Dining with the Locals
Aya and I try to get together weekly and several weeks she invited our family to their apartment for traditional Japanese food. When we lived in Misawa we were hesitant to eat traditional food because we had no idea what it was. Now we have the means to understand what a lot of the foods are so we aren't as nervous. Sometimes, we are still nervous about eating it after finding out what it is. Aya, Hiro (her husband), Rico, and two friends were there to join us. Aya must have spent the entire day working on all the dishes, I'm not sure I could even recall all the dishes she made. But, I'll try. She had a sashimi platter (thin slices of raw fish/seafood) that had salmon, mackerel, scallops, and other fish I could not distinguish, Plain rice as well as rice that had other types of seafood in it. Hiro's mom had brought that over for us to try. It was cooked in cute little clay pots which they ended up giving us two! I have to find some recipes to make in it. A green leaf salad with tofu and tomatoes. Perfectly marinated pork. A kind of beef stew. Mashed fish formed into a patty and fried. Fried reinkon (not sure of the spelling) which is a strange looking veggie with holes in it. And lastly, something that looked like jalapeno peppers but had chicken and cheese in them. She also made one with a pickled plum in the middle but didn't have one. Not too sure about the pickled plum thing yet. Let's just say, there was tons of food! It was so much fun getting to try a bunch of things that we would probably not order in a restaurant. The best thing was that both Etta and Chloe tried a lot of the food. Of course rice was consumed the most but it was fun watching them pick up chunks of fish and shove them into their mouths.
Aya and her family will be coming over on Sunday and will be teaching me how to make gyoza (pot stickers)! I'm so excited. We love to eat them and would have no idea how to make them from scratch. Next week we're inviting them over to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. I'll be making lots of traditional American dishes and it will be fun to see how they like it. Japanese don't eat turkey so I wonder what they'll think of it?
Last week we had our realtor (Sabu) and his wife (Eriko) over for dinner. It was tons of fun. They showed up a bit late, but that just meant the kids went to sleep while we hung out. It was a good time to just talk and for me to listen. Seems like they enjoyed the flank steak and the two different types of salads I made for the side. I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and they also brought over pastries from a store down the road. Yummy. We ate and drank our hearts content (three bottles of wine!) until 11pm or so when they left. We're hoping to get together to do lunch or dinner again soon. They own a bar and only get one day off a week, so they are busy. They are having live music tonight and invited us and the kids to come but we are planning on leaving early tomorrow morning for Nagoya and have to prepare everything tonight. Hopefully I'll have more fun stories about them in the future.
Well, that's it for this post. Time to get ready for my Japanese lesson and get dinner ready so Eric doesn't have to make it. Hope you all enjoy tid bits of our lives.