Thursday, March 17, 2011

Forever 21

FF just celebrated his 21st birthday ( again) few days ago. It was very same day when the horrifying tsunami and earthwake hits Japan. He arrived home  late in the afternoon from work and I just woke up from a night shift. We were both shock by the news, mood was rather mellow and serious. We ate dinner silently in front of the TV wanting to catch every single news we could get. Nobody called, I guess they too have their attention fixed on this tragedy. There was no celebration planned on that day, we were supposed to go out but somehow our spirits were greatly dampened. 

Since he is not and never have  been a big fan of big parties and huge crowd, FF then decided to invite close family members for a simple lunch the next weekend instead. I'm not complaining since I'm doing the cooking. We then have this simple lunch for 12 people last Sunday. No cake and definitely no candle blowing, no singing, not theme,  no camera (!), no karaoke and  no parlor games. Wish I could bring him home and make him celebrate his birthday Pinoy sytle. That would be cooking simple few dishes and inviting immediate family members and good friends...which would bring the guest number to around 200. Anyway, since we are in Germany, let's do this party the German way.

 FF's mini cake that I bought on his b-day. We shared it after dinner.

Birthday celebration here in Germany or at least when it comes to FF's family is not a big deal. It is usually celebrated with few number of people. However, they give runder Geburtstag then a much more elaborate  bash .  If in the Philipines, when kids turns 1 then 7 and when they turn 18 (for girls) and 21 f(or boys) then a feastive celebration is anticipated. In Germany however,once a person gets a decade older, then festivities is expected. So simple and intimate birthday on 29th or 31st but huge party on 30th, 40th, 50th ,60th birtday and so on. These are the runde Geburtstage. Decade birthdays. The older one gets, the more splended and huge the party must be. The celebrant somehow  felt  bless, grateful and happy for another given decade while his medical/nursing insurance probably not.

Since FF still have a long wait for another runde Geburtstag, we then have our usual  low- key celebration. They hardly call birdthay celebration here a party.  Menu is simple and straight forward. Unlike birthday parties back home where table is filled with so much food that guest have to hold their own plate and sit somewhere else, here each guest must have a place on the dining table. So instead of  serving food  buffet style, it is served in batches or courses. Naturally it, there are other people who prefer the first than the later.. Ms. E decided to make a three course menu and since it's lenten season, we completely skip the meat.  So what was on our table instead?

Appetizer: Mango salad with seared Scallop. I added 2 coconut shrimps  on each salad plate. Didn't hear any complaints from guest. FF served it with some Chablis...I had my usual-diet Coke. FF's and his family's used to this. (^^)

Main Dish. Seared Salmon steak on a bed of pasta and sauteed spinach, unstuffed fried risotto ball and some shrimp bisque  as sauce to compensate for the dryness of the other components. The table might not be filled with food but our guests didn't leave the house hungry. I let the guest have a 30 mins break before serving the dessert.

End lunch with this  vanilla flan , garnished with fresh rastberry. Received some compliments  on how good it was. Uhurm!

I hastlily took pictures before a nervous and somehow harassed looking FF scoop each plate from the kitchen and bring it to his guest.I was not able to beautify each dish so pardon for some messy shots. The birtday lunch was a success and FF was relieved. The good thing is, he got few restaurant coupon for two as presents. When his family bought him these gifts, they knew FF will never go out and eat without me. How sweet....

I realized that I cooked too much for 12, bought enough to feed 15. Like boy and girl scouts, we were prepared. Better have more than less, we thought. I hate throwing away foods, it sound so wrong considering how  many out there at the moment who haven't got anything on their plates. So, the next day, I simply used what ever leftover we had to make lunch.

I simply cut the the leftover salmon filet in thick strips and heat it in olive oil for three minutes tossing twice. Then season it with salt and pepper before taking it out from the pan.

Then I put a tbsp of butter in the same pan and add some cooked noodles. Once noodle is coated in butter, I then pour in the rest of the shrimp bisque, mixed everything well until the noodle treads is well coated in sauce. A minute before serving, I put the salmon fillet back into the pan and toss everything gently. Add something green for color and walah...


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