Farm Wedding Banquet "Ten-Big-Bowl Dishes"

2012-5-30 Source:

 Farm Wedding Banquet is often simply called "Ten-Big-Bowl Dishes". In Tiantangzhai, the most striking feature of the catering industry is the farmhouse feast and Xiaodiao Wine—self-made wine by rice or other cereals. Originally, "Ten-Big-Bowl Dishes" was the family banquet to serve guests on some important days like the wedding day or the house-building completion day in the countryside around Tiantangzhai. Its menu and the order of serving are clearly defined. On every happy occasion, the host lights two big red candles on two tall holders on the rectangular table in the principal house (or the central room). A square table is put in the middle of the house, (when there are more guests, two or four square tables are in need), with a bench on each side, two guests on a bench, so the square table can hold eight people altogether. Relatives and friends sit according to the order of guests and host, young and old. In the banquet, meat dishes and vegetable dishes are served in turn. The representative menu includes: Bowl One: eggs( as a vegetable dish), Bowl Two: fish, Bowl Three: dumplings, Bowl Four: umbilicaria with knuckle of pork, Bowl five: Peanut date meat, Bowl six, Eggplant pancakes, Bowl seven: river fish, Bowl eight: preserved ham, Bowl Nine: thin sheets of bean curd, Bowl Ten: sauce-boiled meat. When the third dish----dumpling is served, firecrackers are lighted by the host to thank the guests, and says modestly: “In this humble countryside household, the wine is less, the dishes are fewer, please do not take offense by the plain dishes. In the future, your arrival will always be welcome.” During the meal, the guests and the host drink Xiaodiao Wine, and play the finger game, until the guests return with satisfaction.