Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Celebrating Moveable Feasts

Monday, March 11, 2013

OLA: Celebrating Moveable Feasts

Steak and Paella Dinner at Home!
celebrating five birthdays at once!
It was in November 2009 when we had a complete family reunion in Mazatlan, Mexico.  My youngest daughter  April (still unmarried) did not make it to the October 2010 reunion in Spokane, Washington and also the Orlando, Florida reunion in Jan 2012. So when she flew in at 11:30 PM from her P&G Cincinnati global project team meeting for HP, we were ecstatic! At 2 pm of the next day, Claudine, pregnant with my third grandson, arrived from Calgary, Alberta with first-born Enzo and his half-brothers Ashton, and Andre. Only Arnold, Claudine’s husband, could not make it this time. Finally, March 2013 had all my three daughtersl with me at the Seattle home of Trisha and Deejay with their kids Krishna, Yeye, and Kenji!

poker night
The first order of the week was Poker Night! Deejay and Trisha prepared chili and cornbread, brats and works, grilled pork chop, chocolate fountain, and lots of drinks. Deejay’s sister Darlyn made cupcakes and a guest brought mango torte! We played a total of six rounds of Texas Hold’em.  Deejay, Claudine, and April won one round each. Trisha and I were not so lucky but I made it to third place three times!!! My kids say I am too cautious and do not know how to capitalize on good hands. Oh well, I am used to playing with sexygenarians, even more conservative octogenarians, in campgrounds.

Crabpot Clambake
Next day was Bill’s treat for a clambake at Crabpot, a famous seafood place in Bellevue. It was our day of feasts and that night Bill grilled steaks while I made Paella Valenciana! It was my first try and Bill, after a whirlwind try at six stores, was unable to find any chorizo de Bilbao.  So I just used pepperoni sausage as substitute. I know…excuses, excuses. Admittedly, it was not as good as it could have been, especially since I could not find the bay leaves! But it was nevertheless a birthday treat for five birthday celebrants: Claudine for February 7, Krishna for March 1, Bill for March 10, Trisha for March 12, and April for March 31! Darlyn brought a large ice cream cake for the ceremonial blowing of the candle (5 in all!) for dessert!

Mizuki Feast
Next was Claudine’s treat to Mizuki, a popular Japanese buffet restaurant in Tukwila.  Does this sound like a ‘Moveable Feast’, a la Hemingway?   After the sumptuous meal we shopped at the Westfield Mall. Bill finally found the watch he had been looking for over this past year, a titanium solar eco-watch! He also finally had a birthday gift for himself! That night we bought comfort food for dinner at home… chicken joy, from Seafood City’s Jollibee, a highly popular Filipino chain! Then we had a long ‘board meeting’ up to the wee hours of the night at the dinner table!  

Korean Feast!
The following day started with leftovers for brunch. While they all went to the Tullalip Outlet Mall, I had a yag laser procedure done to remove the thin layer that had developed between the plastic lens and the optic membranes, a common occurrence after cataract surgery that blurs the vision somewhat. At the end of a hectic shopping and clinic day, we met at the Korean Palace Bar and Grille for a great Korean buffet of all things bulgogi…shrimps, beef, pork, and lots of veggies. I had the singular honor of cradling 6-year old Kenji in my arms, crashing hard after consuming what must have been 20 shrimps!

We woke up to a huge Filipino breakfast of longganiza, tocino, fried eggs, and fried rice. Claudine could not get more vacation days so sadly she had leave at mid-day of the fifth day. Actually, I could not see her off as I had to have dental cleaning work done before we went on tour again. That evening Trisha cooked her to-die-for Italian meatballs and spaghetti from scratch, using 40 tomatoes in all, paired with Yeye’s pizza from scratch, three different kinds! Then we all watched American Idol’s female semifinals.

@the Microsoft Visitor Center
Trisha and Deejay’s vacation leaves came to an end so we took April to the gym and the mall. Then I cooked kare-kare (oxtail stew with peanut sauce), one of those Filipino dishes April said she missed. At night we watched the Idol male semifinals. I guessed 8 of the top 10 (four of the top five in each group)! The next day we were invited by Fides to have lunch at Microsoft’s Commons followed by a tour of the Microsoft Visitor Center/Museum.  April bought a Windows 8 package for only $25 at the Microsoft Company Store (retail price outside was $99)! That night the girls (Trisha, April, Krishna, Yeye, and I) all went out for appetizers, cakes, and drinks at Cheesecake Factory. Actually, we talked till almost midnight, again! Good thing Trisha could still drive!

Cheesecake Factory Girls' Night Out
Godmother April and Goddaughter Yeye at the airport
Unfortunately April had to leave for Newcastle upon Tyne where she is on assignment with HP for three years. Parting was sad, but we will join her there this summer so…yehey!  As this became a celebration of moveable feasts, we may each have gained a few pounds (two for me) but, definitely, our hearts became fuller!