Friday, February 29, 2008

I haven't gotten to the supermarket yet this week, and I'm trying to stretch all the food in the house until I have a day off. Since I work evenings, I rarely have a chance to get things on my way home, as everything is shut. I have a refrigerator that, similar to the situation of many people who are serving time in Leopalace furnished apartments, would be considered on the small side for a bar fridge in North America. So non-perishables are my friend right now.

Looking in my cupboard this morning, I found a lone potato, and a wilting leek (negi). Soup! I fried up some bacon left in the corner of my fridge, along with thinly sliced leek. I chopped the potato and added it to the pot along with about three cups of water, some crushed garlic, and a bullion cube. When the potato was soft, I added two generous tablespoons of miso paste. A quick boil to dissolve the miso, and a nice glug of sesame oil for seasoning, and lunch was on the table. I would have liked to have rice on the side, but I made the soup in my rice pot. Oddly enough, I got this recipe from the Lonely Planet's World Food Japan book. Since I rarely look to Lonely Planet for travel advice anymore ( I got sick of their 'least cost' attitude), it's strange to look to them for food advice, but the World Food Japan book has some nice insights into Japanese cuisine from a foreign perspective, and a helpful food glossary in the back.

How did I get here?

My friend Michelle recently wrote, in response to my complaints of poverty, that "Being broke in Tokyo is like being sober in Amsterdam". As I'm currently experiencing the former, and have not yet had the pleasure (pain?) of the latter, I'll have to take her word on it. I need a creative outlet, and since I'm now housebound due to fiscal difficulties, this seemed the easiest thing. Fortunately, I love cooking, and since we've all got to eat, sometimes as often as three times a day, I've been able to put all my creative brainpower into trying to feed myself and my husband as cheaply and as healthy as possible. But my husband's gotten sick of saying, "Yeah, this is great, honey!" every time I put down a bowl of rice, so I'm turning to the internet for validation.

I want to focus on home cooking, especially using ingredients from around Japan, but occasionally I'll chat about my life, travels, etc. I hope you enjoy!