Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Spooks Fine Dining in Regina, Sask, Canada

This is my College group blog. I do not post often here because we only meet a week per year or 2 but we just had a reunion in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada last week, so I would love to share  this post with you. We all graduated with a Bachelors degree in Medical Technology although 3 of us pursued their education and are now medical doctors. It has been 43 years since we graduated but have kept in touch and we try to meet annually. Whenever we see each other, it is always like old times, and it is so much fun.
Whoever is the host, this time was Jazmine, prepares an agenda for us in advance and scheduled one evening, was fine dining. I was of course, assigned to set the table and I was also one of the main chefs, together with Gatchie as pictured below. Unlike me, although I have a natural knack for it , she loves to cook and we learn so much from her.
We stayed at Jazmine's sister, Josie's house, that could accommodate all of us since she lives alone and has 6 bedrooms in her home. Thanks, Josie. for your hospitality and putting up with our loud laughter!
 Although Gatch and I were main cooks, we had a lot of assistants.
 I had to rely on whatever Josie has in her home and she had this beautiful formal china with gold edges. I really do not know the pattern name. She also has a beautiful flatware set and stemware set. Thanks for letting us use them, Josie. I brought paper salad plates with ghosts on them, since we call ourselves "The Spooks" in College, to personalize it. I could not bring my ghost ceramic plates from home cause it would be too heavy in my luggage, besides it was already pushed to the limit at 50 pounds.
 Josie also had capiz plate chargers so I used those as well. We added a card table because the dining table would not accommodate all of us. We were 13 all in all, including Jazmines hubby, Zbigniew. We invited him to join us, though he was not with us the whole week. He stayed at their house which was not too far, while Jazmine joined us at Josie's the whole week.
 We had a lot of food to serve so I only placed a small vase that I picked up from one of Josie's occasional tables, for a centerpiece.

 For a napkin ring, I brought an orange ribbon from home, to blend with the orange stars on the paper plates, that I tied around . I brought name labels that I printed from home before I left and then hang a bracelet charm of a plate with spoon, fork and knife, I won on Ebay. We all have a charm bracelet with charms of places that we have been so we can add this to it.

We had so much food and all of them so tasty and delicious! Shown below are grilled flank steak and seafood paella.

 Gatch created this appetizer, prosciutto wrapped cantaloupes and garnished with basil, strawberry and blueberries.
 She also made a grapefruit salad with cucumber cubes, shrimp and I can't remember what else she added but it was so good! I have the recipe but I still have to find where I stored it. Balsamic vinaigrette for dressing. So refreshingly scrumptious! It had salad greens underneath.
 I made the seafood paella and it was also a hit!
 Everybody was excited to take pictures and was just full of admiration. We could not wait to start digging in.

I scattered a glow in the dark ghost all over the table.
 We also had grilled salmon.

 We had ice wine, courtesy of Josie, first time we all had it and it was so good. I wonder if I can find it here. They say it is only available in Canada.
Thanks for stopping by. I miss my friends already and this is something I can always come back to and view and reminisce the good times.

Centerpiece Wed
Paula's What's It Wed
Kathleen's Let's Dish
Susan's Tablescape Thursday
Kathy's Home and Garden Thursday
Sarah's Homemaking Weekend Link Up party

Thanks also to the hosts I am linked with.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Nel!

We have come a long way and so glad our paths always lead us to one another every now and then.
We were together in College and even joined the same activities such as Sing Out.  Those were really happy times, traveling to different places to perform. I always treasure the times that we would have pajama parties at home in Mandaluyong and all the parties held there.

 Then, most of us moved to US and we did not see each other for a long time and then like magnets, our paths crossed again. I am so happy for that because then we were able to plan annual or bi annual reunions since. The moments we spent at the beach house in Destin was unforgettable.
 Then you all came to attend my daughter Tina's wedding and that was so much fun, made the special day even more special and memorable, so much appreciated that you all traveled from all over for that. I could not even pick you up from the airport because I was so busy creating the bouquets and doing wedding preps so you took the limo to bring you to my house. And what a great help you all were before and during the wedding.

 The following week was a blast, another bonding in Orlando. Here you were at home during our oil painting activity.
 You are always so stylish and you never change after all these years.
 We all took a cruise to the Carribean and wasn't that a lot of fun?
 Just like I said, always so stylish!

 Touring the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins.

 I always have this warm feeling whenever I have you over at my house, here in Florida.
 Lyla and Anchit's silver wedding anniversary in Chicago.
 Red Rock in Nevada

 Even during sad times, we try to be there for each other.

 Finally, our latest reunion in Natchez.

Too bad I missed this when Baby visited but I am glad you all got together with some of our College classmates. 
 I hope your city recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy very soon. Most importantly, I hope you get your electric power back. Take care, my friend. Happy birthday!!! I hope you can find some way to enjoy this special day, in spite of the situation, and knowing you, I know you will. Love ya!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Many, Many Thanks!

It's been exactly a month since the last batch of my classmates left and I tell you, they are all sorely missed, and yet, the memories linger.

Although, most of us were present at the reunion, not everybody was able to attend. Emily for one, had to go home to the Philippines because her mom had brain surgery. I am happy to share the news that her mom is doing very well. We missed you so much, Emily! We hope you can join us next year.

Another Spooks member, Rose, could not make it either, because she ran out of vacation time from work, after accompanying her daughter and helped her move to Europe. Baby, however, was lucky enough to meet with her in Northern California, before she came here. The rest of us had some luck too, for Rose sent along with Baby, a box of goodies to bring to us. Thank you so much, Rose. Those empanadas were out of this world delicious! We could not wait to try them. We attacked Baby as soon as she arrived at the airport, to grab the bag from her. On behalf of the Spooks, I thank you! Hmmmm, now you are making me crave for them again, lol.

We have a few more members who we recently just located but they have never been to any of our reunions. Hopefully they can join us in the future.

Don't they just look good? Just looking at them makes me hungry, I mean the empanadas, lol. But of course, Rose and Baby look really good too:-)

I would also like to thank my hubby, John for being very gracious in welcoming my classmates here. Imagine, living with 8 females plus me for a whole week? LOL! He had to put up with all of our loud laughters and all the mess created while doing our numerous crafts and projects and all the non stop cooking and mess in the kitchen. Here he is, telling them about the history of Natchez. Do you see me taking his picture from below? I did not want to listen to the lecture anymore. I just wanted to take pictures, LOL!

After everyone left, his comment was "What a nice group!" He actually really enjoyed their company. He even joined us in doing water aerobics and came with us to New Orleans.
Thanks also to everyone who came, thanks for the unforgettable memories, the jokes and good laughs, the singing, the cooking, all the caring and sharing, all the crafts that we learned and free supplies too and all the presents that everyone gave to one another. I don't think I ever laughed so much in my whole life. THANK YOU! I miss you, guys!.........................................Christine

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Farewell Breakfast on Polish Pottery

We had a week's reunion and the time has come when it was time to leave. Two of the girls, Baby and Nel, left early and John was nice enough to offer to take them to the airport. They left the house at 5 AM. As soon as I bade goodbye to them, I set the table in the kitchen and cooked breakfast while the others were still sleeping.

Just a simple setting with no layering, after all, it is for breakfast, so no salads here. I mixed 2 patterns of Polish Pottery plates. I served Filipino sausage called longganisa and we like to dip them in vinegar and that is what those little dipping saucers are for.

At first, I used the origami swan that Jazmine, who was our origami making instructress gave me, for the centerpiece but I had to replace it with a fruit bowl afterwards.

 The ceramic teapot napkin rings were from Pier One, from a long time ago when I still lived in Florida.

I brewed hazelnut coffee and placed it in a Polish pottery pot on a warmer. The little pots contain condiments, vinegar and patis (fish sauce) and I placed vinegar with hot pepper in that ice cream cup on the right.

We had a typical Filipino breakfast, longsilog.....longganisa (sausage), sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (eggs).

and cut up some watermelons

There were other things on our agenda that we still weren't able to do because our week was very hectic and we ran out of time, so we tried to do them that morning, such as blogging instructions. It was a very fast and short lesson. I hope they picked it up because I really want them to contribute to this blog.
 and Karaoke was another activity that we still had to accomplish.
 Then we had to go to the airport to return the rented van and bid farewell to the rest. Jazmine and Josie did not leave until the following day so I was not alone driving home, which was good or it would have me so sad.

Goodbye, Gatch, Tess and Elsie. See you next year! It's been so nice having you all!

Linking with
Kathleen for Let's Dish at
Susan for Tablescape Thursday at
The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday at
Sally's Blue Monday at
Marty's Tableop Tuesday at

Thank you so much for stopping by and a special thanks to those who make these fun parties possible.