If I were to win the lottery jackpot, the money would run out quickly. It would be my dream to buy approximately 5 houses in our suburb, one for each member of my immediate family and their partners (I ran this past them and they're all on board). I would ensure these homes were within close walking distance to make it easier for everyone to be able to visit each other. I'd love to be able to call my mum in the morning to see if she were up before strolling over for coffee and real conversation. In this dream of mine, my sister and sisters-in-law only work some of the time, so all the ladies can join in.
Coming from a large, crazy, very open and accepting family has left me spoiled. We don't do formality and small talk. No-one has had to suffer with anything silently because "the family won't understand". There's no such thing as passive aggression or bitching behind anyone's back. It's all out on the table; dirty laundry is aired without any shame. We're also not the kind of family who decrees "family comes first"; no-one has to feel obliged to do or be anything to anyone. It's a sort of Tenenbaums situation: we may be mad indidvidually, but family is somehow essential to our sanity. When we get sad, lonely, screw up or feel ashamed, we never need feel alone. When people come to visit my parent's home, they are welcomed like family too. You could turn up to our place in your PJ's, knock the door in the middle of the night, spend your entire Christmas with us: that's normal to us. I'm really privileged that this is my family situation and so it's impossible not to miss them or feel a little lonely because I live so far away. I was most grateful to have my sister and her fiance here this weekend and I am not too sad at their departure because the family is to be reunited again this weekend when my father turns 60. Speaking of birthdays, this was the actual point of this blog post. Here's how the four of us celebrated James turning
A standout starter: White soy snapper slices with lime, chives, and white soy dressing
The very moreish brined pork belly with braised daikon and grated ginger
And the most magnificent, tender and flavoursome beef to ever pass my lips, the braised short rib with akamiso, shaved truffle and spring onions.
Eggplant is my favourite vegetable and I always enjoy it when I visit Japanese restaurants. This one was decent, but not the best I've had. Eggplant with niku chicken miso.
Ten out of ten vegetable tempura:
I wish I could show you the perfect rainbow rolls we also ordered, but I forgot to capture it. Sorry! Here's a pretty table instead:
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