalculated.  You can count on old Doc to be where he says, and I was without fail.

         Julius and I went to Chang’s recently.  The waiter had seen me on the local cable channel.  They put us on T.V. when they run out of news in Harvey Country, which is often.

       “You Dr. B, right?” he asked.

        “Yes sir.”

         “You play little guitar.  Sing songs about mountains?”

         “Yes sir.  They call it a mandolin, but yes sir that’s me.”

          “Very good, I like.”

          “Thank you.”

          “What you have today, Dr. B?”

          “Oh, the buffet would be fine.  I’d like a cup of wonton also.

        “Very good.”

        “Hey,” I asked.  “Would y’all toss some white rice in the soup?   I call it bluegrass wonton.”

        “Bluegrass wonton?”

       “Yes.  Just a little rice.”

        “Yes.  Ms. Chang she will do right.”

        In a minute he returned with Ms. Chang who brought a bowl of wonton soup, and with rice.  She smiled broadly.  I never realized exactly how white her teeth were.  They were like pearls.

        “New soup, Dr. B.” she said.  “We call it Dr. B’s Bluegrass Wonton.  We very proud.”

        “Dang a mercy Ms. Chang.  I ain’t never had a soup named after me.  Bluegrass wonton.  Imagine that.”

       I sipped a spoonful.

       “You like?”  she asked.

       “Very much.  Perfect.”

        You might recall from our country Doc rules Julius and I tip well when we are out to eat on the ‘Starving Medical Student Foundation.’   “Julius, we need to go all out today; 30%.”

       We did just that.  I’ll never be an international bluegrass star, and as a Doc I was only an in the trenches foot solider.  I’m certain I am not in line for the Nobel Prize.

        But after today there is one thing no one can ever take away from me.  How many people have a soup named after their favorite music?  They’re gonna put in on the menu next time they print one up.  Bluegrass Wonton.  I love Harvey County.  I hope they remember me after I’m gone.

Dr. B

Chinese Bluegrass

September 22, 2008

        We had dinner guests over tonight.  My wife was a bit nervous because the father of the family was the best Chinese chef in the County.  I told her it wouldn’t matter, good cooking was universal.  I was right- they loved her southern barbecued chicken.

        Marfar has tutored their little boy for a couple of years now.  At first he had a time with the language barrier, but now he’s at the top of the class.  I’ve taught him a little golf- he says he is gonna be the Chinese Tiger Woods- and of course I’ve shown him some bluegrass.  He adopted the American name of Earl.  The kid has good taste.  He is enthralled with Scruggs style banjo.

       After supper he and I watched some Old Lester and Earl tapes that have been re-mastered onto DVD.  His Dad fixed the dessert- mango  and Thailand sticky rice with coconut milk poured over the top- good stuff I tell ya.  

        We played a bit of music and traded some stories about our respective homelands.  I played a few bars of Chinese Breakdown on the mandolin.  I have no idea if the tune came from China or not but they dug it.  No one will ever convince me music ain’t the universal language.  We sent ’em home with some chicken, Marfar’s best friendship bread and a few bottles of Arnold Palmer Half and Half, and they gave us the sticky rice and mango.

        If a decade or two from now you run into a Chinese young man named Earl ask him if he knows Marfar and Tommy Bibey, and tell him his Dad’s sticky rice is the best.  He’ll smile real big and you will be instant friends. 

        And if you run into him on the golf course I wouldn’t bet against him.  In both music and golf, the ones who start out young are tough.

Dr. B