Saturday, March 10, 2012
Everyone seems to be coming back from trips to Japan lately ... skiing holidays in Hokkaido, visits to friends in Tokyo ... and it's making me wish I was heading there. For mochi. Sushi. Cherry blossoms. People who never make you feel like a stranger.
I lived in Japan 10 years ago ... only for 3 months, but I actually had an apartment in a village on the train line from Kyoto. I had a gym membership, woven bamboo flooring and a futon bed.
I soaked in hot onsen baths with little old ladies and drank profuse amounts of green tea. I learned how to make my own bagels, out of desperation, and in a convection microwave. I took long bike rides through tea fields and forests and marvelled at how you can step out of urban Japan into rice paddies within a few seconds. I spent $5 on one glorious pear once. I furnished my apartment from the things other people were throwing out ... nice things ... (things that really shouldn't have been thrown out). I took the train to Nara and explored the temples, drank from a fountain for longevity, ate fish-shaped pancakes stuffed with custard, just wandered.
Japan taught me some key lessons about food. Simplicity, beauty, freshness. That grocery shopping in Japanese can make for some - er - interesting surprises. And also that adzuki beans make for great desserts.
Or, in this case, smoothies.
2 large frozen bananas (or 3 small) - peeled and chopped
1 dried fig
1/2 cup canned adzuki beans
2 cups milk*
*I bet coconut milk would be lovely, too!
My organic smoothie cost me $1.25-ish per person. Full of protein and happiness.