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    Yokosuka, Japan
  1. My cooking students have commented that butter is hard to find because of herd downsizings - I buy butter on base, shipped in from the US so I've not had a problem.
  2. I'm with you on that one...I've taken to mailing Panky and handkerchiefs to my friends in the States as hankypanky boxes.
  3. I want an remote digital thermometer *with a pan clip* and a timer/alarm function. It's idiotic to have meat thermometers and candy thermometers. Why can't I have one that does both? Measuring sets built like the OXO cookie scoops for mayo/butter/honey, etc. The convenience and cleanup of those little plunger suckers that Alton Brown likes, but with less chance of getting honey all over my fingers trying to load the dang thing up. Stickup battery powered lights in a natural colour for making my stove better lit. The current "dot" lights are way too blue to make anything look yummy.
  4. I love my copy of Nigella Bites and use it way more than my copies of How to Eat or Domestic Goddess. I don't dig on everything, but the tomato salad, salt and pepper calamari, and sticky toffee pudding cake are all recipes I've made multiple times. The fudge cake was a disappointment, but the kedgeree was a nice smashup that I've adapted into my own thing. The lemon curd/jam tart recipe from how To Eat is a real winner, as a note.
  5. Just outside the Yokosuka base there are a few Mexican places (easiest to come into Shioiri Station on the Keikyu line). Having just come from San Diego (and had more than a few passionate arguments on The Best Taco Stand In San Diego), here are my thoughts: #1. Tsunami's - I can't speak to the bar upstairs, but the restaurant is my favorite Mexican in town. The owner is a Japanese guy who loves surfing in Ensenada, and it really shows that he's been there a ton and knows the food. He even has a proper California burrito! It's expensive, and not open as late as the others, but it's far and away my favourite, and there's also a takeaway counter. The restaurant features a large TV playing the Discovery Channel and a trendy looking bar with overpriced drinks, but it's Yokosuka, and that's pretty normal. #2. Surf Taco - Surf Taco shares a counter with the Chu-Hi Stand, so if you go late at night you'll be jockeying for a stool with thirsty sailors. It's just a counter, but they do takeaway, good tacos, awesome counter folks, and was the first place I ever had taco rice. Quite decent, I'd go there more if it wasn't so crowded at night. #3. Cantina's - Cantina's most valuable feature is that it's open until 3 or 5 in the morning and has food. Even better than the pita stand, you can sit down. I don't eat at Cantina's unless it's after last call and my friends and I are hammered. #4. Galley Snack Bar - Just Don't. Go to Beef Bowl instead. * Note - Mike's Mexican just opened a month or two ago, and I've yet to investigate it.
  6. There's a decently active Japan group over on ratebeer.com as well. This is their rating board for Japanese brews and beer resources, and they have a fair number of get togethers. My husband is decently involved with them, and it sounds like they're a good bunch of guys! http://www.ratebeer.com/BestInMyArea.asp?CountryID=105
  7. I'm planning on going to Foodex this year, probably on Friday. Is anyone else thinking about taking in the sights?
  8. Here on base in Yokosuka we have an A&W (and a couple more fast foods I haven't seen in town). If anyone wants to visit, drop me an email - pouncy, gmail, etc.
  9. I usually make mine with men tsuyu and green onions. Other variations have included pesto and tomato (the things that happen when you have tomatoes that need using!), chopped walnuts, black pepper and a bare drizzle of olive oil, minced raw tuna and green onion with a dash of soy, and finally, just plain sea salt.
  10. Pouncy

    Rice Cookers

    I have a $15 Aroma 3-cup machine that I'm very happy with. It works pretty well for my husband and I, who like rice just fine, but are more inclined toward pasta as a daily starch. The steamer basket is quite nice, and I only wish it had a keep-warm function. Sometimes I need to soak the basket overnight, and a lot of times I also make couscous or soup in it, so the multipurpose nature of it is nice. I bought it when I was a poor college student, and after 5 years it finally died, and I replaced it with another one. It's small, so it doesn't hog any more pantry room than my ice cream machine or fondue pot, and it simplifies things to the point that my ex-roomie, the woman who set rice-a-roni on fire and gave us all food poisoning from Kraft Mac and Cheese can use it. Dump 1 cup rice, fill to line, push button down. She's only screwed it up once!
  11. I usually get thin 8 slice, with my American sandwich tastes, but 4 slice is marvelous for the best French bread EVER.
  12. Pouncy

    Narita Airport

    I'm going to be stuck at Narita for HOURS today, South Wing of Terminal 1. Any recs for places to eat, or an I condemned to airport onigiri?
  13. I believe The Meat Guy sells casings. I'm picking up curing salt when I'm on holdiay in Seattle.
  14. As a junior high teacher in Yokohama, I switch between two schools, and the lunches are different at each one. I don't speak any Japanese really, so this is my untutored American explanation. At my favorite school, which is in a less affluent area, there are 4 selections: A lunch: Rotates through fairly standard sorts of main dishes, such as fish, korokke, noodles, braised veggies, with sides of salad or pickles and sea weed. comes with its own box of rice on the side. B lunch: Salt-roast salmon with rotating pickle/salad/seaweed sides. C lunch: Curry rice. D lunch: Veggie sushi type rolls n a bed of rice, often with tamago. The teachers usually get A or B lunch - I started off on B lunch and switched to A lunch when I was assured that natto was never a main dish. Every time natto comes as a side dish, we're guaranteed to find at least a dozen servings dumped in the bushes outside the main classroom building, so it's not often an option. Pretty much everyone brings a bento or gets school lunch - I consistently get school lunch, though sometimes I forget to sign up in time in the morning and have to run to the conbini for a sandwich. At my other school, in a very affluent area, there are many more options, from curry rice to tonkatsu to onigiri - easily ten options/day to the other school's 4. Also, as a teacher, sometimes the staff room orders from a very good local restaurant, or I'll walk to McDonald's a block away on my lunch and use the wifi on my laptop to call my family and check email. I've also hit the grocery store nearby for little salads and what-have-you to try new things. I'm never entirely sure what I'm eating with school lunch, just usually that I like it, and the kids get a kick out of seeing the crazy American teacher eat Japanese food with chopsticks (which I'm pretty decent at). Except for umeboshi and natto. I'll pass on those! Also, my adult cooking students are very impressed that I eat school lunch, and I'm not sure why. All in all, I like it. It's convenient, good, and one less thing I have to haul on the train for 2 hours every morning!
  15. I will cook edamame straight up and dust them with kosher salt. Sometimes we play with other seasonings, but we always come back to kosher salt. I also add roughly chopped edamame to chicken salad sandwiches or pasta salads. Another favorite is to puree shelled and cooked edamame with some yogurt or sour cream, and black pepper and use it as a dip. Sometimes we do half edamame and half avocado in our guacamole.
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