The ladies of our local chapter of foreign wives of Japanese men held a baby shower for a friend today. It was a potluck lunch and from the lovely assortment of dishes, it was easy to deduce that most of us were ready for a break from Japanese cuisine. We had spinach quiche, a Mexican salad with layers of lettuce, onions, avocado, salsa, olives, sour cream and cheese to be spooned over tortilla chips, cheese and crackers, tomato stewed chicken, a black bean dip with pita bread, a summery pasta salad, a healthy green salad, chocolate chip muffins, a chilled blender borscht with sour cream (yes, I finally found canned beets near Tsukiji!), a friendship cake (the starter was smuggled into Japan in a suitcase), chocolate mousse, a yellow cake topped with chocolate, strawberries and grapes - nothing Japanese on the table at all. We did have a little iced green tea on the drink table, with hazelnut coffee, raspberry leaf iced tea...I was nervous about offering my pitcher of violently purple soup but it sold well, not as well as the chocolate mousse, but that can't be helped. The kids had sushi with S as the lunch was a ladies only event.