Thankful. Grateful. Appreciative.
Community. Honor. Love.
History. Preservation. Treasured.
I keep trying to find the perfect words that can carry the weight of how much I feel. I’ve had almost a month to find the right expressions. As 17th century Anglo-Welsh historian James Howell aptly wrote, “Words are the soul’s ambassadors,” but today words simply do not convey the scope and depth of the overwhelming gratitude I feel for the out pouring of love and appreciation I witnessed last month during Naomi Tagawa’s 99th birthday celebration.
Thank you, Community!
And, oh my, thank you for your inspiring and generous donations toward the China Alley Preservation Society’s “Save The Laundry Building Project.” The Kings Hand Laundry served the area for over a century, and we have desperately needed to repair and preserve this treasured landmark. We are now embarking on the journey of achieving our goal of creating a museum and learning center to keep history alive, thanks to your generosity.
I also thank those of you who wrote to me after my column with a garlic shrimp recipe was published. I had mentioned in the column the honey and walnut shrimp dish served in numerous Chinese restaurants that many of us enjoy. Some of you wanted to know if I had a recipe for that particular dish. I do. It isn’t a dish that I grew up eating, nor did we serve it in my family’s Chinese Pagoda restaurant. The first time I tasted the honey walnut shrimp dish, the restaurant’s chef was from Hong Kong, and everyone at the table assumed that it was a Hong Kong culinary invention. This was during the mid 1990s, a time when a lot of Hong Kong chefs came to the United States. This exodus could marginally be related to the crown colony of Hong Kong officially reverting to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, ending 156 years of British rule.
After trying the honey and walnut shrimp dish several times, we realized one of the “secret ingredients” was mayonnaise, and we later figured out the other secret was sweetened condensed milk. What ever its origins, Honey Walnut Shrimp is delicious. I hope you enjoy this recipe.
And again, thank you for your contributions to the wonder of Naomi’s celebration and the beginning of a significant community historical restoration.