sesame-covered tebasaki: just winging it.

as babies, most of us regularly ate and bathed in our food at the same time.  and even though we are all adults (some more than others), i think a small morsel of that glorious messy-eater mentality remains in each and every one of us, regardless of how cultured, well-preened, and properly educated we may be.  somewhere deep inside, we all have a soft spot for getting really super messy at meal time.

it follows, therefore, that there are very few people in this world who don’t enjoy a good chicken wing.

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poor man prepped a plate of pan-fried piiman.

when my japanese elementary schoolers list off the foods they detest, there are three which top the list without fail.  eggplant and mushrooms are neck and neck at number two, but so far, the undisputed winner is piiman.  the following is a brief list of reactions i have observed at the mere mention of the word piiman:

  1. vigorous shaking of the head
  2. two thumbs down
  3. face-palm
  4. face expression reminiscent of edvard munch’s “the scream”
  5. ten solid seconds of fake barfing noises

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bread pudding, bamboo, and mount fuji.

there are people in this world who roll out of bed on saturday morning, pour some milk over stale cereal, and watch morning cartoons until their eyes hurt.  when the cartoons are over, they microwave some pizza rolls just long enough for them to stop being frozen, eat them, and then go back to bed for the rest of the day.

then there are those people who wake up with the sun, make coffee, bake a batch of bread pudding, and head out to the farm by 9:00 a.m.  those people are more my style.

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a merry kitchen town christmas.

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my friends are pretty strange people, which is probably why i get along with them so well.  for christmas last year, they planned a 5k run on christmas day wearing santa hats.  on new years, they climbed a local mountain at the wee hours of the morning to see the first sunrise of the year.

but because i end up going home for christmas most years, i normally miss out on their end of the year shenanigans.  so this year, a few of my friends decided that we should try to do something early.  the plan we came up with was what we lovingly referred to as “kitchen town christmas.”

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autumn in izu: falling in love all over again.

i would apologize for the pun in the title, but i’m not really that sorry.  i like puns.

as summer draws to a close, fall is starting to descend upon us here on the glorious izu peninsula.  the weather is getting a little chillier, the wind is starting to pick up, and nature is beginning to throw yet another astounding seasonal bounty in our direction.

spring in japan in beautiful.  summer in japan is beautiful.  even winter in japan is beautiful.  but fall makes them all pale in comparison.  the color of the mountains, the golden waving fields of plump rice, and the harvest moon all seem to invite even the most lowly foreigner (i.e. me) to get out and see japan in all of its natural glory.

needless to say, i accepted the invitation.  this last weekend, i went out to the bamboo forest, and between drinking and barbecuing and eating tasty treats, we all found the time to wander across some okazawa-san’s land and see what mama nature had to offer.

the highlights?  a whole boatload of chestnuts, a few bulbs of myoga, a hitch-hiking female mantis, and a beautiful lady who (despite being a little hungover from the prior night of partying) saw fit to grace me with her company.  all in all, a superb day.

have any fellow fall lovers caught wind of autumn in other parts of the world?  throw me a story or two in the comment section below whenever you get the chance.