Monday, January 02, 2006

Except for forgetting the kim chee...

... dinner was almost perfectly executed. Sheri and I went shopping on Saturday (12/31) -- first, we went to get her plate from Color Me Mine in Menlo Park, then stopped at Kragen's for a replacement bulb for the lovely Carol's car. The Movie Groove had "Wit" with Emma Thompson, which we rented 'til Thursday. Then on to Safeway, but it was dark! "No produce, no meat, no dairy, no frozen," said the man at the door. Gaaa! We drove to the other Safeway, along with everybody else on the Peninsula. Apparently two or three other Safeways were closed due to "teiden", uh, power failure. I have never seen the parking lot so crowded. Beef, squid, green onions, Japanese eggplant, Martinelli's (for the festival aspect), pseudo-eggs (for our cholesterol), spinach. Maybe something else. Success!

Thankfully, that was the last stop for that outing. After loading the groceries into the 'fridge, we had lunch, and there was time to clean the bathtub before heading off to a friend's house, where the kids played Set and other games, and the adults had a great time talking about cross-cultural experiences. A great way to spend the new year's eve afternoon. We went to church together (5pm service) and then back home for dinner. I spent maybe an hour or so cleaning 3 pounds of frozen squid and par-boiling it. We watched a half-hour of "Wit" and called it a night.

Whew -- just writing that made me tired! On New Year's Day, I chopped up the green onions and made some marinade for the squid and the beef. The nice man at Safeway had sliced the beef already, so all I had to do was get it "mixed" with the marinade before cooking. The lovely Carol made an alternate sauce (for some of the squid), and we refrigerated the works. Jenny and Sheri had previously agreed to fry the eggplant, and they set about slicing it up, breading, and cooking it. Meanwhile, because of the grey sky, I set up the trusty Weber in the garage and started the charcoal going. The lovely Carol prepared the spinach and started the rice. While cooking the meat I took a look at a few magazines I had in my car. (if I were more spiritual, I would have prayed or meditated, but well, ...) With the beef finished, I headed back into the house to find the eggplant and spinach all done, and one of our guests already here... and that I had forgotten the kim chee (here in California, people seem to spell it "kimchi" but old habits die hard). We accumulated a few other items for the list and headed off. Soy sauce, ice cream, kimchi (that's how they spell it at the store).... When we got back, our other "yes" guests had arrived. Ken and Cindy brought a nice green salad, and Lillian brought potato salad. We talked about aging parents, serving, encouragement, dog logistics. A good time was had by all.

Then I somehow succeeded in figuring out CUPS so we can now print on the "new" used computer (which the kids are now using to create their own website), and getting sound to work (it sure helps to turn the volume up in YaST). Also last night, Jenny found a Prize Certificate, issued by Sheri. So early this morning, Sheri made chocolate muffins. I had part of one; it was delicious.

As soon as I post this, I'm going for a swim with the lovely Carol. Then we will go shopping for a new hot pot, so the old one does not burn our house down. (The problem with living in the US is that you can't find parts for not-for-export Japanese appliances.) Tonight we are playing games with some other friends.

Quite a busy weekend for an introvert like me, but so far I've had a lot of fun.

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