Monday, August 28, 2006

Concerning Peaches and Other Foods

Why do American peaches suck so much? I just had a Japanese peach, which is probably quite similar to the peaches in the stories that mom always told me about her childhood. She used to tell me stories about huge, furry peaches that were juicy and delicious, but all the peaches I have ever had in the US were small and bald, and their taste was just like the peaches you get from a can. I have never been impressed by peaches. But I just ate a Japanese peach, and my opinion of peaches is changed. At the same time, I am filled with sadness. Were American peaches once like Japanese peaches, until some jerk farmer decided to select peaches that were more durable over peaches that tasted better? Who ever thought that it would be a good idea to grow small peaches that almost taste like potatoes rather than delicious, juicy peaches that are so big they fill you up? The downside of the Japanese peach: costs 400 yen, about $4 a peach.

Anyway, forgive the rant about the inferiority of American peaches. The rest of this entry with mostly deal with delicious food. As it turns out, Manabu is a fantastic cook. He tries to always use organic components and makes things from scratch, if he can. Here is the pasta he made, the warm up for his magnum opus, which comes later in this post. The pasta was quite good and came with a simple salad. Manabu eats Natto (fermented and moldy soybeans, very popular among old Japanese people, and one of only 3 Japanese foods on my blacklist) with just about every meal. He even mixes it with pasta (which wasn't too bad, actually).

Last week on Monday I met with Yuichi in Shinjuku. We had Ramen and went shopping for a phone for me. He just started a new job too. On Tuesday I went with Manabu to his seminar at Hosei University, met his friends and corrected the English in the letters they had written to the faculty of Vietnam University (which they are about to go and visit). Halfway through my visit, Tomoko showed up. We chatted until Manabu was done, then went to the station to go back to Manabu's place. Observe my new “Suica” train pass! After we all came back to Manabu's apartment, Manabu made us soba BY HAND. He used nothing but pure buckwheat flower and water. Here he is rolling the dough, and looking quite studly. Here he is, individually cutting each noodle. And enjoying the finished, cooked product. Manabu's Soba is spectacular. I have begun to try to encourage him to move to Hawaii and start an organic sobrestaurantnt. The next day was my first day on training. My first day of work. Here I am, 1 and a half hours early on my first day, in my suit and ready to go. I have decided that I am not going to include work in this blog. To do so would be irresponsible. Publishing information about my company could breach my contract if accidentallyly divulged a company secret, and publishing information about students, teachers or schools could, on occasion be unethical. Suffice it to say, this week I was in training to become an elementary school teacher. Training was fun, but wearing a suit in Japan is torture. I commuted 1 hour each way by on a crowded Subway everyday, with a 15 pound briefcase and trained for an average of 8 hours a day. They still don't know which schools I am going to be at, where I am going to live, when I am going, or anything else (which has me pulling my hair out). I should find all that out tomorrow. We are having training in Asakusa, which has festivals frequently. Here is the Samba festival, which was taking place one day. Great festival, but really crowded train ride home. Asakusa is cool for other reasons. Kaminari Mon, one of the symbols of Tokyo, is located there. There is also this cool little ice cream shop where they have strange ice cream flavors like Natto, Potato, Salt, Corn, Ginger, etc. The people there are also really nice. So, on Sunday night, Manabu cooked his ultimate dish for me and his friend Yuta. Manabu's Sashimi Tako (raw octopus) was nothing short of incredible. When you began to chew the octopus, your mouth exploded with flavor. Garlic, salt, olive oil, octopus! I cannot describe the exact effect of this explosion of flavor because I am trying to keep my blog PG-13, but I think you get the general idea. Manabu is going to do quite well when he starts his owrestaurantnt in Hawaii. Sorry I have not kept more current with what is taking place this week. I have been so busy that is has been difficult to find the time to write. Unfortunately, this week's adventure is work, and I don't plan on saying much about that. Anyway, stay tuned, because the next time I post I will probably have moved into my owapartmentnt in Shibukawa!


Trenton said...

Here is the update: 2 Grammar schools, one near the center of town, the other in a diffrent town, and 2 (as a gigantic smile creeps across my face) pre-schools. I will be heading to Shibukawa tomorrow. Update soon from my new apartment!

Anonymous said...

That's great good luck

Mom said...

Awww. peaches. You make me happy because now you know what I have been talking about all theseyears. You make me jealous because I am not there eating. I miss peaches. Manabu- maybe you could try a few of these dishes when you come and visit me in Hawaii.

Love you

David said...

Oddly enough, I just bought some discounted "California Peaches" at the supermarket here in Miami. They're far larger than any peaches I've ever seen in California. Strange. Maybe all our big peaches are being exported. Maybe Californians like their peaches small???

Kira Marie said...

Hey I am taking good care of your house... Your room is now offically MINE. And the entire house is clean. It was discusting. Today is the first for me so happy Birthday. You're old now. Anyways, I love you and have(I hope you had) a good birthday.

Anonymous said...

birthday? ack... *panic*

Have some e-eggs.



Happy Birthday.