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Monday, September 01, 2008

Party Like White on Rice Couple

As I was saying, I brought the pandan mini cupcakes to White on Rice Couple's dinner party. And like this post, I was late to arrive.

I was greeted by Sierra.

WoRC Party 1

Todd immediately handed me a cornet with sweet goat cheese and creme fraiche, topped with a raspberry. He later forgot he already gave me one and gave me another. Yum!

WoRC Party 2

There was roasted garlic and onion dip with sesame crackers and banh trang me (Vietnamese toasted sesame rice paper) for snacking.

WoRC Party 3

But I was fascinated with Todd and Diane's garden. Since I came at the tail end of Diane's garden tour, I gave myself one. You can come along too. Meanwhile, Diane had set everyone else to work plucking basil, rosemary, and tomatoes from her garden for the grilled flatbreads we were going to be eating.

WoRC Party 4

I loved the little alcoves they had in various parts of the garden.

WoRC Party 5

I looked but couldn't find a treehouse on top of those steps. I've always wanted a treehouse. Todd and Diane, if you build one up there, I can spend the night! :)

WoRC Party 6

I headed to the left to start my tour. Citrus trees and at the very end...

WoRC Party 7

...mangoes! And another cute alcove.

WoRC Party 8

I passed Allison of Sushi Day and her boyfriend, Son, picking basil. Such diligent dinner guests working for their supper. I took this photo and then continued on my way. Evidently, I am not such a diligent dinner guest. :P

WoRC Party 9

Coffee beans!

WoRC Party 10

And another alcove. This one is behind the tree with the built in steps.

WoRC Party 11

These grapefruits were growing in a pot. Amazing.

WoRC Party 12

A pomegranate and yet another alcove.

WoRC Party 13

I've now walked onto the right side of the garden, so this is a look back. Notice that urn right through the arch? Swiss chard growing right out of the urn.

WoRC Party 14

A pond! I love water features. Especially with a little bridge and waterlilies.

WoRC Party 15

Diane is a dragonfruit collector. She has the kind with white inside, red inside, yellow outside...

WoRC Party 16

...and this kind of dragonfruit that I've never seen before. Diane, what was it called again? I forgot. And how are you gonna eat it? So prickly!

WoRC Party 17

Love the arches with roses. That's the end of the garden part of the tour.

WoRC Party 18

Slacking off long enough, I turned toward the kitchen to offer my assistance. Here's Dante.

WoRC Party 19

Todd was hard at work on the grill, but graciously turned around to smile for my camera.

WoRC Party 20

I took over spring roll frying duties while Julie of Julie's Kitchen and her friend Shilpa rolled. Later while frying, I chatted with Toni of Daily Bread Journal about her last trip to Vietnam. I finally got to meet blogging buddy, Marvin of Burnt Lumpia and his wife, who rolled dough into balls for the flatbread.

WoRC Party 21

The herbs and tomatoes the guests had picked all went toward the make-your-own flatbread station.

WoRC Party 22

Diane sliding the flatbreads onto the grill.

WoRC Party 23

A chili pepper plant and Marvin grilling prawns.

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Really big prawns.

WoRC Party 25

Todd making Nem Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patties) sliders with Hawaiian sweet rolls. I am totally gonna steal this idea!

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Time to dig in!

WoRC Party 27

Poor Sierra. Tired already?

WoRC Party 28

While we were eating, Todd put four fish on the grill. The tilapia and sea bass were stuffed with lemongrass and rosemary.

WoRC Party 29

Diane carved it up and insisted that the guests munch on some grilled lemongrass to taste.

WoRC Party 30

That's Matt of Wrightfood sitting across from me. His wife Danika was there too and I listened in while they chatted with Brooke of Food Woolf about Nancy Silverton, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and other foodie topics.

Todd ran around and gave us each a Ca Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese Milk Coffee Iced. Couples had to share. I did not. Bwahhaha. One of the benefits of being a singleton. ;)

WoRC Party 31

Matt Bites' red-headed husband, Adam, and I picked figs. OK, Adam picked figs off the tree. But I pointed them out! I mentioned that it was Matt's blog where I stumbled upon Tito's Market's empanadas. We also chatted about our love of Garvey Avenue where within a few blocks I can get filet mignon pho, Chinese sausage, and live poultry. Adam said Diane said that the figs were ripe when their butts turned red. :P

WoRC Party 32

Diane said these were strawberry figs. Look at that gorgeous color.

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Todd went around turning on lights and lighting various candles around the backyard.

WoRC Party 34

Then he mixed up drinks for everyone -- a mango drink they dubbed the "Hanoi hustle" and blackberry Tom Collins. There were various cheeses and freshly toasted bread. Longans, lychees, and mangosteens. There was a big jackfruit with demonstration on how to eat it but it was too dark for photos. Besides, I have my own jackfruit photos to show you in another post.

WoRC Party 35

Each guest brought a gift and we drew names. Leah of SpicySaltySweet got the pandan cupcakes. I received this package from Julie of chili lime pistachios, her favorite beans, Rogue beer (Ha! An Oregon beer.), and a dark chocolate bar. Thanks again Julie! The bag of candied nuts was from Sarah of The Delicious Life and Tastespotting. The basil I snagged from Diane's garden.

WoRC Party 36

Thanks for great food and a great time Todd and Diane

1 year ago today, make your own Whipped cream, Clotted cream, Butter with a handheld mixer.


  1. Wow. That is one great garden and fantastic food to go with it!

  2. that looks sooo fun! jealous. it makes me almost wish i still lived in California. sigh.

  3. wow, looks like a lot of fun! and what a beauuuutiful garden!

  4. EXCELLENT round up, WC! I'm sorry to have missed the event. You focused on the one thing I wanted most to see - Todd and Diane's garden.

  5. Wow! What a garden. I went to their blog to see the video version. It makes me realize I can be doing so much more.

    Of course, once I discovered the White on Rice couple's blog, I pretty much had to kiss the morning goodbye.

    I think the things that got my mouth watering the most are those grilled fish. Now, thanks to you, I have lemon grass growing and will have to give that a try with the fish.

  6. Certainly a lovely gathering with so much good food!! Lucky u wandering chopsticks..and everyone look happy and relaxed.

  7. This is the most happening party in the food-blog-sphere!! :D btw, the antispam coincidence is freaking me out too, ha ha ;)

  8. This is real vitual tour of the party, makes me feel like I'm reliving it again. What a fun day, thanks for being my Viet buddy at the party.
    The funky dragon fruit is called Nu Hoang, the "Queen". That's the common name (often vague) that the lady gave me, but I'm trying to search out the scientific name. When ripe, I have to use chopsticks to scrape off prickly-ness and then eat.
    And the yellow dragon fruit that I have is yellow on outside/white on inside. You'll get one when it finally fruits, maybe next year or two?
    The pups thank you for the photo love. woof, woof!
    BTW- that little camera of yours takes AMAZING pictures! I need something like that for backpacking.

  9. That stuffingly fun!
    What is the cover charge? ;-)

  10. What an awesome party! All that food made me hungry. Great photos.

  11. W&S,
    It was great. I loved the garden and didn't eat nearly as much as I could have.

    Angry Asian,
    Funny! Most Californians I meet never leave!

    Lots of fun. I think I had the most fun wandering through their garden.

    I missed you! Wish you had come. You would have enjoyed the garden with me.

    Oh, I'm glad the lemongrass is growing for you. I think your garden is pretty grand already. WoRC, the couple and the blog, are really awesome.

    Haha. You mean poor Sierra looks relaxed. ;)

    Haha! This brings you out of hiding?

    I'm afraid to comment on your blog again to see what else happens. BTW, I did go buy a pear.

    OK, I fixed it. I thought there was a dragonfruit with yellow insides too though? You'll have to take pictures when you eat the Nu Hoang. I totally want to see what the inside looks like. Thanks again for such a great party. This is just a fraction of all the photos I took! Took me forever to weed them down to even this much.

    Free for me. Never for you. ;)

    I didn't eat nearly as much as I thought I would!

  12. the food looks absolutely delish!!

    i am so envious. i see all my faves there (the egg rolls look to die for) and ca phe sua da?! yummms. so having that for breakfast tomorrow.

  13. Seasonal Lust,
    It was such a great party. I didn't eat nearly as much food as I should have!


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