So, I will take Food Fest for 500$
It was grandma's birthday, so we had relatives and friends over. I took a few pictures before the (relatively modest) dinner started. My contribution was some sort of chick pea-based salad I improvised a few weeks ago. I was probably inspired by the Arabic menu we feed ourselves with from buying most of our normal (not Costco-ishly portion-ized) non-Chinese groceries at Adonis these days. It's quite simple to make. A can of chick peas, some tomatoes (diced), chopped mint, lemon juice (from half a lemon), quite some salt to kill the blandness of chick peas and really enhancing the taste of tomatoes (I think that vegetable merchants at public markets do well in putting salt on the tomatoes they give for trying), and dousing with olive oil.
After taking the pictures (I should get myself a Flickr Pro account), I spent the rest of the night eating, w/o really thinking about what I ate. Guests talked about food for about half the dinner; usual family gossip for the rest of it. My uncle and aunt brought over some deliciously simple garlic chicken (lots of garlic and chicken), a sockeye salmon for broiling (wrapped in foil, sprinkled generously with fresh herbs), and an asparagus salad (asparagus, and tomatoes). My aunt left me for later what seems to be Vietnamese rice-based desserts that her sister brought over from Toronto. For pre-dessert, guests had a variety of fruits (yellow watermelon, maybe a "luk yao", and longans). We closed the eating part with a selection of artichoke tea (straight from Vietnam) and the usual espresso coffee, for serving with a custard tart topped with blueberries and raspberries or some sort of dry chocolate cake snack that shouldn't have been opened.
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