Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Holiday Festivities continue....

To recap, my family and I pretty much spent almost everyday between Christmas and New Years attending dinner parties and eating, laughing, eating, laughing and more eating and laughing.

Special mention goes to a fabulous dinner hosted by the Nakamotos. My hats off to Terry who slaved over a hot stove, making a very delicious Chicken and Potatoes dish stewed in Coconut Milk, as well as Garlic Shrimp, and Pan-Seared Scallops. Hmmm... sooooo soooooo goooood. She also made some very fancy appetizers made of crusty bread slices topped with smoked salmon. Hmmmm, another big hit. We contributed with some Rumaki appetizers and chocolate & lemon squares.

Dick and our 2 boys had a great time being in a virtual (All Girl Band) playing Rockband with the Nakamoto girls (Annette & Rachel). Dick had the most fun doing the singing part, as did I. I gave the drums a shot and did pretty good for my first try, but it was hard work. I was all sweaty after performing "Eye of the Tiger". It looks like Rockband is this seasons favourite among the teens and the young adults. Rockband was first introduced to me at the Seto Christmas Party, but I much preferred the Nakamoto Girls' "All Girl Band" version which featured music more to my liking. I wasn't too crazy about the heavy metal music played at the Seto Party.

I was most impressed with how gracious Rachel & Annette were as young hostesses. They certainly kept us entertained while Terry prepared dinner. Annette always had outrageously funny stories to tell us. Rachel was quite concerned that Derek was sitting on the sidelines at the beginning, reluctant to join in with the Rockband fun. She then engaged him in conversation, asking if he would like to visit a neighbour's pet ferret instead. By the end of the evening, the girls somehow persuaded Derek to join in and they had a blast playing the drums part as a 3 person player, each taking turns, one playing the left hand drums, one playing the right drums, and one person stepping on the drum pedals.

After our delicious dinner, Ian insisted that we drop by their neighbours' house a short walk away to go feed a couple of ferrets. The Nakamotos girls were asked to take care of the ferrets while the neighbours were on vacation. So all eight of us bundled up to pay the ferrets a visit. But alas, we didn't get to see them, because it turned out that the ferrets were already having visitors. At first we thought that the neighbours returned from their vacation earlier than expected, but they had asked some other friends of theirs to feed the ferrets as well. Those are certainly some very trusting neighbours as it appears they have given house keys to pretty much everyone on the block to go in and check on their ferrets!

While we were out, we decided to take a short tour of all the Christmas Lights that lit up the neighbourhood. Some of the Christmas Lighting were very impressive indeed. My favourite one was the house decorated with a inflatable Homer Simpson. A Classic!

Later on in the week, we visited my parents at the Seniors Nursing Home, where we briefly met up with my sister Cathy and her daughter. We exchanged gifts and stayed a bit snacking on some chinese buns and some putos (Philipino stlye steamed cupcakes) that the boys and I had made. My mom is not a very big eater and so she made me eat up a big portion of her lunch. It was very good food, considering it came from a nursing home. It was a plate of rice served with very tender chicken pieces and gailan (chinese broccoli). Yummy.

Well, another year has passed and a Brand New Year has arrived. I hope that 2009 will settle down to be a calmer period than the turbulence we experienced in late 2008. My family and I did not feel too much of the negative effects caused by the Global Financial Crisis, but still it was a little unsettling to hear of some of the doom & gloom experienced by some others all over the world.

I was very fortunate to have spent New Year's Eve with some very good friends who are just like family to me. A home-cooked meal featuring Roast Beef (with generous portions of rare beef made especially to suit our carnivorous family), Korean Beef, Stir-fried Shrimp, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and much much more was lovingly prepared for us, not to mention all the various homemade appetizers like crackers with hummus made from scratch, crackers topped with brie cheese & caramelized, a baked brie cheese wheel covered with a savoury coating and topped with cranberries, and of course a sushi platter... to be followed by assorted dessert dishes and Champagne. After midnight, we chatted some more, while the kids watched a movie. We had such a great time that we didn't realize it was already past 3AM in the morning!!! This is the latest I've stayed up in a long time. Good Friends, Good times. Life really doesn't get much better than this.

I'm pretty sure this will be the last of all the over-indulgence and we will return to our regularly scheduled healthier and lighter meals. I must say, I feel very grateful to have been surrounded by such loving, warm and funny friends and family while ushering in the New Year. Much as I would have loved to post some photos of the occasion, my friends were too darn shy to allow it, so I'll have to keep these happy memories close to my heart sans pictures.

Chocolate & Lemon Squares and some personalized ornaments for the Nakamoto girls

It's a Homer Simpson Christmas

It's Rockband Time

1 comment:

Connie said...

happy new year joan!
your holiday sounds so fun with the food and the parties/gatherings and such, at our house, holidays/x-mas is just like every other day, with the exception of every place being closed!

lol, i like kelly's story about the card compared as the great escape

and i think i wouldnt be able to catch up with ana

and yes, the competition is still on!