Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 93: The Potluck

Photo of the Day: An Intimate Gathering

Tonight is the famous annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, but shockingly, I decided to opt out of this iconic event. I've learned a thing or two about how crazy crowds can get here in New York, and I can still see the Christmas tree after it's lit. So I avoided the tourist trap, teeming masses, and nightmarish commute and instead attended my usual Tuesday night small group.

In lieu of the routine format, our Bible study leaders Tim and Talida decided to kick off the holiday season with a potluck at their Long Island City condominium. It was a cozy little gathering with good, fresh food like salads, pastas, and sandwiches and jazzy Christmas music piping through the speakers. I contributed my famous corn casserole. It's so easy to make and was a hit yet again this Thanksgiving in Houston, so I thought I'd give it a try in New York too to some success. It was also Tim's birthday yesterday, so we threw him a belated celebration with a white cake loaded with fresh fruit, vanilla ice cream, and Talida's delicious sweet red bean jam!

While the potluck was wonderful, it was getting there that was a royal pain. When I arrived at the subway station to head out to Long Island City, I learned there was an electrical malfunction, crippling the entire train. They instructed us to walk up several blocks and catch a bus, but each one that passed by was packed to full capacity with passengers. Not to mention I checked the route map, and the recommended bus didn't even pass by my destination. Stranded in the middle of nowhere with no lines of available transit and clutching a casserole pan, I reluctantly had to call for a ride. Thankfully, Tim graciously left his own party to come pick me up and salvaged my night, even though I temporarily got lost again on the return trip. Although I've been in New York for several months, it's nights like these that remind me I'm still very much an outsider learning the ropes.

This is the reason I did not stay for the Rockefeller tree-lighting ceremony. I left my office at around 5:30 p.m., and this was the crowd that had already gathered a block away from the actual plaza.
Talida brings out a belated birthday cake for Tim.
Singing "Happy Birthday to You" to Tim.
What a lovely couple and awesome small group leaders!
Talida cuts the cake, which they serve with vanilla ice cream and sweet red bean jam. Yum!
The leftovers of my corn casserole.


  1. Did you make the casserole with ALL of the ingredients this time? ;)

  2. was there something missing last time? i wish i got to try some!!

    did talida make the cake? she's such an awesome baker and cook!

  3. @SpeechlessLaura: LOL, yes, I DID, thank you very much.

    @Michelle: Talida didn't bake the cake...someone brought it from a Korean bakery. She did, however, make the sweet red bean jam, which was delicious! Just canned red bean with sweetened condensed milk. Very tasty!