Just before our trip to Tokyo we had an invitation to Aya's house for dinner. Unfortunately Etta had had a fever off and on for four days and thought it best if she didn't go. So, Eric sent me with Chloe to enjoy dinner and some time with Aya and family.
The live almost 30 minutes away so we only get together about once a week and they don't have us over to their house often. They live in a small apartment and feel self conscious about their place. We tend to invite them over for dinner often to our place. The kids have lots of room to run around and play and then we get more conversation time.
But, we love when they invite us over because Aya and Hiro prepare traditional Japanese food for us. Since living in Misawa I had thought I understood enough about Japanese food. Since moving to Shizuoka I have learned way more. I didn't realize how many different types of food they make and often you don't find things in restaurants but are made at home instead. Some Japanese food is great and some are great if left alone. I can't say I'm well versed in the Japanese cuisine, but more so than the average American. Japanese food that everyone should try: donburi, katsudon, tempura, soba noodles, yakiniku, edamame, and some form of onigiri. These are some of my favorite. I skipped sushi because either you'll try it or you won't. But as a side piece of information, I didn't eat sushi before moving to Shizuoka. I willed myself to like it and have come to like several types of sushi (salmon, tuna, tempura sushi and rolls), but many I will say no thank you too (like natto, squid, sea urchin, and any kind of roe).
Ok, I went on a tangent. Back to dinner at the Yamada's, Aya made us okonomiyaki. It's a batter that would resemble a pancake (obviously not the same though) filled with cabbage, onion, shrimp and squid. She then topped it with pork and cheese in the middle. Once it was cooked she poured takko yaki (fried octopus balls) sauce , then Japanese mayo, then katsuboshi (fish flakes). Yes it looks strange and I probably would never go out of my way to have one, but it was not bad. It was heavier on the sauce and mayo than I would like, but that's pretty standard with Japanese food. They love mayo on things.
Unfortunately Chloe had carried some germs to Aya's house and she and Riko are both sick now. To top it off Aya is pregnant so she went to her mom's house to get a little help taking care of Riko. Hopefully they feel better soon because we've invited them over for dinner this Saturday. Congrats to Aya, she just found out she's having another little girl.