Friday, May 27, 2011

Garden party... one Saturday in May...

Each spring for the last five years or so, we have had the pleasure and honor of inviting a bunch of friends (senior folks, actually) over for a pot-luck garden party...
The 'menu' is almost always predictable...
As in the sashimi...
This 'hamachi' (yellowtail), its meat is very succulent and I just love the taste of it...
The hamachi is designated the official fish of Kagawa prefecture...
Reason is, Kagawa first pioneered the rearing of this pelagic fish...

Plus, maguro (tuna), sawara (Spanish mackeral?), and katsuo (bonito?) sashimi...
Eaten with a dash of wasabi and soy sauce, urrrmm...

The 'oden', however, made its first appearance this time...
It is sort of like a stew with various ingredients thrown in and cooked in slow heat over several hours...
Took a bite off that octopus... real tender and tasty...

The same lady brought a second dish...
Which is her specialty... the home-made smoked chicken...
A little too salty for me but still, tasted good...  

For as long as I can recall, an 80-year-old-plus husband and wife team again brought 'o-kowa'...
Glutinous rice steamed with lots of veggies, that is...
No meat here... chewy and very popular dish among us...

The glutinous rice dish goes hand in hand with this 'tsukemono' (radish pickles)...
Tasted somewhat like one type of pickled young mangoes?

As in previous potlucks, this group of folks from a neighboring town always turn up fully geared (with pots and pans) to cook 'tempura'...
The 'seri' is some sort of mountain vegetable... very fragrant...
And they always go to the hills to dig out fresh young bamboo shoots...
Alhough we do not favour too much tempura or fried stuff, the other guests were really enjoying themselves with this dish...

Among our guests this time, we had a chef who specializes in French cuisine...
He did not cook anything French, but he dished out this simple yet very delicious 'somen' (thin wheat noodles)...
Unplanned as it was, the somen went extremely well with the crispy tempuras...
And finally, some fruit punch to seal the event...
I swore not to over-eat that day, but, but...

I was supposed to cook roast chicken with the dutch oven...
But was too occupied with setting up the venue...
Moreover, our guests had always told us to just provide the venue and the opportunity to meet at our garden...
They will take care of the food, they say...
We are very happy to see them enjoying our garden...
They have been coming back year after year, and we certainly look forward to having them again next spring...