Monday, October 08, 2007

Iron Chef: Thanksgiving Edition

Tick-tock-tick-tock, yet another long weekend has come to an end, another Thanksgiving is over. Someone asked me why I 'celebrate' Thanksgiving if I'm not a religious person. Since I'm not a religious person, I have no idea what connotations Thanksgiving brings to those that are religious. In my non-religious case, Thanksgiving is for me to take a pause in my self-absorbed, crazy hectic life to stop and smell the roses. Or grilled prosciutto.

Last night, I went to Scarborough for my great-aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary. I think it's pretty amazing that anyone can be married to someone for that long. The funniest part of the night was watching my great-uncle try get a champagne bottle open and that priceless look on his face. Lots of family good-times were had, including crashing the wedding next door with my second cousin. Man, you just can't not appreciate having family. After dinner with my biological family, I spent some time with my second family: the Lams. I think movies were on, but I was pretty gone.

As mentioned before, I spent Saturday night at Dev's for our annual Thanksgiving dinner. A total of 24 people showed up this year. That has to be some sort of record. In either case, it was 24 of my best friends and loved ones. To accommodate everyone, we had to resort to covering the two Poker tables with garbage bags and table cloths, which worked out perfectly. Thankfully no major spills, and we were able to play Poker after. Whew. Otherwise it would've been a real tragedy (no, really. Alex would've killed us if we spilled food on his table).

For the competition, Dev and I prepared two dishes, an entrée and an appetizer. For our appetizer, we had grilled prosciutto over hashbrowns with some mango and basil. Our entrée consisted of baked tilapia with a kiwi-mango-mandarin salsa, garnished with lemon sauce and tomato mousse. I eloquently called it 'Lil Devil floating on Cloud Nine'. Nam and Alex prepared kiwi, shrimp and grilled tomatoes. For their entrée (Alex: "OK, I'm Russian. What's an 'entrée'?"), they did potato skins stuffed with mashed potato mixed with dill and bacon and mango chicken. I'm going to reserve my personal comments about everyone's dish because I really don't think I should have a say. I'll have to post the pics of the dishes as soon as Alex finishes sending me the rest of the pictures.

So who won? Team 'Devil', of course. Natch.

And in the spirit of THANKsgiving, here comes my thank-yous:

La Famile de Horreur ~ the family tree is messed, but it's been a blast. Also, I'm proud to say I come from a good-looking family, especially the women. Who wouldn't be thankful for that?

Kathy and Mel ~ for organizing the rules and preparing the voting ballots. Way to put some thought into it.

Dev ~ for teaching me that I don't always need a recipe book (although, I won't totally disregard them) to create a dish. Be spontaneous! And for opening your home to 20+ people!

Alex and Nam ~ for confirming that I don't totally suck at cooking. I can always count on you guys to make me feel better about myself. I love you, BFFs.

Those who brought more food ~ I dunno what you were thinking, but thanks!

Paparazzos ~ Yuri, Megan, Quang, Paul... thanks for capturing the moments. And send me your pics NOW!!!!!!!!

Everyone else ~ Thanks for coming! Hope everyone had fun witnessing the chaos and experiencing the craziness: Nam's potato comment ("This is the best fish ever! It's so flaky!...Oh, it's potato"), spraying whipped cream in Alex's mouth whilst passed out, etc.

And here comes the picture flow (from Alex and Yuri's camera)...

^I promise I never sneezed in the food
^Hungry hungry hippos
^Nam and his sous-chefs
^Fried Red Tomatoes
^Dying of laughter and too much food
^Mel brings down the ballot bag

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