Here we are, back at the land of culinary escapades as we indulge our intemperances.

To back track a bit, while Ann was otherwise occupied in Shenzhen for the ostensible purpose of this trip, Chewie had scouted out the local situation and found a gold mine in the underground food court of Link City. Unfortunately we didn't get to have many meals here, so we made every one count triple:

Before flying back to Boston we had an overnight layover in Beijing. From Bali here the temperature had dropped a good few degrees, and we're plunged into autumn weather, still in beach going garb.

We'd booked a hotel near Wangfujing the day before we were due to arrive, hoping to get in on the night street food action. For no good reason the hotel gave us a complimentary upgrade to the Grand Hotel Suite, and if you ever wondered a $965/night at a 5-star luxury hotel looked like, here it is:

Sumptuous as the room was, we had little time to enjoy its amenities. It was time to venture into the famed Wangfujing Snack Street and find some roast duck along the way. Exciting!

This was a street of back-to-back stalls. There was a good variety of offerings, but certainly the most popular items – lamb kebabs, live scorpions, stewed tripes, various baozi – were hawked by no less than a dozen uniform looking vendors. Afraid of getting too full we shared a few skewers and a helping of Sheng Jian Bao, and headed for the prize of the night: Peking Roast Duck.

Dadong, the more chic of the specialty restaurants had a long line, so we headed to an older institution called Quanjude. After a forty-minute wait our very own duck came, and here she is artfully disassembled:

To the surprise of no one, we were more ambitious than hungry, but still Chewie powered through every last bite. It was amazing.

A quick post-prandial stroll through the streets, we grabbed some bubble tea and watched adults and kids alike fling these spinning lit toys into the sky. We were satisfied and ready to go home.

And... on the subject of eating. It's Thanksgiving. Chewie bought at 7.5 lb standing rib roast (aka Best Turkey Ever). We sous-vide cooked it at 132°F for 10 hours, and finished it with a controlled grease fire. Here's the meat gallery:

Going with it: 2.5 lb of salmon, a bucket of sweet potatoes and caramelized marshmallows, roasted fingerling, asparagus, and kale. Adding to the fray: Mike's homemade kombucha and hard cider, cranberry orange sorbet, and butternut squash pie with bourbon maple whipped cream, Julie's carrot cupcakes with delicious frosting, and Grace's legendary buttery apple pie.

Before and after:

Chewie grilling to maniacal laughter:

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