And why does marriage give you 525,600 calories?
This story started back when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area during cousin Q's older brother's first year of college. Cousin Q's older brother's wife's sister, Salah Jonger (Ha! Did you follow all that?), during her maid-of-honor speech at the wedding reception, told the story of how they met. It was her first year of college too and in an effort to meet other people, cousin Q's older brother's wife took her around the dorm, knocking on various doors and introducing themselves. Cousin Q's older brother happened to live across the hall from Salah Jonger's high school friend.
Unbeknownst to me, sometimes when she asked my cousin to go eat, cousin Q's older brother said I had already fed him or took him grocery shopping. I met her a few years after that, when they were still just friends, during one of our family snowboarding trips. "Just friends" huh?
She eventually graduated and moved to SoCal. Remember I said I used to eat at the restaurant located in what is now Tahoe Galbi Restaurant in Koreatown? Well, that night when we drove by, the previous restaurant had closed down. We ended up at Versailles Cuban Food Restaurant in Culver City, only a few blocks away from her apartment. We asked her to come out and join us but she wasn't feeling well. So after dinner, before dropping in to visit, cousin Q's older brother ran into a convenience store to buy her some 7-Up. (My daddy's cure-all for upset stomachs.) We played with her dog, Thumper, who could roll over and play dead when we said, "Bang, bang." And we just hung out. Any girl who can hang with half a dozen of the WC clan gets a plus in my book. But a girl who seems to actually enjoy hanging with us? She's a keeper.
I asked cousin Q's older brother, are you still "just friends"? ;)
The wedding ceremony was held on a sunny, crisp December day at Torrey Pines Christian Church in La Jolla.
Here's the middle '87 looking very pretty in her bridesmaid gown.
Here comes the bride!
Cousin Q was best man. The groomsmen were two of cousin Q's older brother's college friends and the bride's younger brother. The bride's sister, Salah Jonger, was maid-of-honor. Bridesmaids were cousin Q's younger sister, the middle '87, and two of the bride's college friends.
And do you?
You may now kiss the bride!
I know, I didn't forget.
The wedding reception was held at Pearl Chinese Cuisine in San Diego. Cousin Q's older brother's wife made all the centerpieces. Actually, she planned everything and even made the wedding invitations.
Why are all these people crowding around?
Chocolate! Chocolate fountains! Chocolate fountains with dark chocolate and milk chocolate!
Chocolate fountains with dark chocolate and milk chocolate with madeleines, strawberries, bananas, and pineapples for dipping!
The bride didn't think it was aesthetically pleasing to have bottles cluttering up the tables, so all the drinks were at the bar. That meant an equally large crowd of people, including little kids, traffic jammed at the bar to get everything from mixed drinks to soda pop. It might not look so pretty, but having ice and drinks available at each table is way more practical when you're feeding hundreds of people.
The barbecue cold plate had roast pork, roast duck on a bed of jelly fish, roast chicken, and seaweed salad. It was good, but not remarkable. My favorite cold platter, of the three weddings I went to recently, was at Regent West Restaurant in Santa Ana because of the abundance, and the clams and squid.
Honey walnut shrimp on the left and crystal prawns on the right. The honey walnut shrimp were light and crispy. I liked the sugar snap peas in the crystal prawns side, but didn't pay enough attention to the sauce so I don't remember what it tasted like.
Cubed filet mignon with garlic in a bird's nest. A little heavy on the sauce and I thought the beef at Prince Seafood Restaurant in Cerritos was way more tender, but this was the best bird's nest of the three. The noodles were crunchy but not hard, and slightly chewy. How do they fry the "bird's nest" so pretty?
Braised shark fin soup with dried seafood. Very little shark fin. The dried seafood flavor was a little too strong. I prefer shark fin and crab soup best.
Garlic roasted chicken. The marinade was really good, although a tad too salty for me. All my cousins really liked this and no one else thought it was too salty. Must've been me. The marinade tasted familiar, yet I couldn't figure it out either.
Steamed live fish. The fish was soooooo gooooood! Seriously! So fresh. Not fishy. Tender. Moist. Anyone know what kind of fish this was? No scales and definitely not catfish.
Abalone mushrooms with Chinese mustard. I love abalone mushrooms. They were so good that cousin Q's older brother thought they were real abalone. :)
Lobster with ginger and scallion sauce. This was the best lobster of the three wedding banquets. Not as much meat, but a lot more tender. Perhaps not overcooked? Dunno. Still can't go wrong with lobster no matter how it's cooked in my book.
Seafood fried rice. The roasted garlic bits added flavor, otherwise, this fried rice had very few ingredients.
Mango pudding. The flavor was good, but it was way too firm.
The cake looked much prettier in person. The roses were too dark to show up nicely on my camera.
Each layer had a different flavor and I got a chocolate piece.
Look! People photos! Two of my favorite readers -- Salah Jonger and cousin Q's older brother's wife. (Ha! She likes being called that!) The photos don't do them justice. Aren't they beautiful?
First dance as husband and wife.
Couple #1. She kicked off her shoes. He took off his belt. He even ripped his shirt when he busted a move.
Couple #2. Awww. Too cute!
Couple #3 was Salah Jonger's friend who lived across the hall from cousin Q's older brother and cousin Lee. I took video, but cousin Lee won't let me post it.
Couple #4. A little staid, but good sports since everyone had been called up without knowing why. And then it was a surprise announcement that they had to participate in a dance competition.
Couple #5. The guy is one of my cousin's friends from high school. Getting a lot freaky on the dance floor! At one point, couple #2, the bridesmaid had to turn the little boy around so he wouldn't witness such "goings on."
Dance off between couples #3 and #5.
Cousin Lee and Salah Jonger's friend. I have video too. Which again, cousin Lee won't let me show you, but they both did the splits! Man! The lengths they went through to win.
Bouquet toss. Salah Jonger caught the bouquet.
Removing the garter. Someone shouted out, "You gotta work for it!" So he had to sweet talk her first.
And maybe "Oh, do a little dance." Look at her laugh. You know she loved it. ;)
"Make a little love."
"Get down tonight, get down tonight."
Quick! Name that song!
"Get Down Tonight" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band.
I've never seen a guy so excited to catch the garter. That was the bride's cousin.
The girl cousins serenaded the newlyweds with "Everything I Do, I Do it for You" by Bryan Adams. They were all microphone hogs. And they sang almost as well as me, which is to say not well at all. Haha!
Afterward, we all congregated for more drinks and wedding banquet leftovers. Cold lobster. Still good! My cousin poured a 1999 bottle of Dom Perignon that was gifted. Fancy!
Wedding favors were picture frame coasters, which also doubled as our name cards.
And look! My cousin and his wife even brought back a souvenir for me from their honeymoon in Tahiti. Honey from their honeymoon. Awww. Thanks!
If the love and laughter at the wedding was any indication, starting out as "just friends" was just right. Welcome to the family cousin Q's older brother's wife. :)
Happy New Year everyone! I hope your year starts off with lots of love and laughter too!
My other wedding banquet posts:
Capital Seafood Chinese Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Monterey Park
Empress Harbor Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Monterey Park
Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Emeryville
Prince Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Cerritos
Regent West Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Santa Ana (Little Saigon)
Pearl Chinese Cuisine
11666 Avena Pl.
San Diego, CA 92128
Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 9 .m. to 10:30 p.m.
1 year ago today, frog fallopian tubes, tortoise shell jelly, and knife-cut noodles at Tasty - San Gabriel.
2 years ago today, for those of you with New Year's resolutions to "exercise more," photos of people exercising around Ho Hoan Kiem (Returned Sword Lake) in Hanoi, Vietnam.