Saturday, July 3
We had our neighbors over dinner this evening. They are a nice family who live next door to us and who would usually look after his dog while we are away. Since it was his plan to invite them for dinner to thank them, it was him who should cook. Deal.
In deciding what to cook, we asked them about their preferences in food, and they said they'd eat anything but garlic, and one of them is allergic to seafood. This ruled out dishes containing garlic and seafood (well, he does not eat fish or seafood, anyways). Also, the kids are pretty young so I didn't think we should use too much alcohol (even if alchohol itself would evaporate as it cooks and would not be left in the finished product, it often leaves a distinctive aroma of wine or beer whatsoever). No garlic, no seafood, and no (much) alcohols left us the same menu as the last such occasion; pumpkin salad, orange chicken, and oven-roasted vegetable (I wish I could say that we had something else rather than we made almost exactly the same stuff that we cooked for his families and relatives the other day, but we weren't cooking for the same crowd, so that's fine). This time he did most of the preparation part, and meanwhile I made dessert.
As this was our second time making the same menu of dishes, we were pretty quick and efficient, so that the food was almost ready by the time the neighbors came at our door. While the host was entertaining our guests, I finished the dishes in the kitchen and this time we didn't have to keep our guests waiting hungry.
I thought we had cooked a lot of food, but the pan and plates were quick empty and some of them (particularly young ones) still seemed they weren't quite full, which I felt bad about. At least we had a dessert to offer - this time it was a pan of lemon squares (not a cheesecake). It was from another one of such recipes that used to be my staples years ago when I was baking whole time, and this one didn't fail like the PB&J squares had done a few days ago (whew!). With a liberal amount of fresh lemon juice in the filling on top of the short crust that also had some grated zest of a lemon, the squares were very lemony just as any good lemon squares are supposed to be.