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Feb 16, 2010

They are crunchy, small, folded, and light brown in color (colour). They usually come in individual, plastic packets. They don't fill you up, but they are an important part of certain meals. They hold a different promise for each person at the table. And, finally, they have an Asian touch about them. So, what are they? They are fortune cookies, of course. No Asian style meal would be complete without them, at least, from a Westerner's perspective. I'm sure there are a lot of Asian meals that should never have fortune cookies at the end; you'll just have to forgive my ignorance. The cookies are, afterall, an Asian American invention that started around the beginning of the 20th century. Apparently, Asian immigrants, probably Japanese or Chinese, started to manufacture them in California. A cookie that they might have been copying is the omikuji cookie of Kyoto, Japan which was a temple cookie filled with random fortunes. It sounds similar. Well, they certainly are popular over here. Though they are normally served after a chinese meal, they can also be found in Japanese restaurants, and Asian-American restaurants. Children get excited by the idea of a special cookie at the end of the meal, especially one that they can break open to find a message inside. "This week, a special person will come into your life," one might say, or, "Use your good judgment to make your fortune this year." My children always imagine ways the prediction might come true; they get imaginative, and even ridiculous. We end up giggling at the end of our meal because of the fortune cookies and their 'off-the-wall' predictions.

Grammar notes.

Expressions: to fill up/ to get filled up, to giggle, off-the-wall.

1. We filled up the car with gas (petrol).  OR  That chocolate cake will really fill you up.

2. The children got over excited at the birthday party and wouldn't stop giggling.

3. That entertainer does the strangest things; he is really off-the-wall.