Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Julia Child Night #9

Another Julia Child Night is in the books! This annual event is so much fun and I love that it gives me an opportunity to see my extended family on my mom's side of the family as we no longer gather with them for holidays.

I'll let the pictures (mostly) do the talking!

My aunt, uncle, parents, and brother gathered on Friday to start the preparations but I had to miss this as I couldn't take another day off of work after missing so much work due to my RA flares in August. They were very understanding, though! We got to work around 11 on Saturday morning and pretty much worked straight through until the guests started to arrive around 4 pm. Asian food requires A LOT of knife work/prep work. 

My aunt and brother prepping the rice noodles. They made 3 different kinds for the various courses!

I think my uncle spent nearly 2 hours cleaning and preparing the Thai basil for the spring rolls and pho
In the mid-afternoon, the youngest participants of Julia Child Night helped me set the tables. They looked so festive thanks to all the decorations my aunt and uncle found on Amazon!

My uncle folded these beautiful paper cranes as centerpieces for the tables!
There was an appetizer course in the basement and a signature cocktail (a lynchee lemongrass cocktail) but I was too busy at this point to remember to take a photo. We had a big family toast where we toasted to the recent birth of my aunt and uncle's grandchild (he was a premie, so my cousin and her husband were unable to attend since the baby can't be around big groups of people), the recent engagement of my aunt and uncle's son to his awesome girlfriend, and the news that Phil and I were expecting!

Then it was time to make the first course: fresh shrimp spring rolls. We had to make 30 of them so we set up 3 stations with 2-3 people at each station.

Plating the spring rolls
The finished product was beautiful and delicious!

The second course was a classic Vietnamese dish: Pho with filet mignon. The broth was made from scratch and had so much flavor.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the 3rd course, which was my Asian vegetable salad. but here's a picture of from the practice night in August. We got a lot of compliments about how light and fresh the salad was.

Next up was the 3rd course: Beef short-rib lettuce wraps and pork and shrimp fried rice. We were cooking for about 30 people, so we had to double the fried rice recipe. My mom and I cooked side by side and my sister read the directions out loud to us. It was kind of intense as fried rice comes together so fast and the wok is so hot so you need to have all your ingredients ready. Abby probably did not love the job of reading to us. We made her repeat so many parts of the directions, sometimes 2-3 times! Sorry, Abby. You were a trooper to deal with us!

The beef short-ribs were served on butter lettuce on top of a layer of homemade kimchi, made by my aunt with the fried rice on the side.

The next course was a signature dish of my brother's: shrimp Thai pasta. This was so delicious!! The pasta was a wide rice noodle. 

I actually forgot to take a picture of the dessert which was a green tea ice cream, made by my sister-in-law, with almond cookies that my mom made. My mom made one of the batches of almond cookies gluten free and sent the extras home with me! Score!

And of course, at the end of the night we had to take our annual apron photo. As you can see, the number of attendees has grown and nearly everyone wears an apron!

It was a wonderful night with family. Everyone was very complimentary of the food, and as usual, went home with a full stomach and full heart!


Marlys Dotzenrod said...

The food was "pho-nominal"!!! I learned the correct pronunciation of Pho, so had to incorporate that into my expression of how great all the courses were. I think this actually might be at the top of my list of cuisines, but all of them have been so good. I didn't feel over-stuffed and actually finished each course.

J and A said...

It looks SO good. I love reading about this night!!

Carolina John said...

Yay! These nights are always so much fun.

katielookingforward said...

Awesome! Maybe you've written about it before, but I'm curious how you figure out what to prep and when...I'm assuming you eat the courses one at a time, and plate the next one once you're done with the first one?

Gracie said...

I always love these recaps, and this one is especially delicious, since Vietnamese and Thai foods are my two favorites! We have a large Vietnamese population in NOLA, so I can indulge quite often.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Wow, you did have a good turnout this year! I can't believe how you guys have kept this going so well for so many years. I mean, my family can barely decide where we are going to have Thanksgiving each year... I am impressed that you guys did Asian, as I used to make lumpia with my friend and wow, the prep work was intense! It is a lot of work! It's much easier to just throw a slab of meat on the grill and call it a day. However, it seems like you guys put a lot of effort into this meal each year; the things you make always seem like they really are made with a lot of time and love put into them!

I am also interested in the logistics. Are people cooking / prepping while others are eating? How does this work without certain people always being stuck at the stove? Also, side note: Pho is one of my favorite foods but I heard that it takes a couple of days to make a good broth! That's dedication!

Lori Honeycutt said...

I love love love the Julia Child night so much!!! I think it's awesome how you all come together and create such wonderful memories and meals!!! The apron pictures is always a treat! I'm so glad that once again this year was such a huge success!!! Everything truly looked amazing!!!

Stephany said...

This is honestly one of my favorite traditions I've ever heard of. It's so cool that your whole family gets involved and you cook such intricate meals! As someone who hates cooking, ha, I am sooo impressed by how everyone pitches in!

Amber said...

I can't believe next year will be Julia Child Night #10 for your family! That will be a big one!! Will you do something extra momentous to celebrate do you think?? This is such a fun tradition and I'm so impressed at how everyone comes together to help with all the courses. Everything looks soooo good!

Nora said...

This is such an amazing tradition. I love it! Everything looks delicious. Thanks for sharing with us!

Abby said...

It wasn't amazing! I am so glad I was able to experience this.

Oh man - I felt like I wasn't being a good enough reader for you two! 🤦🏻‍♀️I am horrible at dictating for some reason! (Just ask Ryan when I have read him directions for various projects.) Sorry if I complicated it haha!!

My favorite dish was the Pho. I also really loved that salad - and am going to have to figure out how to make something like that now that I'll have to pack lunches again since I won't be working at home. I could drink that dressing whole! Lol

Such a fun evening!

Jeanie said...

What I love about these nights the very most isn't all the food (well, love that too!) but the cooking in company with each other. Not a potluck, do it at home and bring the finished thing but all together in the kitchen, working as a team. It's just terrific! Everything looks great!

Leigh said...

I love that you guys have continued to do this and that the number of people attending has grown! Such a fun day/night and an awesome way to make memories :)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Oh WOW! That is an amazing spread. I absolutely LOVE pho, and I think it's awesome that your aunt made homemade kimchi to go with the ribs. Delicious! What an amazing evening of eats, and the signature cocktail sounds fun!!

I am impressed that you can have that many people in the kitchen, and everything comes together so well!

I've remember the first Julia Child night, and I love that it has become a big tradition in your family, and how it's grown so much. You have a fun family!

Sandra Bond said...

I am so happy you have this tradition with your extended family... and look at the awesome food you prepared! :)