Lost in translation

September 14, 2012

This would be Mt. Fuji, sideways. I cannot make it rotate, though it is in my library. Turn your head sideways.

Hello? What day is it? More to the point, what TIME is it?

Yes, I am still alive. Your Road Warrioress lives. And occasionally cooks, as she is doing tonight. Nothing exciting, mind you — just brats, mac-n-cheese, and purple hulled peas, just to remind myself how the stove works and see if my hand still fits a spoon handle.

It does.

I have been in Japan. Prior to that, I was in Northwest Arkansas (forgettable meals, but if you have not ventured to Bentonville to see the Crystal Bridges Museum, you should do so). Prior to that, I was in Georgia, which I think was the source of material for my last post.

And I got home Wednesday. Which meant I zombied through yesterday. And I am still kinda zombie-ing through today. But tomorrow, hopefully, if I do not sleep all day, I will do some serious cooking.

Breakfast buffet in the Hanamaki Onsen.

Had, as usual, many wonderful meals in Japan. Notably, I had the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten at a little restaurant in Tokyo, and some of the better Thai food in, of all things, a food court in a department store. One of the first times I’ve ever ventured into ethnic food in Japan, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I might note I also had KFC one day for lunch, and it was most excellent KFC. Rivaled any fried chicken I’ve ever had, barring Gus’s.

Several banquets — no photos, unfortunately — with Japanese specialties — buckwheat noodles, assorted seafood in assorted fashions, most of which were wonderful, tempura (uniformly good; no one does tempura like the Japanese in Japan). Assorted breakfast thingies that I’m not certain what they all were, but the Japanese can damn sure steam some good bok choy, albeit I’d never thought of eating bok choy for breakfast.

And the sweets. Dear sweet baby Jesus, but I do love Japanese sweets. I’m not sure what possessed those people to sweeten bean paste and put it in dessert, but it’s sheer genius. I had it in about eight different forms, and they were all excellent. In pastry, inside marshmallow fluff, in little squares and crystallized on the outside — even sweetened whole beans with something unidentifiable that was chewy floating on top. Yeah, that one was a little questionable.

Good business meetings. Went to Sendai to see the devastation from the tsunami, which beggars description. Oh. And near Sendai, in a little seacoast town whose name escapes me, I had cow tongue for lunch. Marvelous flavor, but I couldn’t get past the texture. Never thought I was a texture-phobe, but overly chewy things just put me off.

And a really cool kitchen purchase, which will wait for another post.

Meanwhile, if you and y’mama ‘n ’em are still looking occasionally, thanks for being readers. Stay tuned. I’m home for the next few weeks. It’s gonna get cool. I’m gonna cook.


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