On New Year’s Eve we held our traditional dinner where we all draw our courses and continents. With only three families left, two families had to do two courses each while one (we as the hosts) had to do one. You never know how much you can miss somebody’s bad cooking until they’re gone.
The first course takes us to Africa, to Ghana in specific:
It’s a leek and peanut soup and damn delicious. I think this will become part of our culinary repertoire
The second course jumps across the Atlantic to México:
Pimientos con queso y beicon. Bell peppers filled with garlic cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. They were delicious.
Back across the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, straight to Italy:
Classic lasagna and never a bad choice.
Now we travel east and south to Oceania for the fourth course:
Chicken Fa Fa, a popular dish from Polynesia. This was my course and I didn’t want to do something from Australia or New Zealand, since those are very European cuisines. Of course I didn’t get taro leaves to make an authentic chicken fa fa, but several recipes said to substitute with spinach. You fry the chicken, then simmer in tock until mostly done, add spinach and coconut and thicken with a bit of starch and it’s so damn delicious. the chicken was tender as butter, the spinach creamy, and I had a lot of trouble not eating the whole thing before the guests arrived.
For the final course we didn’t have to travel quite that far, our dessert from Japan:
Macha petit fours: Small coconut cakes with red bean paste and a macha frosting, served with green tea. Those were delicious. The “cake” itself is made from “Butterkeks” a not overly sweet biscuit, coconut and butter with no added sugar, while the frosting is basically just sugar and macha. This makes for the perfect amount of sweetness with the bitter macha notes.
All in all we had a delicious and nice evening, right before the crying started at midnight. You see, January the first is Uli’s birthday. For almost 20 years we celebrated together. She’d spend Christmas with her family, but New Year’s Eve with us. I remember celebrating with her back when I was still living at home, bringing out a cake at midnight with the whole neighbourhood bursting out in “happy birthday”. Or partying in way too small student flats, sleeping on a floor so cramped it was difficult to go to the loo. We said that she would host this year. Damn, Uli, why didn’t you just say that you weren’t comfortable with hosting so many people right after moving in? Don’t you think that dying on us is a bit extreme?