Remember our neighbors? Well, while Josh and I had our doozy of a year, they were having one of their own. Between health problems and their youngest daughter's wedding, we didn't see a lot of each other.
But all that is behind us now, so a couple weeks ago they invited us over for a seafood barbecue in the backyard. It's like every time we go over there, the food and drinks get better and more plentiful. My camera died as soon as we sat down, but Chikako and Toshio were kind enough to take care of documentation. It doesn't do justice to the food, though.
There was a romaine salad with mozzarella, skinned blanched tomatoes, basil and rings of the tenderest squid I've ever tasted. There were noodles fried with tiny scallops, and fresh cucumbers with miso dressing. And then the grilling started.
Have you ever had shellfish on the grill? I hadn't. I mean, I'm from Maine, so I've had clambakes and lobster on the beach. But the Tsukadas grilled soy-marinated slices of squid, whole prawns, scallops still in their beautiful pink and white shells. And then there were the drinks! Japanese beer that somehow stayed cold, and dry white wine and coffee later. We talked and laughed, and toasted our friendship. Josh and I revealed that we were leaving, and the four of us made plans for a farewell dinner in Tokyo in September.
We were so lucky to live across the street from our dear friends the Tsukadas. We'll miss them.