We woke up this morning to my mother hard at work on dinner…

Mom made orecchiette (aka little ears pasta) because Akemi is a big fan.

We headed over to our favorite coffee shop in Montreal – Victor Rose – for some mocha and their seasonal maple latte.

Meanwhile, Lulu and Suji settled in.  Suji, maybe a little too much as she’s taken to bossing my mother’s dogs around their own house.

We returned for lunch to find mom hard at work on the next phase of her dinner plan: pizza!

With the leftover dough, she opted for a little artistic expression in the form of a Christmas wreath.

Following an afternoon of running errands, I settled down to read – only to be given the task of grating parmesan.  No problem.  I can multi-task.

Sooner after dinner is served: pizza, pasta, and my favorite chicken fettini.

A special blog dedication to MaggieMayDay, PBMom, Quantum Mechanic and the rest of our extended family.  I’m thinking we need to plan a group vacation to Tokyo.  Who’s in?!!

15 thoughts on “December 23, 2018: Big Food Day!

  1. Japan? Oh, man! I really wish I could join you.

    Not only would I love the food, I’d feel like a kid in a candy store with all those beautiful women there. 😍

  2. Your mama is amazing. And that pizza, chicken, pasta look so good. Do you usually gain weight when you go home? I am hungry now. Christmas Eve I have to make deviled eggs, little tuna salad sandwiches, cream cheese pinwheels, sausage balls, Mexican salad, cheese dip, and two hot dog lasagnas. I’ll be in the kitchen all day.

    Get well everyone and have a wonderful Christmas!

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Joe, Akemi, fur kidz, Mamma & Andria, and everyone out there in the blog family! Am making a family visit here, but boy do I miss the December snow on the blog page. Nostalgic for digital weather. Hee.

    Thanks for taking us to Montreal for Christmas, Joe. Mom’s orechiette pasta looks great. Yum. Can’t wait till the seafood feast on Christmas Eve. We do seafood here, too, in the traditional seafood chowder, made with mock crab, or shrimp, or whatever good fish is available. Suji as dominatrix! Who knew? Maybe a little rescue remedy from the whole foods store would help her “charm offensive” and Lulu’s travel nerves and/or discomfort. (Check with your vet first, of course.) Looking forward to pix of Christmas Eve, family games, all the desserts, the libations, and the interesting dreams they give you afterwards. 🙂

    Here at home, I finally made good cut-out sugar cookies after several year’s attempts. Anyone remember the zombie snowmen/running men cookie photo? LOL. Skipped them last year, and Dad was so disappointed. Happened on a good recipe, and Dad even helped decorate the cookies. Hah. Fun times. Mom insists that I make JeffW’s cheesecake every Christmas. Made it last night (Saturday), and let it cool overnight in the oven. It came out smooth and delish-smelling. Incredibly, it “ripens” like a regular cheese, and tastes best on the 4th day. Will make chocolate and strawberry sauce to spoon over the top. A good recipe is a gift forever. Thanks, Jeff and Barb!

    I totally get the “where did I leave my mind?” business! Four or 5 hours’ sleep translates into waking zombie mode during the day. Where did I leave that ….? And I almost put away something non-edible… in the refrigerator. I come up with the wrong words plenty, often starting with the correct letter, but leading to some comedy. In our corporate blog & sleep deprived state, am POSITIVE Akemi makes more sense than the rest of us. My problem is sub-surface stress, which I keep at bay by reading, FB (for pete’s sake, FB!), and some TV. Then I can fall asleep, near comatose, only to have the alarm go off at 5:30 a.m. Ugh.

    MaggieMayDay, am so sorry for the loss you are living with, yourLarry and Punkin. You can only survive when half of your heart and soul are gone. I’ve not experienced that, but last year and recently at Thanksgiving, lost close family that were extended parents. Sheez. The pain, and the tears that sneak up on you, even in public. Over the smallest things. Dang it. The only thing that ever seems to help this lesser grief is to gut it out and feel it when a wave comes. Grief won’t be denied. Maybe riding with it makes the waves less something or other. Death is an earthquake of the heart, and there is no time limit for the aftershocks that follow. Only, God help us, and walk alongside us.

    Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and after service and presents, I’m looking forward to observing another family — and as it turns out Scandinavian — tradition, reading books! Thank you, Joe, for your lists.

    Also Merry New Year, with good health, and fresh insight, to everyone. God Bless, blog family!


  4. Mom is a cooking virtuosa! All that stuff looks SO good.

    Japan trip? I would love to! I’ve been thinking about that for the last couple of years actually, but it’s a fairly pricey place to go. If it was a group trip though, I’d make it work!

  5. Is there a big difference between gnocchi and orecchiette? Your mom is a treasure. I’m glad she’s doing so well. Thanks for the food pictures! Everything looks yummy.

    Maybe Suji is a herding dog? 😉

    Drea: Good luck with your Christmas endeavors! 😉 getting drunk as F**CK! That sounds good to me!
    My mom visit wasn’t as crazy but I still had a huge glass of wine when I got back. 😉

    Cheers to All!

  6. You had me at maple latte. I may need to move to Canada. I liked Victoria a lot … surely there are maple lattes there?

    Group trip to Tokyo? Hells yes. We just renewed our passports last year. I intend to wear mine out.

  7. Happy holidays! I think I gained weight just looking at the photos. 😀 Being a foodie and cook, these photos make me happy. There is nothing that says love like making food for your kids. (and grandkids, in my case) Have a grand visit!


    Fun Tokyo Xmas fact o’ the day for all:
    Holiday lights are not the only thing
    they put great care into.
    While Japan may not “officially”
    celebrate Christmas,
    Scientists are working hard ever just the same
    to ensure Rudolph with his nose so bright
    doesn’t fall victim to any of their speeding trains
    and can keep lighting the way for Santa
    as he makes his way around the world this Christmas eve.

    This little gem was spied and RT’d by Peter
    @griesar on twitter.

  9. @mannas7mom wrote – “Suji as dominatrix”

    Joe, that got me thinking… what is a dominatrix. But then I thought, hey! How about a series of kids books about Suji as a wheelchair using, back legs compromised, normal looking dog. She has to have lots of help and be taken care of. Then, suddenly when needed, she turns into Suji Samurai!!! The super hero dog!! She bursts out of her doggie bed, perfectly normal, except for all her super powers!! She can even fly!!! (when needed) She saves kids and babies and even her family every now and then!!

    Well? What do you think?? A hit?

  10. Careful with the grater; I lost quite a bit of skin to those as a kid making cole slaw. Now I realize why I buy the pre-shredded cabbage; fear of graters. Such amazingly delicious looking food. How do you not conk out from the carbs? Your mom looks gorgeous! I wish I could get up early and cook a big meal.

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