Continuing with my Thanksgiving and homecoming luncheon...
My first time eating green bean casserole was after I moved to the mainland in my mid-20s. In fact, I had never heard of green bean casserole until I ate it for the first time. To help further disassociate green bean casserole from Thanksgiving, Bug makes this dish all year, especially when green beans are in season.
Instead of green bean casserole, my aunt made green beans with katsuobushi and sesame.
My father made green beans with shallots, oyster sauce, and sesame.
Both were quite addictive, so I am guilty of eating sizable servings of both.
"Western" by Alex de Grassi
Another great song from the Windham Hill 1984 sampler
My uncle and aunt brought a beautiful whole smoked turkey and gravy from the drippings. While we were kept busy with the delicious lemonade and tofu appetizer, my aunt trimmed the turkey. The turkey was moist and delicious throughout. They did a fine job!
Accompanying the turkey was a chicken dressing stuffed in a kabocha bowl made by my aunt.
I was afraid to ruin the bowl so I was very careful in scooping the dressing. Several minutes later, the bowl appeared cleaved open and its contents were crumbling out. I love kabocha and missed out by being so timid.
In writing this post, I have read about a foreign sounding dish called succotash and its frequent appearance at the Thanksgiving table.Thanksgiving is celebrated differently in Hawaii, or at least by my family.
I have eaten vegetable medleys at school and diners - lima beans or green beans, corn, and carrots. Is that be considered succotash also? If so, why isn't it called succotash instead of mixed vegetables or vegetable medley?
My first time eating succotash was at this meal. Edamame was used in place of kidney or lima beans, a brilliant substitution. I could eat edamame every day, and have when we purchase a bag from Costco. They are my favorite between meal snacks to take to work. Edamame with corn? A very cool combination.
My aunt made mochi rice with lup cheong, a Chinese sausage that is slightly sweet. Even though I have read and heard about lup cheong frequently while growing up, I rarely ate it since it was never served at home. This was another new dish for me that was very good.
Thanksgiving isn't complete without sweet potatoes. My aunt made a platter of sweet potatoes with satsuma potato slices. I'm not a carb queen. Really! However, I won't turn away an opportunity to eat sweet potatoes. Warm, sweet, but not cloying, starchy - just right.
Next were the awesome musubi that my father and I made earlier in the morning. We made sure to monitor the quality of our musubi...numerous times. Quality control.
When I first walked into my cousin's house for this get-together and entered the kitchen, he pointed to a pot sitting on the back-burner and asked me if I recognized the aroma. Sheepishly, I replied that I could not really pinpoint it. He appeared disappointed. Eep.
Just as the mystery dish was being served in each bowl, he announced that he wanted to make 1 recipe from my blog for the party. Of course I blushed, then became worried that this dish may not go over well. He chose scallops with lime served over linguine, and made them far better than I did - just look at the perfect color of the scallops - with much larger scallops. The pasta was perfectly al dente. It was fantastic!
My aunt made a mega-pie that combines a couple of my favorite desserts - haupia and sweetened Okinawa sweet potatoes - atop a macadamia nut crust. How did she make it so nicely?
Spending face-to-face time listening to everyone's stories was a rich experience for me. I greatly appreciate the hospitality, thought, energy, and time spent to make this the best Thanksgiving and homecoming meal I've ever had...even going to the extent of omitting onions and cilantro that everyone loves. Hah! Okay, I know I shouldn't laugh. Instead, I ought to be embarrassed!
I am embarrassed. Thank you for accepting me for all of my flaws. It has been an ongoing project, but I will continue working towards overcoming my childish quirks and becoming a better person.