Leaving the island behind, Party in the USA!

Big news...I now officially live in Japan!

In other news, I am also so far behind in blog posts that I plan on jumping around a little bit.  I still have a lot left from the island, but I wanted to first share about our week long journey to move from the Azores to Japan.  The Azores are smack in the middle of the Atlantic, closer to Europe though than the US, and if you look at a map, just about as far away from Japan as you can get.  We decided to move there passing through the US so we could visit with family and friends as we made our way to Seattle to catch a flight that would take us to our new home in Japan.

The process was long, but luckily everything went as planned.  No issues with baggage, no issues with the dog and cat (yes, they flew with us all the way to Japan), not late for anything.  It was nice to avoid any added stress.

One major potential for stress was a going away (and welcome home) party my mom planned for us the night we arrived.  We got in mid-afternoon and the party was set for 6 pm.  If our plane was delayed at all we would have had serious problems...or at least just missed the party.  Luckily we were on time taking off and landed just a little early.

It was sad to go but I knew a new adventure was awaiting in Japan.  I will miss the island a lot as I really  took the time to make it my home over the past 2 years.

Here is my airplane meal.  I lucked out and there was a fish entree on board.  It was a nice little farewell meal from the island, although I am sure the fish was not fresh or caught on the island, but at least a reminder of island life.
Like I said, we got there right on time.  My mom was there ready to hand over an SUV so we could transport the pets to my sisters house since she was our pet sitter for the time we were in Baltimore.  After we dropped them off and got them settled down, we headed to my mom's to get ready for the party.  Of course I got excited immediately when I spotted the tent and everything set up out back and a few people already there to great us.
This wasn't just any ordinary party...this is Baltimore, so you can bet we had a big crab feast.  The mallets were ready to go.
 There was sangria, so you know the party was going to be great.
 Some UTZ potato ships ready to go.
 I love my mom's backyard.  I especially like the cute little pond.
 I was so busy saying hello to everyone and catching up, but I also wanted to scope out the kitchen.  Look at all the watermelon that was cut for the party!
 Tired as we may have been, we were ready for a good time.
 Here I am with my sister.
 Like I said, we were moving to Japan, so this was a welcome home and bon voyage party all in one, so that meant sushi was an appropriate addition to the menu.
 The party was not entirely catered, which is one thing I like about my mom's parties (she throws insanely awesome parties at her house).  Her friends are always so generous and good cooks, and we get all these different dishes to try out.  This was a peanut noodle dish.  It was super good.
 Here are some of my friends, including longtime family friends (my mom's friends).
 I tried out a few of the items while I waited for the crabs.
This homemade crab soup is amazing!
 And then there were crabs!  Welcome to Maryland!
 Here are some of my best friends enjoying their crabs.  That's my sister, Marie, Jenn and Mer.
 Here Carolyn and I join in the picture.
 Ryan's Mom and Aunt even came into town for the occasion, which was really cool.
I actually have tons more pictures because one of my mom's friends is really into photography and took lots of shots.  At this time the CD of pics is packed in my suitcase, so I will get those added later (like much later, after I jump back in time and finish up my island posts).

On to dessert...

Any idea what this might be?  This was a big hit at the party, which always leaves my sister giggling in a corner somewhere.  This is a vegan PB tofu pie.  Yes, this is vegan and made with tofu.  It was so good that people ate lots if it and had no idea they actually ate tofu.  This is my sister's signature party dish.
 But that wasn't all...

Someone made a red velvet cake.
Plus, we had fruit!  The cherries were so good!
Actually, everything was SO GOOD!  Fruit is a great way to end a meal.
That was about it for us for the day.  We tried to get some rest, but there was so much going on over the next few days.  I will be posting all of that first, but then I promise to go back to the island posts and finish those.  There are 2 food festivals from the island that I still need to post about.  

I am having some computer issues and LiveWriter is not working (I have no storage space on my computer and my external hard drive is packed in my belongings that are being shipped here from the island, so I am having a hard time getting pictures and things uploaded) so please bear with me.  I am hoping to be in some sort of normal routine sometime soon.

QUESTIONS:  Ever been to a crab feast?  What's your favorite party/BBQ dessert?  What is your hometown signature dish?


Lori Lynn said...

I'm a midwest girl, and my dad actually raises purebred Angus cattle, so I probably do a lot of beef dishes. (Though I have to say growing up with so much beef I actually prefer chicken and fish over beef. Drives my mom and dad nuts! LOL)

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Ive never been to a crab feast, I'm jealous!!! I want to go! This looks like an amazing party your family threw you, with some delicious looking food! Suchi, crab, and RED VELEVET cake?! I'll have it all, please.

I can't wait to hear about your new home!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

What a great party! I've been never been to a crab fest but it's on "my list!" Glad you got to spend some time with family and friends before continuing to Japan!

And I'm VERY intrigued by the PB tofu pie! It looks amazing!

Unknown said...

that PB pie was SO good - you'd never know it was tofu!

so great to see you :) xo!

Special K said...

I really love how you give pictures from your meals on the plane. It somewhat doesn't look like "real" food, but little Smurf food. Appeasing, some how cartoonish. Then others, absolutely divine.

I would be a guest at one of your crab fests anyday!

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