Wednesday, August 3, 2011

High(and low)lights of Late

I am way behind on blogging, and there are way too many things that I want to immortalize in writing, so I'm going to make it quick and hit a few highlights.

Sometimes, I cook. 
Just sometimes.

Recently, I've been trying to cook more Japanese recipes. Like this Omusoba:

I wanted to cook yakisoba after watching Ochi's video on youtube (She has a great Japanese cooking channel. Check it out HERE). Then I saw this other video and decided to put said yakisoba into an omelette. It was delicious. I was so proud.

I've also been looking for light, summer recipes, and this Apple Vinaigrette Salad is my current favorite:

I got the recipe from a simple google search and have made it once a week ever since. Tasty.

Often, I party. 
Maybe a little too often.

I love having people over. Sometimes I just have a friend over for dinner (which was the case with the above two dishes) and sometimes I invite 25 high school students over. 


Um... what?!

A few weeks ago some students from international club here at school asked if they could host a party at my apartment. Since the international club usually consists of about 10 sweet mannered girls, I said "no problem!" I found out the day before the party that the regulars wouldn't be the only ones attending. Oops.

Not to be intimidated by such a number. I  rearranged some furniture, removed two of the sliding doors between the tatami room and the bedroom, and hoped for the best.

Lucky for me, these students were not just considerate guests, they were also very tidy.
Shoes all lined up so carefully.
They were comfortable sitting on the floor,  brought their own food...

... and they left my apartment in better shape than they found it in. Amazing!
Sparkly clean. 

So, if 25 Japanese high schoolers ask to come to your 2LDK apartment, just say yes!

The next day was my buddy/ coworkers birthday, and so some of us put together a little surprise party for him (also at my apartment).

Can you say yakiniku?!?

Yakiniku just means grilled meat but the special part is that you grill all of the meat on a burner at the table. Usually I eat yakiniku at a restaurant but some students taught me how to do it at home. It's great! You save money and can still eat until you are stuffed.

So, in honor of Max, a good-sized group of ALTs, Kazuno, and one of Koyo's teachers got together to devour mountains of meat and celebrate.

Sarra brought a beautiful chocolate mouse cake which I so gracefully placed my arm in. Sorry about that Sarra. And Max.

It was still, edible, though, and with cups full of cake everyone was happy to say "Cheers" to Max's 26th.

Recently, I say 'goodbye.'
Way too many times.
This time of year is full of sunshine and fun and, unfortunately, way too many "sayonaras." Tis the season for the great JET exodus in which dozens of the friendly faces around the island vanish. This year, I've not been handling it well. It feels like this vast hole has opened up in my life, but at the same time I refuse to accept that it's happening. So many friends are leaving. For good.
Kate and Osborne (front and center)
I haven't really shown much emotion, but inside I am cracking more and more with each goodbye. Like saying so long to sweet Kate last night. Or to Osborne today. These friends have become such an important part of my daily life here.
Alana is soon to follow and then Laura... there are too many to count.  I just can't imagine Okinawa without them.
Every time I prepare myself to say goodbye to one of these lovely people, all I can think is "Please, Don't Go. "

Dear, dear friends, please know that you are missed, that you will be missed, that you've changed Okinawa in your time here, and that that change will live on in each of us who were lucky enough to know you while you were here. Please stay in touch. I mean it.

Once in a great while, I travel.
But not this time.
That stinker is coming straight for me. Boo. 

This weekend, I'd planned to take my one and only summer vacation, but a nasty looking typhoon is moving in. It kind of looks like it will be out of the way by Friday night/Saturday, but I'd planned to camp on the beach and the weather still might not be ideal for that.  So, I decided not to risk the weather ruining my plans and just cancelled them instead. Hopefully I can find another weekend to get away, but in the meantime, I have more house parties and recipe experiments to look forward to.

Does anyone have a recipe that makes typhoons pass more quickly?


  1. I am going to make bolognese sauce from scratch! It is good because you have to let it simmer for a while, checking in on it every so often. So it gives me something to keep busy with that is not watching movies or storm tracking or watching out the window obsessively.

    Also, the best sauce uses wine for depth of flavour so there is that pesky open bottle of wine problem... :)

    Most recipes call for pancetta, but you can substitute bacon. Or just leave it out entirely! It certainly would not be the first time I had to change a recipe quite significantly while here.

    The best is that you can freeze it in small amounts and just take it out in case of dinner emergency, thaw it and cook up fresh pasta. You'd never be able to tell!

  2. Thank you for the acknowledgement, friend. There are so many upsides to the JET experience, but they come at the price of having to say goodbye to the friends you've made along the way at some point. So glad to have met you, though. Keep being your genki, loving self, it's so so good for the world!