I just learned at lunch today that there are more readers for my blog than I knew of--that was exciting news!
David and I have a regular date every Sunday. It's an important part of our Sunday routine. We get up, eat breakfast, read the paper (if there's time), and head out for church in order to warm up with the choir before the 9:00 church service. Next we stick around for Bible study (Sunday School) and head home for a few minutes' break.
Then comes one of our favorite parts of the week--we go to the Plum Tree (a wonderful local Chinese restaurant). We tried to figure out several times how many years we have been doing this (eating at the Plum Tree). I guess it depends on how many years the Plum Tree has been in Georgetown, doesn't it! We do love that place. I have told friends of mine that my children think Sunday dinner includes rice and smells like soy sauce, and I do believe they think that.
First of all, the food at the Plum Tree is terrific. Yes, it's a buffet, but not your normal steam-table Chinese buffet. At the Plum Tree, the food is cooked in small quantities and placed in chafing dishes. Either the manager or wait staff is always checking the buffet to make sure there is enough food in the dishes, and more is prepared as needed. You can tell from the quality of the food that it is NOT cooked in a huge amount and kept warm back in the kitchen--no, indeed. It is prepared fresh as needed. The variety is very good. There are always chicken, seafood, and beef dishes, sometimes several of each. Yes, there is the standard sweet-and-sour dish, but also a fantastic hot, spicy shrimp dish and a chicken dish (General Tso) that is so great David chooses to eat it for dessert (well, his third helping, anyway). The egg rolls are the epitome of all the egg rolls we have ever eaten, and our family's standard for onion rings is the quality of the tempura Tron fixes--Tron's tempura onion rings are the world's best.
Then a person has to consider the atmosphere at the Plum Tree. It is a family restaurant, for sure. Our Plum Tree family consists of customers we have watched grow from infants to teenagers, and teenagers we have watched come back with their own infants! There are also dear friends we have met there and enjoy seeing each week. We know each other's hobbies, grandchildren (Nelda has a tableful now), car preferences (John loves his Camry station wagon), musical preferences...and these are folks we only see on Sundays!
But my favorite part of the Plum Tree experience is spending time with the staff. We do love these people. Currently we have the pleasure of regularly visiting with Lily (a nursing student), Xinging (a research chemist), Frances (the mother of former students), Yen (the owner/manager), Tron (the chef), Madison (Tron's 4-year-old granddaughter who calls David Papaw), Ding (Xinging's son, a computer science student at EKU)...plus numerous others who appear and disappear from the kitchen. We've shared birthday cakes (we had a piece of Tron's pineapple-upside down cake today), successes (Lily's acceptance into and good progress in nursing school), recovery from accidents (Xinging's recovery from a broken arm, Frances' accident with her motorbike), sickness (Tron's open-heart surgery, Ginger's glaucoma), weddings (Tron's daughter, Twee, this past summer). Currently we are looking forward to Andy's (Lily's son) citizenship--he takes the test September 27. Also coming up, Sam (former Sunday-noon waiter, current student and evening waiter) will graduate from nursing school this December.
These folks have become dear, dear friends. My mother loved the Plum Tree, and the folks there loved my mother. They sincerely cared for her. When she was not with us on Sundays, they wanted to know where she was. If she was out because she was visiting, that was fine--just tell her they missed her. But if she were sick, pretty soon Tron would be at the table with a bagged order of cashew chicken and fried rice for us to take to her--no charge. When Mom was no longer able to come to lunch with us, they even visited her at her nursing home. When she died, they grieved, just as we had grieved when Yen's mother died several years before.
If you are ever in Georgetown and hungry, be sure and call me. We'll direct you to the Plum Tree, the best restaurant in this area (not just this town) and probably be more than willing to join you for a meal!
Good night to all, and God bless.