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Saturday, May 15, 2010

The First Year

Today is the first year anniversary of my dad's passing. Instead of being sad and depressed, we chose to be happy and to celebrate the day. I know my dad and he would never have wanted us to remember him in sadness but would rather we keep happy thoughts and fond memories of his life. Today was all about you, Dad. We hosted a small dinner at home with just family. We started the evening by lighting candles and saying prayers. Everyone was very solemn and participated in the simple ceremony. After prayers, we gathered together for dinner.

I was really extra busy this week, plus I had to work today. Even with everything I had going on, I wanted to make this as home-cooked as possible. After all, I was doing this for my dad (and I know how much he loved my mom's home-cooked parties at our place). So this whole week, every night after work, I would do a little preparation - a little bit of cleaning, cooking, shopping and decorating. Luckily everything came together rather well.

We started the meal with smoked salmon served on multi-grain crisps, topped with creamy tartar sauce and a dash of freshly squeezed lemon. One of my dad's favorite dishes! (pardon the picture ... it makes the fish look somewhat rubbery when in fact it was very fresh!).

I also had a salad - which was a crowd favorite. Now I know this had to be good because Jojo's family normally doesn't like salads -- but tonight this was the first serving dish that was stripped bare! This is my mom's kani salad topped with Japanese mayo and a light dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil (served on the side). Easy to make and good for you too.

I served Bourbon Chicken. I didn't actually cook this dish. But I did bake it, garnish it, and serve it! Even with a very strict schedule and a very rigid to-do list, there is only so much I can do =) Thank God for Costco and the prepared food aisles!

It was mom's idea for me to serve baked spaghetti. She was right when she told me that this was a pasta dish I could pre-cook and heat on the day of the party. I didn't have time to make the bechamel topping though - luckily it was also good without it. Thanks for the recipe, mom!

For dessert, I prepared a do-it-yourself sundae bar. I had waffle bowls, two kinds of ice cream (French Vanilla and Dark Chocolate). Plus toppings galore (sprinkles, crushed oreo cookies, chopped nuts, mini marshmallows, chocolate syrup and whipped cream!). Yummy!

Everyone had a great time making their own sundaes. It seems the adults even more than the kids!

Here's everyone who came to remember dad! Thank you to my Ordinario family for honoring my dad's memory and for joining my family in celebrating my dad's life.


P.S. While we were reciting prayers, we all heard a strong gust of wind blow right outside the window. My brother in law, Lee, said that was dad making his presence felt. Yes, I know that was you, Pops. I don't need a loud gust of wind to tell me that you are here. I know you are with always with us and that our family is still complete. I love you very much, Dad. Now and always.

4 comments:

mom said...

Beautiful celebration!! I know you have made papa very happy. We too had a lovely celebration here at home. Starting with a Mass and a home cooked dinner that papa would have enjoyed followed after. About 50 or more Friends and families came and as everyone later told us, our part of town experienced a brownout. All around the neighborhood, electricity blinked and conked off. But in our area we had no such problem at all. I am sure papa had a hand in making sure that we had the lights and the aircon fully functioning. The celebration went full blast and everyone had a grand time. For the very very first time, the huge food preparation which I always do, was literally wiped out. It surprised all of us how a huge amount of food could have been consumed by us. I will show you pictures later. Remember how papa used to boast that after eating at home people could still bring home food. Unfortunately it could not be said this time. Wish all of you could have been here.

leslie ty said...

i can't believe it's been a year....i'm very sure Uncle James celebrated in Manila and also in LA =)

joyeee said...

hey dets, glad the celebration there went well!:) I'm sure dad appreciated what you did for him too. The celebration mom did here was also GREAT! she cooked lots of good food...and when i say good, its really really G0OOODDDD....:) Took some pics to show you guys too!:)

Yeah, right before the party, a few relatives and friends called and asked if we had electricity cuz in their places, they experienced brown outs... we were a bit scared we might get it during the latter part of the night.. but to our surprise, the party went on smoothly! ( must have been dad... cuz we all know how dad wants his parties to turn out really well)

and yes, the food was WIPED out!!! (which made mom and the maids really surprised..never did it happen in history where in the food got wiped out! we had about 60+ guests, but mom cooked for 90 or so...You know how mom always cooks so much extra! haha:) )

Junarakasa said...

Mom, Joybs, the party here went very well too. And the food I made (which was definitely not even close to mom's cooking) was pretty good too =) I am super sure dad was at both parties (we know how much he loves to entertain!). I am also sure he was so happy to have so many people come celebrate with him =)

Les, yes, it's been a year already. In this case, I'm not so sure time flew by. In my case, I was well aware of the 365 days that went by - and I definitely missed my dad every single day.