Friday, March 12, 2010

Chop Suey

Every now and then, I like to take food to work. Not just my own lunch, but something to share with the coworkers. We like to do that every so often; at least once a month, we sometimes have potlucks at work. I felt like making chop suey and I made a lot.

I like sharing food at work. Everyone likes free food at work! It promotes morale and feelings of good will. Well, mostly. As most of my coworkers were enjoying the chop suey, there was one coworker, the loud one in our group, who declared that what I had brought was not chop suey, but pansit, a Filipino dish. She went on to describe how she was friends with Filipinos and that they always made pansit, so she knew what pansit was, and what I brought was pansit, not chop suey.

And as she started breaking down the ingredients and their supposed Filipino connections, I was starting to get irritated. When she stopped her lecture to get herself a third helping, she turned to me and said, "Your pansit is delicious, but it tastes different from what I'm used to."

So I told her, "That's because I didn't make pansit. I made chop suey. I should know because this is how we've always made chop suey in my house."

She replied, "But this is pansit, I know it is. This can't be chop suey!"

So I asked her, "Have you ever had chop suey before?"

She paused, her forehead wrinkling before she answered, "Well, no."

So I told her, "Well now you have!"

The rest of the coworkers giggled and the loud one ended her lecture and finished her plate. For the record, I have tasted pansit; and I do like it. In fact, I like Filipino cuisine. But what pisses me off is when I make something, and someone else tries to tell me that I don't know what it is that I made! This ain't a cooking show or a chef competition! I didn't ask for a critique or food review! I made the damn thing! I know what I made. And if I made it, then I sure as hell can call it whatever I want!


  1. Dear Eros,

    It is upsetting to have unhelpful and unwanted critiques regarding homemade meals. Particularly as you has done it for a social gathering of coworkers. You had probably saved the loud one from chowing down on a golden arch meal or two as i note that she had three helpings!
    There is no pleasing some people!

  2. there's one like that in every office, sugar! they're like school in july, no class! xoxoxoxo

  3. And if I made it, then I sure as hell can call it whatever I want!

    Abso-fragging-lutely. Whenever I make food, I know exactly what to call it: "All Mine"!

    The next time the loud one offers her wisdom, tell her it's your own special family recipie, made with a secret extra ingredient, specially imported from Uzbekistan.

    Then mention casually that it takes three days to marinate monkey brains in sheep urine.

  4. I've never had pansit and I don't think I've ever had chop suey - but I'm still hungry after reading this!

  5. Princess, Ha! You're right about that! It was annoying! And she does frequent the golden arches a lot! Which is strange because she's always talking about how she thinks she has diabetes and needs to watch her weight. Yeah, I don't think McDonald's or pigging out is the recommended diet for diabetics.

    Savannah, That is so true! Some people just need to learn to say thanks. Or take a class on manners!

    XL, That is a great song! One of my parents fave--we grew up with that one! So tragic what happened to him--and so beautiful and sad how as the plane was crashing, he wrote a farewell letter to his wife!

    Kapi, Ha! I wonder if I do that, if she'll just make up some connection to Uzbekistan! She likes to brag, and she thinks by being loud, she'll attract more listeners--only people just ignore her and slip away, causing her to be even more loud and making people avoid her all together. I don't think she's quite made the connection yet.

    I'm just hoping she'll remember her manners and say thanks instead of being rude! Then again, I'm tempted to just bring food on the days she's not at work.

    Snooze, Chop suey is an American Chinese creation that is basically soy sauce flavored, cooked bean threads (or clear thin noodles) mixed with seasoned, stir fried veggies with pork/chicken/beef. Delicious!

    It was comfort food growing up--it was one of my dad's favorite dishes to make and it was very popular in our house! It was years later when I discovered that there were Polynesian, Filipino, Indian, etc versions! It's a great dish! And easy to make, too with left over veggies and meat.

  6. I made vegetable casserole with dumplings and pork sweet and sour tonight. It was definitely English....

  7. Another good way to shut these people up is to say "Well, why don;t you make some Chop Suey and bring it in for everyone so we can see how it's done?"

  8. Mutley, That sounds delicious!

    IDV, Ha! I should say that next time! With her, there's usually a next time.

  9. That lady kind of reminds me of the Cackler from my choir. Sounds exactly like what she would pull.

    C'mon admit it, you wanted to fling some chop suey at her face, didn't you? ;)

  10. Tara, Ha! With all her talking and eating at the same time, I was surprised she didn't choke!