“Delbert Chin's Kitchen”

 

     The food’s awfully good down at the Gates of Heaven Chinese Restaurant. The valley’s other Delbert, Delbert Chin, has been putting on a decent feed there since he came to this country many years ago.

We like that lunch buffet. All you can eat, of course, and he makes this pink sauce that’s out of this world. You can put it on everything. And you want to.

He asked me once why I used so much of it, and I told him if I had enough of that sauce, I could live on cardboard boxes and bedding straw.

But there’s something else about Delbert, too. He is so proud of how clean his kitchen is, he will drag strangers in to look at it. We’ve all been in there. At least once a year, Delbert will say, “You been in my kitchen? You come look.” And we do. If he doesn’t recognize you as a local, you definitely will get the kitchen tour. He insists we run our fingers along the top of the stove’s grease hood. We run paper towels behind the big stainless fridges. Under the stoves, too. Especially under the stoves. No grease, no dust, nothing. And he grins at the astonishment on our faces. But he keeps two teenage boys fairly busy cleaning – I mean scrubbing – that kitchen every day. You can tell when they’re working, because you can hear Delbert shouting instructions.

Oh, we have the usual health inspectors, as everyone does. But they don’t really need to go in there, and they know it. They’ll never red tag the Gates of Heaven. At any rate, Delbert knows customers have their own ways of red tagging a place that’s less than spotless, too.



Brought to you by Slim’s new book “A Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List,” from www.lpdpress.com.

 

 

 

Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011. His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque. Home Country reaches 3 million hometown newspaper readers each week

Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.

Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.

 

  Huntington Beach News


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