Monday, October 01, 2007

Gastronomic Adventures Part Two

Woke up with a migraine the likes of which I haven't had to suffer since…the last time I was in Tokyo? It's the dreary weather and my insomnia that's compounded by jet lag. It hasn't stopped drizzling since I got here and I am getting Very Tired of it.

But while I'm missing the sunshine I left behind, and though the left side of my entire body from my head down to my thigh is in pain, I continue to eat, eat, eat.

Dozens of different kinds of seafood in bite size portions, dozens of different kinds of seaweed. I think I am part sea otter.

And then, there's food from the cradle. My dear mother asks me if she can make me something and even though I know better than to make my 76 year old mom do anything, I tell her,
"How about okayu with umeboshi?"

Rice gruel. The chicken soup of Japan.

"Yuck," Big Dog would say. "It's just rice boiled in a lot of water!"
To which I would have to say, "No, it's more like what grits are to a Southerner."

Umeboshi, the pickled plum whose ancestors crawled out of a salt mine, provides the flavor. It's utterly sour and salty and perfect.

So sick or not, in pain or not, I continue to eat. And eat. And eat. AND lose weight! Japanese food is just not that fattening. Even on an American diet, even with tons of butter and cheese, I can't seem to keep my weight. It sneaks away like the boyfriend who's not really a boyfriend after you tell him you love him. I blame a shift in metabolism. But here, I've been losing about a pound a day. I figure at this rate, I'll completely disappear in about 90 days.

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