Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dinner with the Yamada's
I am so far behind! We had dinner with the Yamada's last Saturday night and I was treating them to homemade pizzas. They are still amazed that I can make all these strange dinners in my own kitchen. When I had asked Aya if she and Hiro liked pizza her eyes opened up wide and she said 'yes' with conviction. Just for giggles, check out what Pizza Hut offers here in Japan. Mayonnaise, shrimp, and squid are regulars on top of pizza. Aya and Hiro had never heard of pepperoni before. Unfortunately we hadn't been to Yokota AB recently so I didn't have any on hand and of course was unattainable here locally. The Japanese do eat salami so I planned on having that on part of one pizza, plain cheese for the other half of that pizza. I know my kids shy away from pizza with anything other than cheese. The other pizza was half chicken and tomatoes with ranch dressing as the sauce and then margerita. Turns out Hiro loved the chicken and salami while Aya loved the margerita. Etta and Riko stuck to eating cheese while Chloe had as much pizza as me. She must be in a growth spurt!
To top off the evening I served Lemon Meringue Pie which I know Hiro in particularly loves. We also had some apple crumb left over from entertaining the night before so I heated some up and topped it with some whipped cream for Hiro and Aya to try (I actually haven't made that for them yet). I have come to the conclusion that they love American food and desserts.
Aya commented that the next time they come, they'd bring some hanabi (fireworks). Turns out, our friends the previous weekend brought some and we hadn't used them yet. So, down the stair we went to play out in the street. Coming from Arizona I don't have much knowledge of fireworks. I remember the summer of my 15th year, my dad, brother, and I took a long trip up to Minnesota and back. Along the way we'd buy some fireworks and play with them. That's the extent of my knowledge. Japan fireworks seem a bit different. At least the packages we have, it's mainly sparklers that last only several seconds and then a type that you dangle as still as possible to get some cool sparks. Hiro said those in particular are the Japanese' favorite.

An interesting photo, I didn't plan on the shutter being open so long and wobbled while taking it. Turns out Eric loves this shot. Here's is Hiro showing Riko a sparkler.
Chloe's first firework, a sparkler. As you can tell, she didn't like it one bit.
Etta on the other hand had a blast.
Riko wasn't too sure about it at first.
I like how the grown ups have more fun than the kids!
Etta enjoying numerous sparklers

Mom, she's wearing the Crocs you sent (even with the care bear jibits you sent).
Chloe beside herself, she doesn't like this one bit. Time to get to bed!
PS even Chloe is wearing her crocs mom (with the care bear jibits too)
More sparklers
no flash, not sure which pictures I like more

Here is one that you dangle, it's not lit though. They last for such a short amount of time I never got a good picture.
Our night quickly came to an end after the fireworks. I sent home the remaining pizza, lemon meringue pie, three loves of banana nut bread for them and their moms, and some frozen cookie dough for Aya to bake at home. Japanese don't bake like Americans so I figured it would be an easy introduction for her.
Aya and Hiro had come bearing gifts for us (standard Japanese thing). They gave us a muskmelon which was actually a present from Hiro's mom. Just to let you now, these things are expensive! I'm thinking this was from a friend of the family. Let me tell you, it was like putting a spoon through butter it was so soft. It was full of flavor and juice, I will always remember trying this melon! I just can't part with the money it would cost to buy one locally. I'll check out the local store to see how much they cost (if they even have it).
They also brought two huge containers of homemade umeshu (plum liqueur). Aya's mom makes this and frequently sends a batch to us but this time we got two! The one to the left is two years old and the one to the right is just one year old. It also has the green plums still in it. I have sampled them both and think the two year old one is the better of the two. It's going to take awhile to go through them both!
They also brought over a package of Disney Princess furikake (seasoning to top rice). I had mentioned that we recently tried furikake and how the girls loved it, earlier in the week when we had a play date. Aya had seen Disney Princess furikake and knew Etta and Chloe would love it. She's so sweet! Just to let you know, I had previously purchased a Hello Kitty package of furikake that contained 5 different flavors: tamago (egg), nori (seaweed), sake (salmon), another type of fish I can't remember, and fish eggs. Yep, Etta picked out the fish eggs yesterday and devoured it. She had no idea what she was eating and was so excited about it at the time. How could I tell her? The Princess has different flavors, I would tell you what they are but can't find them at the moment. I'll let you know if there are any crazy flavors and how the girls take to them.
That's it for now, I have tons more to blog about and will slowly get it down. Hope you learned a little more about Japanese cuisine while stopping by today.

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