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A Cookie for Katherine McWilliams

How to Eat a Fortune Cookie

When you get a good fortune, eat the cookie
for the good to come true.
When you get a bad fortune, don’t eat the cookie
So the bad you can undo.

If you say China created the fortune cookie,
You don’t have a clue.
China imported the fortune cookie
from America in nineteen ninety-two.
Who knew!



This is a response to Katherine McWilliam's Pos.

Did Katherine partake of her cookie? 

9 Comment count
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Ben Jonson would love it.

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Dr. Biderman

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Chinese food vs Chinese American food -- No comparison

Like most Americans, I've had my share of Chinese food restaurants -- from the spectacular in the heart of downtown Seattle to the mediocre in the countryside of Little Rock. (But Little Rock has by far the best fried catfish, a southern staple.) 

And so I had this notion in my mind that Chinese food in China would be out of this world.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  We went to the highest-rated restaurants, too.  No comparison.  Hands down the Chinese restaurants here are better overall.

Sometimes we search for things far away, taking those things closest to us for granted.  But for Chinese food, America's the place, baby.  Plus, I've not ever received a bad fortune here.

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My dear, Thomas, Vancouver

where I am headed tomorrow has the second best in the world, as the top chefs from Hong Kong have emigrated to British Columbia.

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Have fun in Vancouver!

The fond memories of our visits to Vancouver when I was growing up make me smile every time.

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We have some really really

We have some really really good Thai restaurants in Fairbanks. Almost as good as in Chiang Mai.

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Lai Lai Dumpling House


I have to agree with you here.  The best Chinese food I've ever had has been in America...in the little wedge of the San Gabriel Vally that my partner and I call home.   Granted, I've never eaten in mainland China, so this is by no means meant as a definitive statement.  However, I've dived into various forms of Chinese food from San Francisco to Yokohama to Taiwan to Hong Kong, and even Stillwater, Oklahoma.  And without a doubt, the best I've had has been in my neck of the woods, and more often than not it comes from the kitchen of my metaphorical "mother-in-law".  That's not to say I haven't had great Chinese food elsewhere.  There are a places in Taipei that blew my mind/taste buds, sames goes for Hong Kong.  In Japan, however, it just wasn't good, and it was so over-priced that we found ourselves shocked.

Recently, I was eating dinner at one of my favorite local joints, a place where we've become friendly with the cooks and staff, and I casually asked the owner if she had an idea why the food seemed so much better in suburban Los Angeles than the urban clusters of many Chinese cities.  Her answer was quick, curt, and to the point:  "All the best cooks come here, that's why."  All the best cooks?  I asked.  "Of course,"  she said.  "Why wouldn't they?"  Fair enough, I thought.

That said, I can also safely say that the worst "Chinese" food I've ever had is also in the United States.  Pinkish sweet and sour sauce on spicy chicken wings with a pepperoni pizza slice on the side, my ass.

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I have a great writing exercise

that my students have loved in the past because it involves bringing in fresh fortune cookies (there's a factory in Oakland).

Somehow, they have to work the fortune into the story.  I am sure each time I've done this, they've eaten the good and the bad!


Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Cookie Thanks

Belle, I love it.  Thank you for reading, for responding creatively and joyfully.  I will add this to my collection.  It was a tasty cookie and I felt the power of the fortune as I munched.

Katherine McWilliams