The directions we received were simple: “If you beat us to the restaurant, ask for Nakamura-san”
We were following the instructions of new friends that we are really enjoying. And what is more fabulous than new friends who know more about the Asian cuisines that you love, but have actually spent time in these countries? A bunch of time? You get great advice and pointers and promises all-around to hit more restaurants, too… oh yeah!
Last night we got to find out which restaurant is really close to little bit of Japan in our own city. This restaurant served sushi so lovely that my own 75 year old mother not only tried sea urchin with me, but wasn’t grossed out, and didn’t stop there.
I like my wines. I know wine, have enjoyed wine in France and local wine from every area of the country that we have inhabited. Red or white, call me a… what’s the word for a wine-lover? An oenophile. Yep, that’s me.
I thought I didn’t like beer, until I realized that it is the hops that I don’t care for… lucky me, hop-happy San Diego will help me avoid swilling too many beer calories, or so I thought until I discovered Ballast Point Oatmeal Stout on nitrogen. Mamacita, is that a fabulous quaff!
A classic modern Sazerac has rye whiskey, bitters and absinthe. The drink was SMOOOOOOTH! “The Guthrie,” Croce’s version of a Sazerac, was so nice that I went from complete ignorance to complete fan after one serving.
The Colman’s seasoning packet seems devoid of artificial colors and crap… I like that in foods that we can get from the UK. Less crap.
I gave it the Mom Test- meaning, Would My Mom Eat This? I think she would. She’s tougher than The Boy, no lie. I’ll make her try some for lunch tomorrow (you know you will try this, mom, because you are so intrigued by a packaged product that I’d try… that’s probably going to be the first thing you do when you get here tomorrow).
The chicken cooked 90 minutes at 350 with a quartered onion, three carrots (’cause, that’s all I had), 1 1/2 cups water whisked with the seasoning packet, poured over the quartered chicken and veggies in the lidded casserole. Everyone pretty much liked it, served with a baked potato and salad. No complaints, but no socks knocked off.
The great find today is this Mahón cheese from Trader Joes. It is only here for this month, but undoubtedly in any of the better-stocked cheese departments here in So. Cal. This is really delicious stuff, folks. It has a bit of the grainy texture of an aged cheddar and while creamier than a mild cheddar, tastes like a cross between an aged gouda and a milder cheddar. Make my Swedish friend happy- say “how-dah,” not “goo-duh.” She gives me a hard time when I say “goo-duh.” So, of coarse, I look right at her and say “goo-duh” whenever this subject comes up. That’s how I roll.
Mahón is a delicious Spanish cheese. The Swede would agree with me on that, her husband is Spanish and she wouldn’t dis a Spanish product. She’s nice like that. She also would have liked the Pinot Gris that I enjoyed with my cheese and crackers while the casserole cooked and I watched Captain America. I bet she’d like Captain America- there we go, Annika, let’s look at your vacation photos, then watch Marvel Comics movies with the kids really soon!! I have the cheese and will buy more wine for us!
I’ve never really met a wine that I didn’t like. I mean, REALLY didn’t like. Now, I don’t care for the infamous Two Buck Chuck, but I might cook with it if I had some on hand, which I don’t. Ever. And I think Merlots are just watered down Cabernets, which are my favorite (I’m sure there are some good Merlots, I just like to annoy Merlot enthusiasts with that blanket statement).
Tonight, I was going to try a new wine with my bread and cheese for dinner, and I had a fabulously disappointing bottle of Médoc. A Château Langlade 2012 Médoc, to be exact.
This bottle was so disappointing that it will be going back to the store where it was purchased. I don’t think I’ve ever returned a bottle of wine.
But, as I mentioned, there’s a first time for everything. Maybe I’ll pick up a Merlot while I’m at the same shop…
Sometimes, extended family comes along at just the right time, in ways that you never would have expected. Take advantage of these people when you really need it- in times of stress, grief, loss.
My grandmother passed away on my daughter’s 18th birthday. I learned of her passing within the hour, as we were getting ready to attend our church’s Easter service. Even though we knew her hour was near, it was still devastating. In an interesting way, just the week before, we had received an invitation to come for Easter dinner to my sister-in-law’s friend’s mother’s house (did you follow that?)… not just my immediate family, but my parents and brother, too. It turns out, this was an enormous relief. We spent time with extended family and friends and were able to focus on happier times, past and present.
I am very thankful for the ever generous Mary and her Easter dinner and festivities. Very thankful! We are social creatures, we humans. We must allow our friends and family to help redirect our sad thoughts when the time is right. We need each other!
Today, I created an account on BloomNation.com, a flower service that hooks you up with local florists who create some pretty gorgeous arrangements. They will be sending Mary a nice bouquet form all of us, and hopefully our thank you note will arrive at close to the same time.
The only thing I wish I could include in this post is a few photos of my sis-in-law, her husband and kids, her friend, husband and kids, her sister, and of course, Mary! I wasn’t in the picture taking frame of mind that Easter Sunday and am kicking myself now…