Every time we visit Japan, we always visit Aya’s friend Kio. They met way back in the fifth grade and have kept in contact all these years. She was even one of Aya’s bridesmaids in our wedding. I find that quite impressive considering the long distance between. It would have been very easy for them to lose touch with each other. Through their friendship I met Kio’s mom, Izumi, at our wedding party in Japan. And with the power of Facebook, her mom and I are now “friends.” She doesn’t speak very much English and I don’t speak Japanese, but we both understand the same language; FOOD.Continue reading “HULA’S KITCHEN: PART 1”
The much awaited part three of a story that started eight years ago…
Eight years ago I met some people in a random bar in Kuki, Japan while I was out on an adventure-seeking-night by myself. I got the adventure I was seeking both while I was out, and when I got home. (You can read about that here).
I had exchanged e-mails with my new friends and a few years after later I met them again at the same bar and almost got lost and in big trouble… again. (You can read about that story here).
And now, after originally meeting them eight years ago in Japan, I welcomed them to Detroit with my family, and into my home!
It was just a typical Halloween at our house. The sound of the October breeze was gently blowing through the trees in the backyard while my mom stood tending to two pots on the stove. One of our traditional family Halloween chili dinner, the other of boiling blood. While the smells of chili and blood wafted past the half-eaten box donut holes and a jar of brains, Ellie and Chloe started to assemble their Halloween costumes and prep their trick-or-treating buckets. My brother, Dad, and I were doing our final checks. Mics, speakers, cameras, blood, smoke, it was all ready. The Shining Theme song could be heard outside. Like a wolf howl’s to the moon, this was a call to the neighborhood that Halloween was about to begin. At the first sight of trick-or-treaters on the streets, my dad put the headphones on, stepped up to the mic and flipped a switch marked “Melvin.” The wizard was in place behind the curtain and ready to give it life. The blue glow of the light indicated the mic was live, Halloween had started. “Hey kid, come on up and talk to Melvin.”
Our Thanksgiving last year did not go as planned at all. Our family Thanksgiving dinner is always on Saturday, leaving the actual day of Thanksgiving open for us. It was supposed to be my first time to host some friends, but because of the plague running through our house we had to pull the plug. But this year, plans for us to host Thanksgiving was back on the table. We were going to have Thanksgiving dinner with some of Aya’s Japanese co-workers, some of which had never experienced Thanksgiving before. And this time it would be completely legit with a roasted turkey, not a chicken, and a kids table. I always saw cooking Thanksgiving dinner to be a crowning achievement in the culinary world. With eight adults and five kids, I had my work cut out for me.
We had originally planned on having a get together with our dear friends Mark and Ksenija (who is an extremely talented photographer. You can check out her work here!) around Thanksgiving (hence the name “Friendsgiving”), but our schedules didn’t line up until now. It worked out because it gave me ample time to plan the epic menu. After we enjoyed an incredible vegetarian meal together at a vegetarian restaurant called Inn Season in Royal Oak, I was inspired to do a complete vegetarian spread. I thought it would be a great contrast to your typical heavy holiday dinners and a great way to start the new year. Continue reading “FRIENDSGIVING 2014”