|Pasta alla Bottarga|
For lunch on the first day of the year, I decided to do something simple: a fresh pasta with bottarga and celery stalks that I learned on a trip to Sardinia, in Italy, many years ago.
If you've been reading this blog, you'll know that I've been cooking and hosting lunches and dinners for much of the holidays. It was a good opportunity to enjoy my own home, especially as I otherwise never get to use it much in a never-ending Travelife.
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CRAZY DAYS OF COOKING
Some days were just crazy, with six people for lunch and then another six or eight people for dinner, and the menus were entirely different for each meal. It was kare-kare for lunch and wagyu rib-eye steaks on a grill for dinner.
It was fun but tiring -- but I decided to do it because I usually am never able to enjoy entertaining people this much.
A FRESH PASTA FOR LUNCH IN 10 MINUTES
AND FILIPINO FOOD FOR DINNER
AND FILIPINO FOOD FOR DINNER
Back to lunch today.
|At the Peninsula Ball for New Year's Eve|
This pasta is one of those delicious and unique dishes that I can whip up in ten minutes flat, whether for myself or if I suddenly have guests. So I usually keep several packages of bottarga in my fridge and freezer, always ready for use.
Whenever I make it for friends, they really like it. And I always end up eating too much of it as well.
Then for dinner tonight, I had six guests from abroad for the first supper of the year. I decided to make Filipino food, and everything turned out quite nicely.
A SAYONARA PARTY
Somewhere during this day as well, I got a text from my good friend Prateek Kumar, who is the outgoing general manager of the Dusit Thani Manila. Under his direction, the Dusit Thani Manila really raised its profile and became one of the most profitable and busiest hotels in Manila.
Unfortunately, he's leaving Manila to take up a new post within the Dusit Thani group elsewhere. He'll be so sorely missed, and I'm personally feeling sad already.
Anyway, the text from Prateek was an invitation for his close friends to get together at his home for a last sayonara. It's been hectic for them and for everyone as well, especially with the Christmas season, and most of us have not had a chance to have a proper goodbye.
KILLING TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE
What a quandary for me, as I had guests for dinner. But I couldn't not go to this sayonara party either. So I set dinner early enough so that I could take my guests back to the Peninsula Manila and then head over to the Dusit Thani Manila for the sayonara party.
The party at the penthouse of the Dusit Thani was a gathering mostly of the senior expatriates who form the Singaporean and Indian communities. I was among the very few Filipinos there, but -- as some friends in these communities say -- I'm practically an honorary Singaporean anyway since I always attend their comunity events.
THE BEST DAL CURRY IN THE PHILIPPINES
It was lots of fun and a great opportunity to say goodbye to a popular couple and also to say hello and Happy New Year to lots of friends from Singapore and India.
And, oh yes. It's well-known in the Indian community that the Dusit Thani Manila makes the best dal curry in the Philippines -- so even if I'd already had a full-course dinner at my own home, I made sure to have two more plates of dal curry tonight.
It's only the first day of the year, and already it's a never-ending and never-endingly eventful Travelife.
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