Monday, January 26, 2015

culinary adventures!

food is one of life's greatest adventures in my opinion.  and Japanese food is there at the top of the craziest of the crazy when it comes down to it.  we've had several big adventures lately.

robert irvine- from the food network came and did his dinner impossible show on base (for free!) and we went!  last year for christmas I got kent tickets to see alton brown's cooking show in dayton- we loved it! and robert irvine's show was similar! only with far fewer people in the audience! so I lucked out and volunteered to go up and got chosen.  it was so much fun.  He had to do a fifteen minute dinner challenge where audience members chose six food items he had to turn into a tasty dish.  I was the tester.  the food items were lobster ( a live one!), lucky charms, japanese hot dog balls, bbq sauce,  leeks, and NATTO. 
Natto is the number 1 most disgusting food in japan. for reals.  it's fermented soy beans that are sitting in their own bacterial oozey waste products.  and you eat it.  the smell is like nothing you can imagine. 
the stinkiest nastiest rotten fungusy foot smell imaginable and robert irvine thought that cooking them up and adding peanut butter and coca cola to them would help calm the intensity.  the entire ballroom area stunk.  He sauteed the leeks and hot dog balls in the bbq sauce- and then stacked them all on top of each other with freshly cooked and buttered lobster on the very top.  He then sprinkled crushed lucky charms powder on it all. And I had to take a bite.  it was TERRIBLE.  he had the top ranking base commander taste it too. the guy lied and said it 'wasn't bad'. Then he made kent come up and taste it.  Kent also lied.  I could barely get it down.  I almost dry heaved.  it was so disgusting! and a really fun experience.  Robert Irvine is a really great guy who does a lot to support military members overseas and at home.  He was so nice!  he asked if I started having children at age 3 when he found out I had FOUR kids. Afterwards he told us we should have one more to make a basketball team and that children are life's greatest blessing. 

Here's a bad picture from the event :)

Last week was Japan's traditional mochitsuki!  every new year the Japanese make SO MUCH RICE and then POUND it into a rice paste and into balls called mochi. I don't love mochi- but it's not bad.  Just rice in a weird texture,

Our church's japanese congregation invited us to their mochi pounding and it was a great cultural experience!

I pounded the rice so hard it splattered on the ceiling!  The Japanese said that I had 'great form' and asked if I'd done it before :)
metta had a lot of fun pounding it as well!
I had no idea rice could be transformed into a paste like this with NO other ingredients!

they roll out the paste and flavor it with seaweed, lima bean paste, red bean filling, and some fabulous flavors like chocolate and fresh strawberries!
metta and her pals enjoying their mochi :)
metta loves rice and spent much of the morning scraping the sides of the mochi bowl and sneaking bites!

kent even got to run over on his lunch hour and enjoy some soup with us. the japanese made some delicious cabbagey soup for us, too!  I am never going to eat soup with a spoon again! we have fully adopted the slurping and drinking of your soup traditions now!  so much easier!!  plus- chopsticks are definitely the best utensil for eating ramen and soba and udon noodles.

for christmas I got kent this snazzy green fleece that goes over his uniform :) most expenisve and hideous fleece ever! but it keeps him warm and is authorized to wear as part of the uniform.  he still can't put his hands in the pockets, though.

Our most recent food adventure was our weekend date night.  Kent and I went to a local hole in the wall joint called "tony's tonkatsu house". An 'yoshio and michiko' -an older couple run the small little restaurant that has spots for eight people to sit on mats and a small bar.  

They speak decent english and make their food fresh when you arrive.  It was DELICIOUS.

Kent got the sampler.  shrimp, cheeese, and veggies wrapped in tonkatsu pork! with fresh salad, fruits, and veggies.
 I got his trademark famous 'tonkatsu pork'.  Everything was perfect. His special sauce is divine! tonkatsu pork is one of my favorite Japanese foods!
 dessert is a freshly cut pineapple!
 and it comes with fun appetizers- pickled items- crab-etc- and miso soup to start!  we'll take anybody who comes to visit!!
we'll be going back often!!

and finally- my long awaited- much feared -haircut!! I really don't do long hair well.and I hate it! but I've been so nervous to cut my hair here.  so many people have horror stories and tears thanks to terrible cuts.  I finally bit the bullet and went and saw 'Tamotsu' at the Aveda salon!  I got a fabulous head and shoulder massage! and a wonderful cut :) I am very happy.

1 comment:

Pat and Brent said...

So many great eating adventures! Chef Irvine didn't stand a chance of anything tasty with the ingredients he got. The rice smashing looks fun - and messy. A lot of work. Cute Metta gets right into it! I want to go to that restaurant when we're there! Getting excited.