Saturday, February 16, 2008

cny + v-day + housewarming2

The first housewarming party was really fun but I was tired out from it. That was early winter last year. I thought I'd never do one again. But since I didn't have any proper Chinese New Year do or did anything for Valentine's, I decided to do an all-in-one CNY + Valentine's + Housewarming2 party this time around. Besides, I have been on skiing trips for the past 2 weekends, spent quite a bit so I thought I should stay at home this weekend instead.

I've always wanted to invite my uni friends over, but our schedules were always clashing. I told myself even if some people can't make it this time, I'm still going ahead with this. And I even invited some non-uni friends to mix the group up a bit. Since it's still winter, something hot and spicy like Thai curry would be suitable. This was my first time cooking red curry, so I was busy researching the Internet and asking Thai friends how best to use the paste I had.

I was also thinking of making my own dessert this time. My Vietnamese guest had left me some tapioca seeds(?), and I was planning on making some sago-like dessert since I would have some leftover coconut milk from the curry. I was also trying to get her on MSN to get some advice how best to cook it, and if I could cook it the night before to save some time.

While thinking about what to cook this time, Watanabe-san expressed his concern that perhaps I should buy more food. He was saying the previous time the portions weren't enough. But I did tell ALL my friends that I was cooking for tea - So portions then were tea time portions, not lunch, not dinner! But apparently he was expecting a proper meal and told me to buy more this time.


As if to hint that I'm not a good cook, he said he invited his friend, Saisaki-san to help me with cooking.


Saisaki-san invited us over for New Year's before, he's a good cook, but I didn't need anyone to help me cook. (I think Watanabe-san thought I needed the extra help since I need to cook extra this time) But I didn't need someone to give me additional pressure expecting some authentic Malaysian food. Besides, this is my own party, so I should know how much to cook for, and what to cook, and would like to do it myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a professional cook, but I would very much like to host my party myself.


Since he has kindly offered to sponsor some of the food, meant well, and I can't ask him to dis-invite Saisaki-san, I decided to just bear with it, and make the best of it.

In the end, I decided the menu would consist of :
Appetizer - Tacos & salsa sauce
Main dish - Thai red curry, black pepper chicken wings (yes, it seems to be a favourite!), stir fry green vege (forgot the name), with rice
Dessert - Almond jelly dessert with peach.

I made the almond jelly last night and let it set in the fridge. Went for groceries shopping this morning, marinated the chicken wings and continued with the red curry. Since it was my first time, I was quite cautious and kept hoping that it would turn out nice. Furthermore I didn't have a good experience cooking with coconut the last time. And I only had one little carton, so couldn't afford to waste it. It's not like I can just go out to the store and get another. I had been saving this particular one for months, waiting for the right occasion and dish.

Watanabe-san and Saisaki-san did help me a bit. I saw they were really sincere in wanting to, and looked bored just looking at me do everything. So I asked them to help peel the potatoes and carrots. :D

Due to the varying schedules of my guests, they came in turns. It was a good thing too, since we had limited space in the kitchen. The people who had never taste proper Thai curry loved it. I thought the creaminess was just superb, it has been some time since I had something like that, but wish it was more spicy. Another friend who used to work as a cook commented that everything was good, but that I could improve on my chicken wings. I'll take his advice the next round and see if it really adds to the taste.

My Canadian friend said this was the best meal he's ever had in Japan. :D Must be because of all the variety of the dishes and I kept feeding him! Saisaki-san wanted to know the recipe for the chicken wings. I said, it was a secret recipe, just like KFC. My guests were so lovely, they helped wash up after that. Before they left, I gave them each a little Valentine's gift, something to wrap up the night.

I'm just glad and relieved it's over. Was good! Oh, I just remembered, Saisaki-san asked if I could host a dorian (durian in Japanese) party next time! Dorian?! I don't even eat that fruit, much less know how to buy or open it. Where am I going to find dorian in Tokyo? I've seen one in Osaka but it had a price tag of Y6500! Well, he did offer to sponsor the fruit, but I really have to find someone who eats dorian. That person is not me :p

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