First friends gathering post-pandemic

Thursday was an interesting day. It started with me finally firing our helper (I’ve been wanting to for months but kept delaying as I thought we should just keep her until we leave), a bit dramatic from my side but all worked well and we departed amicably.

I hosted dinner to my filipino friends, first time since the pandemic. The occasion was triggered by an old friend who moved to HQ for work and came back to visit family. These are some of my favorite people in the country and I was so happy to see them again.

When I cook for my good friends, I like to cook a lot of food for them, and cook what they love. Ona, the guest who came back from US loves crabs so husband went to fresh seafood market that morning to buy live crabs. Look how fresh!!!

appetizers: humus, pita, garlic bread, and salsa

main dishes for 6 adults: curry chicken, celery with squid, vegetable panic, clams with garlic,

shrimp, broccoli, wood ear salad, cucumber salad, adobo pork with eggs a la Coco (my specialty) and crabs!!!

I love the process of chatting with friends over food, a lot of food, and each of them feel being at home, serving by themselves over and over again, sucking their fingers in between bites. That’s the best dinner party I can ever host! Nobody cared about manners, they don’t wait for the host to serve, they go to kitchen to throw trash or fill water by themselves, all while chatting across all kinds of topics.

Absolutely LOVED the evening! Meanwhile kids played and made noises on the background, occasionally coming to the table for few bites.

It reminded me how much I love to host to friends. I am determined to do more before we leave.

What kind of dinner party do you like? What do you like to cook?

3 thoughts on “First friends gathering post-pandemic

  1. How fun! I know what you mean about the more relaxed environment, not feeling pressure to have everything “just so” or really entertain people. I feel like at home when we have people over (which is rare) I sometimes feel pressure to be a good host, keep the house nice, keep offering people more drinks or food, etc. In Mexico here everything is really laid back and I’ve noticed that no one bats an eye if dishes start to pile up or the kitchen ends up really messy… the focus is just on spending time together, talking, eating, drinking – no worry about creating the perfect atmosphere or anything like that.

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  2. Everything looks so delicious! Especially those crabs! My favorite part of the crab is always the innards – I always think that the legs are too fussy to really get good meat out of. But my mom always says eating crabs is a good social activity because you can pick and talk at the same time since there isn’t always a lot of meat.
    I think my favorite way to host is to have everyone over for a barbeque. Then we can all be outside and talking as I cook on the grill and I don’t feel stuck in the kitchen.
    Another favorite is to have dumpling parties where we make dumplings then eat them together. Hot Pot is fun too. I guess I like parties where everyone gets to participate in making the food! I do love to cook a lot, and enjoy making big meals for people, especially around the holidays, but there is also something I really love about everyone getting very hands on with making the food too.

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  3. What a delicious dinner! That looks like an amazing spread. I love having people over more than my husband does. But I was raised by a mom who LOVES to host, although she gets super stressed out about it and is not always super fun to be around when hosting, so I am trying not to be like that. I prefer hosting when we can be outdoors, and ideally can serve grilled food. But I have also gotten on board with ordering in when hosting people. Sometimes it’s just too hard to get a meal together, especially if we have people over on a Friday night, so I am willing to just order food if it makes life easier.

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