lunch

Bento for garden tour

Bento made by husband

Here’s the bento my husband made me for a garden tour with the (famous university) professor’s class last weekend. Note the pretty cloth and simple tie on our kitchen counter.

Here’s what it looked like unpacked on the garden bench. Two levels, including pasta, carrot pickles, celery salad, bacon, and egg. Note how the pickles have their own cute paper cup, there’s a re-usable toothpick in the eggs, and the salad is wrapped for freshness. Husband, please forgive my taking the photo without tidying up the bacon!

Bento made by husband

It tasted great!

New Year’s Day

New Year's Day,  shrine

With the in-laws and the hubb, I visited this shrine on New Year’s day. Amidst an ordinary Suginami neighborhood, this small shrine looks like something out of history, or at least an advertisement. Hey, is that Hachiko, the famous dog?

New Year is a quiet and charming time in Tokyo. Everyone who came from the interior has left, most businesses are shut down, and there’s a lot of over-eating with the family. In between delicious lunch and dinner at the in-laws, we visited the shrine, to say a quick prayer and to draw our fortune.

After experiencing the mind-numbingly long prayers of my family’s religion, Japanese prayer is so charming. Throw some coins in the shrine, ring the bell, bow twice, clap your hands twice, press them together, think a happy thought, and let the next people have their turn. It takes about 20 seconds, and involves no audible words.

Happy new year to everyone! Hope your year started well.

Celebrating new niece, with tonkatsu

Celebrating new niece, with tonkatsu

I received the exciting news that my neice was born last week in New York. The husband was still asleep, so I celebrated alone at my favorite neighborhood restaurant that specializes in the very best tonkatsu in the world. A 70+ year-old chef masterfully coats and deep-fries pork cutlets that taste heavenly. As you can see, the lunch special is huge: pork-cutlet (fatty or lean, I always choose fatty), cabbage (endlessly re-fillable), tomato, parsley, soup, pickles, rice and potato salad (or the other salad I never choose). Green tea, also. If I were to re-marry, I’d marry the chef!

ps: How can any religion prohibit something this tasty?!