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Welcome Home Dinner and Empress Rice Recipe

We had a dinner yesterday, to welcome AdventureMan home, and just to gather together friends and family in the area to have a good time.

AdventureMan stuns me with his ability to transfer all those time zones with no effect. He slept through every night, no problems. Amazing resilience. He also bought a great big watermelon, and made juice from it – delicious!

The Happy Baby is now big enough for a high chair. A high chair is a really good thing now, because he has started crawling, and he is really, really fast, especially when he is going after a cat!

Now that he is crawling and jumping and going to school, his little baby fat is turning into muscle:

(Sorry if this one is a little fuzzy, but he is jumping so fast I can’t get a clear photo)

Following traditional Middle Eastern / Southern customs, we had way too much food:

Including several long time favorites, one of which was Autumn Plum Torte:

One old favorite I am making again (I lost the recipe for a while) is Empress Rice. This recipe is so easy, so rich, so so good:

Empress Rice

1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 cups rice, raw
2 cans consomme
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup sliced mushrooms, drained
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Set oven for 325°F / 160°C

Saute onion in butter until golden brown. Brown raw rice with onion, then add all the rest of the ingredients. (How easy is that??) Grease a 3 quart/litre casserole, cover, and bake in oven for 1 hour and a half, or until liquid is absorbed. 8 – 10 servings.

(I did not make this with mushrooms, because our son doesn’t like mushrooms, but mushrooms make it richer. For church suppers, I sometimes add in some sausage, like smoked turkey sausage, or some chicken chunks.)

Some of the things I served I have shared with you before:
Autumn Plum Torte
Cauliflower Salad
Soused Apple Cake

It was a great gathering, lots of stories exchanged, lots of laughing, and sweet little Happy Baby went to sleep just as lunch was served, freeing his parents to relax and enjoy a couple hours of socializing. 🙂 My old friend in Germany slipped into my kitchen and functioned as my second right hand; I actually enjoyed having her help because it’s like she knew what I needed before I knew I needed it. We could hardly believe so much time had passed when our last guests left; time just flew by, the sign of a truly memorable gathering.

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Community, Cooking, Cultural, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Food, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Recipes | Leave a comment