Food Glorious Food

Friday, February 27th, 2009

One of the highlights of my recent trip to the U.K. was the food.  I love living in Tokyo and enjoy eating Japanese food but there are lots of things I miss eating.  Some of these are things I can’t cook for myself, because I don’t have an oven, and some others have ingredients that are difficult or impossible to get in Japan.

I have been surprised by the food that I miss.  I really miss roast turkey and roast potatoes. I never ate potatoes that often but for some reason once I got to Tokyo I started to miss them.  I’ve always loved turkey.

My family know that I crave turkey and I ended up having two fantastic turkey dinners in January.  The first one was in Belfast with Marty’s family.  This turned into a traditional Christmas dinner and was so much fun that I’m starting to think we should create our own tradition.  The second one was with my Dad and Step-Mum in Aalsmeer.  They cooked a really succulent turkey that I don’t want to think about too much now as I’m starting to miss turkey again!

To combat my food cravings I have been learning to cook new things that don’t require an oven.  And that can be made with ingredients found in the local supermarket.  This week I made spicy Italian meatballs.  I knew it was something that Marty would really like and thankfully I ended up liking it too.  In January I made Coq au Vin but I didn’t like this.  I think it’s one of those things that really needs to be made with a good red wine and I know nothing about red wine. Trying to pick a good one in a Japanese supermarket is beyond me.

I had meant to take pictures of my new cooking acomplishments for my blog but the food got eaten much too quickly for that to happen.  Marty will eat anything that doesn’t have teeth!

Beautiful Okinawa

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Marty and I spent five days in November relaxing in Okinawa at the Renaissance ResortMarty really likes water sports and I love to look at the sea.  The sea at Okinawa can be emerald green and various shades of light blue when the sun shines deepening to a dark blue.

When I was a small child we used to go to the beach at places like Millisle and Tyrella in County Down, Northern Ireland.  I remember the sea as being gray.   It was also usually quite cold, unlike Okinawa, but I loved to go anyway.  It’s hard to remember those days but I think my sister and I would sometimes go to the beach with my Grandparents on a Sunday afternoon.  Tyrella always seemed more of an adventure as it used to have a rickety road to the beach and I can remember my Granda driving down it at one point with a flat tire causing the car to lurch from side to side.  (I think my Granda Bailie’s driving was always a bit of a family joke and any car he ever owned was always on its last legs.)  My sister and I used to hide in the sand dunes and then try to find creatures in the rock pools.  I’m not quite sure exactly what we were looking for and I have strange memories of my Granda wanting us to find something he called “winkles” and “willicks”.

I think I will always love the sea.

Okinawa, South China Sea

Okinawa, South China Sea

Dad’s Birthday

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Last night we went to Roy’s Bar & Grill in the Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills, to celebrate my Dad’s birthday.  It was the first time I had been there and I would definitely go back.  It’s more expensive than the restaurants we normally eat in but the food and service were excellent.  And they worked really hard to make the experience memorable for my Dad.

Table Setting at Restaurant

Table Setting at Restaurant

My Sister is Superwoman

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

My sister Christine has been asking me why I haven’t written about her trip to Japan as last year I was keen to write about her exploits. The only reason has been my lack of desire to do anything with a throbbing head.

I am always stunned by how much “get up and go” Christine has. She arrived in Japan with a recently broken toe on her right foot. I thought that this might slow her down but she continued to go out every day. When I got to Japan I was shocked by how bad her foot looked. It was purple and swollen and she had either been badly bitten or was allergic to something. When I pointed this out she pointed out that that wasn’t the foot with the broken toe. (I have never been that good at telling left from right). So both her feet are a complete mess. What does she decide to do? Put on a pair of sandals and go hiking on Mount Takao!

I took a picture of her foot as she tells me that her friends haven’t quite grasped how bad it looks (she normally has really slender legs, ankles, and feet).

Christine\'s scary looking foot

This morning when she was limping around the apartment I suggested that she stay in and rest her legs and feet. I was told that there was no way she was spending time in Japan sitting around my apartment. (I too would have liked to have gone out today but this is not the country to travel around coughing, spluttering and carrying two boxes of tissues).

When I said that she might have difficultly walking her response was, “maybe I should hire a bike and cycle around”. Her feet have either gotten so bad she no longer has any feeling in them or she has super powers that I don’t possess.