Thursday, August 06, 2009

Show and Tell Part Two

Last night was uneventful other than that I finally "cooked." It`s weird walking into a kitchen full of other people`s dishes and cooking utensils and whatnot. Plus, the cabinets smell funny, which does`t do much for the dishes. So, pretty much since I`ve been here, I`ve had this odd aversion to my kitchen, and I`d been alternating between my Breakfast of Champions (CalorieMate, canned coffee), other food from the convenience store (no, the food is good there, really, you`ll see!), eating at one of the 2 or so restaurants in town that are open when I am (one closes after lunch, so it barely counts) or eating food I`ve been given.

Last night, on my single burner (yes. one. single. burner. like. camping.), I boiled water, threw in some pasta, drained and dumped, boiled more water and tried one of the boil in bag pasta sauces at the store. It said carbonara, but it tasted more like ass-o-hair-a. K, not that bad, but not great. Still, I cooked, kinda, barely, but just enough to count. The best part was the fresh cucumbers and huge white pears (they are almost the size of softballs, yay Okayama!) that I`d been given and cut up on the side. Now that I`ve nervously fumbled around with the bra strap pots and pans like a n00b (that`s for my sweet Tom, who I wish was here with me) and popped the kitchen`s cherry, I feel like maybe I could start doing more real cooking in there if I could get another stove burner. And a few ingredients I may or may not be able to find. Like capers to make my signature dish, Maggie`s Chicken Piccata.

K, now more pictures, as promised. They are chronological and start where we left off last time, out near my neck of the woods ricefields headed into "the big city" of Okayama City, which isn`t all that big but also isn`t nearly as podunk as I thought it could have been, like my Tiny Little Pretty Town.

From the Train
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Okayama City Mastsuri (Festival)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
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Decorated
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Taking a Break
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Silly
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Okayama Castle
Okayama City, Japan
Same Day
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More Okayama Castle
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Can`t Get Enough Castle
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Castle Parts
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Japan Does Rooftops Right
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View from Above
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Another View from Above
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Red (Somewhere inside Okayama Castle)
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Hello, Kitty!
Giftshop inside the castle, of course.
Where I did not buy one or more Okayama themed Hello Kitty items.
Oh, wait, maybe I did. =^..^=
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Korakuen Garden
Outside Okayama Castle
It`s one one the 3 most beautiful gardens in all of Japan.
Says someone who knows these things. We strolled around forever.
I don`t know much, but "they" could be right. This time.
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More Garden
And I`ll going again next week, I think, with some teachers
from my school, so get used to seeing pictures of this heaven.
I`m told it looks different every time you see it.
I`ll get back to you on that.
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Ooh, bummer, that`s the end of this installment. I have one more installment in the shooter ready to, um, shoot once I get the pics to the blog and do my commentary thing. Since my friend from Shizuoka Prefecture, a wonderful woman I had the pleasure of teaching with last time I did JET and who is constantly improving her already good English (which I admire so much!) and had a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji outside her kitchen window (until some asshat put up a building), is coming tonight and we`re leaving early in the morning for Kobe, I might just post the next picture installment before bed tonight. We`ll see.

No plans yet for next weekend, maybe just checking out some of the nearby cities or something, but in case you like looking ahead with me, my other weekends are taking shape. I`ve got definite plans the following weekend to visit this tiny but amazing island, Shiraishi Island. The following weekend may or may not involve the Innoshima Pirate Festival (no, really, it`s a pirate island. for serious. i`d never joke about something as serious as pirates.) on yet another teensy weensy little island on the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. Plans are not yet firm. Depends on how much booty I still have left from the first possibly short paycheck at that point. So many tiny islands, so little bits of time. Argggghhhh! (that was for Janet, my favorite lover of that which is piratical or whose last name is Depp) Then, not that you asked, but since I`ll have a stretch of 5 days off in mid-late September, I`m thinking maybe a big trip to Hiroshima and taking the long way home via another island. Or something.

8 comments:

  1. Oh! Are the pears super juicy too? And are quite fragile? We import pears from Japan (called 'YaYa' Pears) which come in cute little covers to keep them bruise-free. They are SO GOOD! I grab one everytime we're in the super market :)

    And wow, Japan is SO pretty! I love the architecture, we don't have as much gorgeous detail now. Yay for another photo instalment :)

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  2. Haven`t tried them since I`ve been here this time, but I bet they are juicy and good. Yep, same little covers are used here. :)

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  3. So glad you had a chance to whip something up. Even if it wasn't as tasty as hoped :) 1 burner is a bit rough though.

    I LOVED these photos. The views are just spectacular. And I'm so jealous of the Hello Kitty goods :)

    p.s. I am definitely trying your signature chicken dish this weekend!

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  4. maggie I love the photos u are posting. Wow its beautiful there. I hope you enjoy your weekend.

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  5. Great photos! All of it reminded me of my one month stay in Okayama.

    Keep em coming, Maggie!

    And those pears Elly is referring, it's called "nashi" (梨)..comes in brown color. My favorite autumn fruit in Japan!

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  6. oh, the pears and pirates and you get to go to the moo bar!!! I so enjoyed Amy Chavez's writing in the Japan Times :-)

    And is that a shiba with a flower on his/her head?

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  7. Knowing how well and how much you like to cook, that second burner is something you really really NEED Maggie! And I have been looking forward to them, and I've got to say, you don't dissappoint me. I love your pictures of this part of the world. So different to ours.

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