We had visiting Australian cousins just a few days after New Year’s Day, and it was an opportunity for several cousins to get together for a very casual and relaxed dinner in our home. I think we counted that we are 19 Abueva first cousins in all, and having six cousins at the dinner table was a major achievement since we live all over the world and span 3 decades or more in age difference. We are an admittedly wacky bunch, and of course, when our generation that gets together without the next generation up present, that is an opportunity to discuss our family’s foibles and quirks.
Being somewhat all holidayed out, but still before Three Kings, the flowers were scaled back to just simple bunches of fresh gerberas in two shades… these cream and light green flowers and more colorful orange gerberas at the dining table. These were roughly 5 dozen blooms in all.
Into two dozen 8 or 9 inch plain glass vases and some lower vases laid down the center of the bare dining table, we randomly placed one or two stems of gerbera at varying heights. Some simple white votive candles were placed a few inches clear of the flowers.
Very simple and native mat placemats, mustard colored plates and cream colored napkins completed the place settings.
It was festive but informal. Perfect for a family gathering of like minded nutcases. :)
A roasted pork belly stuffed with chills, lemongrass, onions, tamarind paste and other ingredients was the main dish of the dinner. Our balikbayan cousins requested pinoy food so we decided to do this mini-lechon version for them. Post on how to cook this up soon.
We had a classic shrimp sinigang made with fresh unripe sampalok, a pinakbet with lots of Zubuchon chicharon in it, an experimental lamb adobo with some of the lamb cutlets our cousins brought in their luggage, grilled talakitok and chicken nasal (last two items not in photos).
We also had a talong or eggplant and tomato salad, stewed tapilan (a more native kind of monggo) with dried fish, and a large bowl of chicken and vegetable sotanghon noodles. Homemade achara and various sauces for the pork as well. For dessert we had biko, mangoes, pomelos and freshly baked ensaimadas (which were mostly meant for guests to take home as pasalubong). It was a very pleasant light dinner, and such a pleasure to get together with cousins and in-laws (we sometimes refer to them as out-laws), nephews and nieces.