Friday, December 31, 2010

Progressive Dinner 2010

Year-end progressive dinner is the second time this year. Our neighbors got together and started at Tom's house for Appetizers. Paul&Heather also made great appetizers. We drunk, ate appetizers but need to save some space for next course!

OK, the first shot is in front of the host house. Say"Appetisers!":)

We left the first house little earlier than other people because next part is our Salad&Soup course. OK, ready to start for our part at Jill&Bob's house!!

I made green pea soup from French laundry cookbook with a twist. People liked my soup a lot! Glad they did! Green pea+mushroom+cheese crisp+truffle oil and this combination is GOLD! I would do this again. It was not difficult either:) Jill's salads were great, too.
私はFrench Laundryのレシピをちょいとひねったグリーンピースのスープ。みんなから絶賛され大成功!グリーンピース+マッシュルーム+チーズクリスプ+トリュフオイルは黄金の組み合わせ。又、作ること間違いなし。難しくもないしね。Jillの2種類のサラダもあー、おいしかった。

Now second shot at Soup & Salad house!

Main dishes were served at Dawn and Bill's house. Ada's famous Lumpia were yummy as usual. Bill's Pot roast had cumin, cinnamon, and olive+caper topping. WONDERFUL! They cooked this for three hours in the oven! The mashed potato was great, too!

Third shot at third house. Thank you for the main dishes!

Cheryl & Brett hosted dessert course. Cheryl's desserts are always great. The wonderful bread pudding is not on the table yet but ohhhhh, that was gooooooooooooood. The Rum sauce with dried fruit was a nice touch!

Last group picture at Dessert house!

It was around 11:30pm and waiting for midnight to open the Champaign.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1......
Happy New Year!!!!

Cheers! かんぱーい!
(Photo by Thomas)

and fire works. (photo by Thomas)

Our nrighbors are such a grea people AND great cooks!! What a nice way to end and start the years.

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Prep for Osechi

I am VERY busy today because I need to prepare for Osechi (Japanese New Year's dishes) and make soup for tonight's Progressive Dinner Party.
大晦日の今日は超忙しい。簡単ですがおせちの用意をしている上に今夜あるご近所さんとのProgressive Dinnerに持って行くお料理も作っているの。

It is New Year's day in Japan already and we talked through computer with camera on to our nephews who are visiting my mom's for New Year's celebration. They are cute and growing so fast... This is Genya holding a crab we sent to them. Hope they liked the Hokkaidao crabs.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Philadelphia - snowman and igloo

After we had fun with Lily, started making snowman finally. Steven is rolling a snow ball. We made three big balls for the snowman. (Note:Japanese snowman needs only two balls. Don't tell me because Japanese people are short!)

We made one snow man but made a little changes on him for varieties. I found a baseball cap with "P" on it in Dad's coat closet so we put it on him for Philly boy. Dad looked at us taking pictures and said, "Well, it is not a Philly hat. It is P for Pittsburgh Pirates." Mmmm, let's pretend I didn't hear that....
雪だるま君をひとつ作っていろんなバージョンに変えて楽しみました。スヌーピー、くま、帽子とスカーフをかけたり、ボタンもつけたり、そしてPhillyボーイ。お義父さんのコートクロゼットの中にPマークの野球帽があったので、かぶせてね。ところがそれを見ていたお義父さんが、「いやあ、そりゃPhillyじゃなくてPittsburgh PiratesのPだよ。」ええええ?聞かなかったことにしましょ。

Other variations were deer and short ear rabbit. We made him in front of the house like this so some people pointed at him and said, "Ohhhh snowman!!!" Thank you for noticing him!!

"Am I cuuute?"

In the back yard, a ruin of my igloo looks so sad. Yes, my attempt failed because the snow was still too dry yesterday. 裏庭では昨日ワタシが作ろうとして失敗したかまくらが無残な姿に。雪がサラサラすぎてうまく積めなかったのよん。

Now my sweet husband made a new igloo for me! It is big enough to sit inside.

I also made a city wall around it to protect from enemies. (what enemies?!) I planted some green , added our family name, and kept deers. (Borrowed dad's Christmas decorations)

Tonight is the last night in Philadelphia and we went to Duffers for dinner. The Santa Clause was at the entrance so I sat on his lap. (They even had a cushion to sit.) I ordered All-you-can- eat-crab. Too bad I only ate two servings!! Hee hee hee...

Duffer's Tavern
192 Middletown Rd
Glen Mills, PA 19342
(610) 358-5050‎

I wanted to take a romantic pic with candle but couldn't do it without the camera flash so here you go, not-so-romantic picture of me in the igloo.

We had so much fun here but we need to go home tomorrow....went to bed thanking Steven's family. What? How was the Eagles' game tonight? Don't ask.

Philadelphia - Country Deli & Lily

OK, this is a perfect day for making a snowman because it is sunny and the snow is melting a little bit on the surface.

What a beaaaaaautiful day! The air is crispy and no wind. The snow looks shiny and whiter with the sun. 何て美しいんでしょ!空気が澄んでいて風がないのでいい気持ち。太陽の下では雪がキラキラと輝いてより白く見えます。

First of all, we need to eat a good breakfast so we decided to go to our favorite Country Deli. Before we leave, do some little work on the driveway which we shoveled away the snow.
まずは腹ごしらえにいつものCountry Deliで朝食を食べましょう。でも、車出すまえにドライブウェイをちょっときれいにして。昨日完璧に雪かきしたので、簡単簡単。

The houses on the road looks nicer with snow. I love this red house. It looks great in the snow. Almost makes me think that the owner of the house painted red because it looks cute in the snow.
It is a game day for Eagles so a lot of people were wearing team shirts. This little supporter has a jersey!! Dad was looking at the menu and said, " I should order something different because I always order scrapples." and when a waitress took a order, he said "Scrapple, eggs and whole wheat toast, butter on the side." Dad, it is exactly the same you always order. :)

Father and son talking about the politics and environmental problems...Yeah, sometimes but most of the time they tell funny stories and make me laugh. A lot!

When we were back home, his neighbor left a message saying we can go see his new puppy today. He got a 6 week old Labrador Retriever! I was about to make a snowman but nahhhh, I can do it later. Nothing comes before little puppies!
家に戻ったとき、近所の人からメッセージが入っていて、「今、家にいるから子犬を見たいなら来ていいよ。」とのこと。その家には生まれて6週目のラブラドル リトルバーが来たばかり。雪だるまを作るつもりでしたが、そんなのあと、あと。子犬に勝つものはないからね。

When we got there, Lily was sleeping under the Christmas tree. Ohhhhhhhhhh, soooooooo cuuuuute!!! Sleepy puppy is licking Dad's finger. 私たちが行った時、Lilyはクリスマスツリーの下で寝ていました。ひゃああああ、かわいいい!眠たそうな顔でお義父さんの指をなめている。

I must have been annoying while I was there because I kept screaming "Cuuuuute! OMG, Cuuuute!" きっと、私はその家ですごくうるさかったと思う。「いやー、かわいいいいい。かわいすぎる~。」って語彙の少ない子供のように叫んでいたから。

She likes biting...She bit Dad's hands, my coat, and Steven's head. Such an energetic puppy. (Well, most of the puppies are...) Her coat is so soft and fluffy....By the way, do you like my new hat? I made it!

Ohhh, I want to take you home.....

(in our house in CA)

Sorry, Sophia and Lucy...but Lily was incredibly cute!! Oh, well...I make some snowmen...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Philadelphia - Snow fun

When I woke up, the snow covered everything....of course dad's driveway, too. Steven takes a sigh and looks for a snow shovel. Ohhhh, are we going to shovel snow??? Steven used to do this when he was a kid but it is new to me.

I borrowed Dad's snow boots and ready to go!

Well, first 1o minutes was fun but it took a long time to shovel a lot of snow like this. We did good and now we are not trapped! Dad's driveway got clean and snow free!

I saw deer tracks in the back yard. They were here!! I found some under the window. They came very close to the house!

We tried making a snowman but the snow was still too dry and couldn't make one so I did other snow fun such as....eating snow with espresso, and making a snow bunny...and...

...making a snow angel!!! This is the first time in my life! Well, we don't do this in Japan and I have only lived in snowless Bay area.

What? You cannot see the angel?

here you go!!

After this, we stayed home because it was VERY cold. Nice to stay in the living room with a fire place. By the way, these are dad's serious firewood making tools, an ax and a log splitter machine!

Again, snowman tomorrow!

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Philadelphia - Country Deli & Ridley Creek Park

Next morning of Christmas day, we were drinking coffee or latte and relaxed...and then Mom said, "Look out the window!!" There were two deer running across Dad's back yard!!! Wow, there is a wild life here!! They were jumping and running very fast so couldn't take any pics BUT I did see them!!!! So don't look for deer in the pics below because there are none...Hope I can see them again....Wow, Deer in the yard??!!! How great is that? When I cook or do dishes, I just look up for no reason, and I could see deer from a kitchen window!!!??? It is amazing! From MY kitchen window in CA, all I can see is damn squirrels!
We went to Country Deli for breakfast. We come here often because the food is good and the people here are super friendly and nice. Steven and Dad always order scrapple which we cannot get in our area. 朝ごはんにCountry Deliに行きました。Philadelphiaにくると必ずここに来ます。食べ物は素朴でおいしいし、スタッフがみんな親切でフレンドリー。アットホームなレストランです。Stevenとお義父さんは必ずスクラップルという薄いパテのようなものを食べます。西海岸ではあまり見かけないのでStevenには故郷の味なのかな。

The weather report said the snow is getting heavy this afternoon so Mom & Frank left before the traffic gets a mess. They need to drive 2 hours to get home. Drive safe! See you soon!!!

Now, Steven and I went to Ridley Creek State Park where Steven used to go a lot when he was a kid. Ohhh, snow is getting thick! さてと、Stevenと私はRidley Creek State Parkへ行きました。ここはStevenが小さい頃よく来ていた場所。あああ、雪が積もってきましたよ。

Wait for me, Steven!!

We saw a ruin of an old house. The snow started covering the brick walls. I wrote "Snow!" on the snow...silly me...
The snow is piling up on a big tree trunk and it looks like Buche de Noel with powder sugar. Yum, yum...

My "cashmere" gloves (Thank you, Sumiko san!) kept me warm and the green color and red color of my coat are Christmas colors!

One day late but....

The ground was frozen and look at these layers of ice....

Well, the snow is getting serious....time to leave.

Old stone house on the way back. It may have been a barn...

I was so excited to have snow and may have acted like a kid. We don't see snow often and NEVER in Bay area so let me be like a kid :) I wanted to make a snow man but the snow is too powdery to form so made little guys. Ah, now I remembered when I saw snow last time. I did the same in Athens.
Snow man tomorrow!!

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