Dinner for Ten

Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~Author Unknown

My husband’s family (some of them) came to dinner before their trip up north to walk the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day. They came from all over: Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Detroit. Quite the gathering! While a meal is not always about the food but the folks gathered around the table, I wanted to provide a Japanese style meal.

We started with purchased rice crackers and Edamame Hummus.

Hiroko Shimbo’s (Japanese Cooking) innovative combination of pureed edamame beans, feta, yogurt, and olive oil make a deliciously distinctive dip, a wasabi-pea-green and salty-not-quite-sour dunking medium for rice crackers or vegetables.

The menu featured Chicken Thighs with Umeboshi and Shiso.

This recipe is an interesting variation of the classic combination of umeboshi and shiso. By adding sauteed onions to a paste made with umeboshi and shiso, the flavor becomes richer, a little like a French sauce. This chicken is roasted in the oven so it’s easy to prepare, but tastes as if you spent hours in the kitchen.

And for dessert we ate Mistumame: gelatin flavored with matcha, fruit, sweet beans
and vanilla ice cream.

This is a classic Japanese sweet summer treat, featuring soft, smooth, crisp textures and colors of all the seasonal fruit, studded with sparkling cool gems and creamy ice cream. What is not to like!

Some of the green dishes you can see on the table were from my mother’s house. The square green plates were part of a set she bought when she and my father married. Online I found they were made by Anchor Hocking, the pattern is called Charm, the color is Forest Green.
I remember using them as a toddler/young child. They are scratched from much use. Her collection of green dishes grew when she got older and some of the dishes you see on the table include purchases from consignment shops and estate sales.

I borrowed air mattresses from friends and we had overnight guests in almost every room of the house. They got off bright and early well before noon for the trip up north. I stayed behind for work.

Tourists who travel to the top of the mitten (Northern Michigan) are called “fudgies” by the locals. Many spend money on fudge in the many gift shops around Mackinaw City, St. Ignas, Mackinaw Island…

——Read the rest of this post from the top.——


2 thoughts on “Dinner for Ten

  1. Hi Jean,
    The meal went very well, and there were not many leftovers except for the tomato geleé I posted about.

    For myself, I’ve not been away from my blog for so long before this. There were problems with work: was I going to be fired, was I going to quit, and now am I willing to work with more responsibilities (and hours)? And my husband has been working out of town for 7 weeks while my daughter has returned to the parental home. Many bad and many good things during this time. And Hiroko Shimbo’s new book has been published at last! I really hope to return to my blog with new posts again.

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