Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mitsuwa once more

Going to Mitsuwa is like taking a mini-trip to Japan. (Or so I must tell myself - it's three hours of driving and nearly $20 in tolls to get there and back!) It's not just a supermarket, but also a (somewhat hit-or-miss; udon was better than rice bowl, and yes, I may have inadvertently ordered two lunches) food hall; a bookstore; a whose-apartment-wouldn't-benefit-from-hanging-Japanese-fabrics store, with a housewares annex; and all sorts of skin- and haircare products whose exact purpose I'll only ever learn if the time comes that I have time to take a Japanese class.

Because I have some restraint, after yesterday's trip, I ended up only with an American woman's memoir of working for Honda in Japan; a bilingual cookbook (chosen after much deliberation; so many excellent cookbook options, not to even get into the cooking implements); some hair-product refills; and assorted groceries that may or may not have survived the hour-and-a-half drive back. There are some jumbo scallions currently taking up the better part of the refrigerator, but according to this cookbook they're needed in basically everything. And I'm trying to teach myself to like mushrooms; I'm thinking very pretty Japanese ones are the way to go.

(I'm also far too tired after a busy week-and-weekend to prepare any of this, and about to eat a mountain of pasta arrabiata. In principle I'll feel otherwise during the week.)

Now, a brief word on that which wasn't purchased:

-If they'd had poodle yukatas, that might have also happened (unlike some of her Japanese Instagram friends, Bisou's wardrobe is limited to a Lands End jacket and a Santorum-like sweater-vest she chewed some holes in), so it's probably for the best that they did not.

-Where was the frozen yuba??? But by the time I was looking for it, the makings for a 12-course kaiseki meal were already in the cart, so I didn't end up thoroughly investigating (i.e. asking someone at the store).

-I go back and forth on clay pots - I like the idea of at-home hot-pot (and would presumably also use this same pot for not-Japanese versions of the same), but would, realistically, be doing this on the stovetop, and not investing in a full table-top set-up anytime soon. The question is in part whether stovetop cooking would promptly ruin these pots, but also whether there's much fun in hot-pot if you have to stand, or to just eat the stuff at the table (i.e. on a trivet) once it's cooked. Perhaps the cookbook will enlighten...

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