Tag Archives: ramen

Diary: secret restos, airport hangs, voting, drums & creative acts

Restaurants x2: yes our Ramen place is listed in the Michelin guide, we’re pretty fancy after all / maximum stars

For the record, the best restaurant in all of Japan has *no* Michelin stars, nor does it exist in any guide books, map apps, or fancy magazines.

must know codeword

The proprietor has painted the interior completely with her own (rather psychedelic) art.

The menu is succinct (okonomiyaki mostly) and inexpensive, and she (80-ish) sends you home with extra food “just because” + there is the ubiquitous goldfish tank, and even one of my paintings displayed.

Clientele includes noted artists, politicians, community organizers, professors, kimono merchants, curators… But it’s a secret.

Also her end-of-the-year parties at a fancy hotel ballroom are quite legendary for entirely different reasons.

Tomatoes: Mother-in-law‘s garden is producing bumper crop of tomatoes, small and medium ones. Ideas for preserving? I/we can’t seem to eat them fast enough but don’t want to waste any of them. Tried salt ferment and was so so, Freezer seems like a no go, Pasta sauce seems meh.

Rick Rubin: preordered. sometimes i think “im *pretty cool* but im not Rick Rubin cool” and this concerns me. i mean, i’ve done/made/gone plenty in my 51.8 years but dang, ummm i look at RR and think i’ve slacked somehow (yeah i know this isn’t the point) anyhow, this book comes out in 1/23

comes out next January…

Off and Away: Well my darling wife and adorable son are off to Noto for a festival and sensei visit. Guess im gonna *let loose* maybe wash dishes, fold laundry and write some aerogrammes. Yup, scored a 10 pack of legit aerogrammes, smells like victory. I know, slow down Dave, slow down.

Oh put on kettle of hot water to make some barley tea with real barley tea bags. i’ll chill it first. before i get too far ahead of myself, lemon water and couple of acetaminophen and maybe look at buying a massage chair.

Update: with wife out of town, did a lot of tidying up, now eating fancy macaroni and cheese (with tomatoes, avocado and back bacon), banana milkshake and watching Godfather. Yep, it’s a wild wild life + also re-watched last 3 Obi-Wan Kenobi with F-i-L while eating taco chips.

LDN … which reminds me of my quest to find Low Dose Naltrexone in Japan from a reputable source. It’s not illegal here but usually only available as full dose (used in various addiction treatments). However, in low dose (colloquially LDN) is used as pain management for Fibro MECFS #hashtags

Vote: Feeling left out from not voting in Japan (wife voted before hopping on plane, early and easy) so doing Thurston county, Washington primary ballot… It might be last one I do in USA #Foreshadowing (for the record, yes I have *several* citizenships) / ps WA State AFAIK does all voting by mail and my ballots are always early

use a dark pen

Drums / Things I want: a cocktail drum kit like this one (belonging to Stewart Copeland, I asked if he’ll sell it to me or trade for like a bonsai tree or something) if ya see something like this in Japan, let me know OK.

Stewart Copeland’s drum kit and photo thereof

Update: There’s one for a reasonable price but it’s in Staten Island New York… The kit does come with shipping bags… Wonder that what that would cost to Japan :-)

Airport: Darlings went to Noto, Ishikawa to visit Hongo-sensei… so, Now we (f-in-l and me)’re killing time at the Momotaro Okayama airport observation deck like big timers drinking our robot made beverages. Oh they travelled by plane via Haneda as trains are tricky to find way to that corner.

Good news is, with only 1 or 2 flights an hour arriving, we’ll readily see their ANA jet land, taxi up to the gangplank (that’s not the word is it? airbridge? idk) and then just elevator down to meet on 1st floor & 2 mins to car.

got ’em Band is back together #io

He came running out of the domestic arrivals and jumped into my arms and I just about wanted to bawl my face off with proud papa but I was so busy telling him how much I love him and then he told me about the airplane and the fireworks and all of it

Diary: apropos of nothing (sleeping masks, hockey, mosquito net, laundry)

Really nothing to the usual days except for the brilliance of usual days, appros of really nothing, i annotate for amusement. Carry on in a disinter-mediated manner:

new kamidana house shrine for ancestors – made in Tottori from a slab of gingko wood

Okayama memo: The thing I really like most about is its very “usualness” {aside from being famous for the Momotaro peach boy story and being a “place you pass through to get to other places”} is also almost always sunny but not today (this Cascadian doesn’t mind the rain though).

My 1st era in Japan in the early 90s, was in Tottori (remote w/ kei-truck), later hiding out near Miasa, Nagano. When came back few years ago, found Okayama was just right / Not a hectic sensory overload city but has big hospital, Immigration etc.

Yes, we “lean heavily” into Momotaro folktale here and the image of a peach is scattered all over from statues to utility pole covers and gosh, peaches with a boy coming out of them can look really funny! And apparently it’s the sunniest prefecture in Japan. 

By post: Three pack of organic oatmeal arrived. {always mean to scribble down “tasting notes“ with all the different kinds but never do and never remember which ones were “great“ but all are, you know, good enough} ~ Eat each morning with variety of nuts, berries and sometimes yogurt.

Today by post: hori hori garden tool (this one is artisan made, previously ordered for wife and mother-in-law from off-the-shelf made-in-Japan company) / this one needs sharpened up and it didn’t come with a case/holster :( feels good in the hand though.

Day in the life:

  • ate salad with smoked salmon for lunch
  • loaded our new tiny dishwasher
  • sent a telegram, really
  • attempting to remove chewing gum from a pocket of a favorite shirt with ice packs #pending

now a rest before finishing laundry

Next day: One oatmeal, three coffees, two baskets of laundry, two hockey games… Now switching to loungewear and some tax paperwork. Then maybe repair a wicker stool after lunch.

Update: some arcane tax documents prepared, stamped, notarized, faxed, ready to mail in Duplicate etc. Indian curry and smoked salmon/avocado/lettuce salad lunch with darling. Next (going to try) to put a new seat on this wicker stool with hemp cloth and upholstery thumbtacks.

It’s not a masterpiece but it’s decent. Sturdy Polish hemp cloth, rugged long tacks & see how it goes. Hooray for hexagons!

Continue reading Diary: apropos of nothing (sleeping masks, hockey, mosquito net, laundry)

Ramen (with yuzu and spring vegetables)

I don’t have any cat pictures on hand but I did photograph today’s Ramen with spring vegetables, yuzu peel and extra pork.

At Gakucho Menya – best place ever (in Okayama and beyond).

See…, I do know how to Internet.

Item: Boots (at Hospital) + safety ramen

Today’s boots and socks combo for hospital visit. #looksharp / easy on and off is key in Japan / gotta make a simple outing for enjoyable somehow

not only did I wear these sharp boots, I also purchased gum, three packs (1 for back, 1 for car, 1 by door) & a pocari sweat (electrolytes :)) at the embedded 7-11 in hospital

PS Safety ramen before as well #important

Diary, three unrelated stops

Seitai treatment room

Today went “over the wall“ for some seitai treatment / stiiiiilllll trying to bust outta this ME/CFS crashmode.

Good news is: my head and heart are so happy and filled with wonder every day. And I’m managing a few little creative dispatches through the fog. Thanks to each of you for chiming in, so very noticed.

PS I wish all medical offices were this level of aesthetic loveliness as well as phenomenal hi-fi system and exceptional records

Notice the everyday normalness because the usual days are hidden goodness

Whilst out, noticed a cute house café nestled in amongst some concrete buildings with an orange bicycle in front. I found that if you stay focused on the goal, I miss all the good stuff which get filed as “distractions”… It turns out the things like hobbies and digressions are the best parts of life.

Anyhow, stopped in for some “safety Ramen” at really the best place > one owner operator and everything is just “perfect” – the seats, the size, the decorations, the music, everything tidy and just well thought out and of course the Ramen is top level. (Brian Ceci can attest ;)).

Gakucho / miso tonkatsu (w/ butter, really)

Ichiro was as always his jolly self. He also had some injections today and got to say hello to the doctor that helped bring him into the world. She’s (Moe-sensei) a really wonderful lady and she was so happy to see him growing up so happy, healthy and strong.

Jolly lil dude

Recap: Haven’t left the house for sometime so three stops today, quite significant.

Next activity: on the 18th I will be “socially distant Santa Claus” for a few kids at a local community center. Yes I will be using natural beard. And we ordered appropriate costume, the “luxury/deluxe” version but I would describe it more just as “adequate but with some extra gold bits (and a little cape!)”. Ryoko Olson will assist me in a super cute red velvet dress, likely with the little dude on her back. I may take a clipboard to take notes about the children’s requests before I tell them “no, none of this is possible, here is an orange :-)”.

Practicing Santa, Moab 1987

Back home, warming up – it’s sunny but chilly and even a few flakes of snow (!), folded laundry, made tea, a few dishes to wash, have something to write about Vincent van Gogh, and some Hokusai postcards. Oh and i hope to sleep, really – I mean I can dream, right?

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage, dvo/UW

Diary: Observed in Okayama (library, bicycle, bird, ramen, etc)

Over the wall, observed the following (sequentially below):

* compass to sibling cities
* pleasing canal (w/ public art)
* (another) library
* hello! a bird with yellow eyes
* such a nice bicycle & set-up
* Ramen is Not Fashion
* ramen is for eating (done)

compass to sibling cities
pleasing canal (w/ public art)
(another) library
hello! a bird with yellow eyes
such a nice bicycle & set-up
Ramen is Not Fashion
ramen is for eating (done)

Mementos: Hamamura / Tottori Life, 5+ views, 1994

Tottori, 1994: Dave in apartment in Hamamura, learning simple life in Japan (its like camping indoors)

In 1994, back in Japan for the second time (after the mushroom farm incident), I made a go out of living the “back to land, hustling crafts and gigs along the way” lifestyle.

This meant selling flower sticks (more to come on this project eventually), hemp bags (ditto), imported Bob Marley T-shirts (so good!) and the like.

Tottori, 1994: Dave (and Tantan resting) in apartment making Flower Sticks and other crafts to sell

Made a little catalogue, got some media exposure, had friends ship vintage goods from Canada and USA and rambled around to various craft fairs, flea markets in the lake in a Mazda Bongo van.

Tottori, 1994: Dave and Tantan in the mountains around Daisen

For some of this time I lived in, Hamamura, Tottori and later worked way to Nagano where the van broke down and started a whole other part of this adventure.

Anyhow, in that stretch of time in almost-forgotten Tottori-prefecture, i lived in a small apartment with no bath so took bath at the natural hot spring “sento” public baths nightly, rambled mountains (around glorious Daisen) sometimes with a Shiba-inu dog named Tantan, played music (including a psychedelic jam sessions in a farm hut in a pear orchard), swam in the warm Sea of Japan, cook-outs on beach. There were some hardships in this time which won’t be discussed at this time.

Instead, a few slices of evidence (note: the photos were snapped with early generation “panorama” camera but developed/printed conventionally hence with the black letter box style):

Tottori, 1994: Dave (beardless) by a sign in the mountains around Daisen
Tottori, 1994: Dave (drum) and Tim (guitar) he was a Englis teacher at a local Women’s University, at a gig of some kind

Bonus: in scavenging artefacts from this summer, found this from brother Andrew who came to stay and worked making prefab log houses with a bunch of grown man while he was a young teen. He wrote this lovely memory of this glorious stretch of coast which, I hope to visit again soon, and a hazy snapshot which sums up the feeling of humid summers snorkelling and eating cold ramen so well. 

“After work, we would go swimming until dusk and watch the squid boats out in the distance. Afterwards, we would go to this nice place for a bowl of fresh ramen and then go soak in the sento (public bath)”

Tottori, 1994: Uradome/San-in coast near Hamamura (photo Andrew Olson)

Diary: washoku, pizza, strudel, tacos, pickles, ramen & more everyday food

washoku (classic Japanese trad dinner) including: sashimi, ohitashi, hiyayako, pickles, etc. (umeboshi in the jar)

Just another food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage. Of course, we are cooking at home, groceries get delivered (and some from garden/yard). We have a little convection oven. Added in a few Japanese words just case PS “washoku” is word for traditional Japanese food – usually fish (grilled or raw) and various side dishes, while “yoshoku” is Japanese-i-fied foreign-inspired food which has become Japanese (i.e. croquettes, om-rice (omelette on rice), hamburg, fried shrimp, spaghetti). Also a few ramen, pizza and other hybrid style meals in here. Carry on. No big deal. 

breakfast set with oranges, muesli, coffee, home-baked bread
house-made ramen with mugi (barley) tea
lunch set with boiled eggs (and hot sauce), avocado, apples, etc
housemade pizza with smoked duck, cheese, mushrooms

Continue reading Diary: washoku, pizza, strudel, tacos, pickles, ramen & more everyday food

Diary: (Yet another) Food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage

Let’s begin with the “standard” Japanese classic dinner with grilled whole fish, picked something (kimchi and pickled onions), miso soup, brown rice and a salad – dressing and shoyu on the side.

Well ya gotta eat, and we do and mostly at home. For the permanent diary of endless goodness, i snap a snap from time to time before we dine. That’s all there is to it. Dig it if you wanna. 

We have a counter-top convex oven here at Tsuchida cottage now and aside for well-documented visits to ramen shops and coffee/cake stops, we eat at home.

Soba noodles
Another Japanese classic: soba (buckwheat) noodles, served cold with a raw egg and mentsuyu (fish-flavoured broth), shredded daikon (radish) and shoyu mixed together and the noodles dipped within and green onions sprinkled

 No doubt lots of folks the world over are getting re-acquainted with their kitchens while experienced cooks share tips and try new things. Indeed, so much sourdough going on in the world!

As such, here’s round-up without much in the way of annotations or context of some recent meals i happened to snap a snap of before digging in.

A variety dinner with sashimi (sawara a kind of mackerel), gaumodoki no takiawase (tofu fritters, daikon, komatsuna soup with fish-broth, salt, sugar, shoyu) and and of course, miso soup and genmai (brown rice), kimchi and shoyu/wasabi of course
A lunch of harusame spring vegetable soup with clear bean noodle with various onigiri rice balls

Continue reading Diary: (Yet another) Food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage

Diary: Homecooking at Tsuchida Cottage

Japanese dinner is usually many small plates and in this case, loads of small plates of vegetables along with the usual rice and miso

No doubt lots of folks the world over are getting re-acquainted with their kitchens while experienced cooks share tips and try new things. Indeed, so much sourdough going on in the world! 

We have a counter-top convex oven here at Tsuchida cottage now and aside for well-documented visits to ramen shops and coffee/cake stops, we eat at home. 

As such, here’s round-up without much in the way of annotations or context of some recent meals i happened to snap a snap of before digging in. 

Brother Bob USN Yokosuka sent a package of US food rations – mostly taco stuff but also tossed in some Twinkies for a laugh. i served one up the Ryoko with tea so she could understand the “american delicacy” :)
celebrating the arrival of all the stuff in the shed
Ryoko’s first taco salad (along with tacos but made the salad to use up broken bits of chips)
a little snack time with the taco chips and Lagunitas beer  from brother
a breakfast variety set
this was at a cafe at some point, some where but i struggle to recall where… oh after a library stop at a tiny cafe, that’s right (yes safe and sequestered)
Ryoko digs in at the tiny cafe after library stop
another dinner of tiny plates with the usual grilled fish, rice, miso, veg and pickled items – this is pretty much our “go-to” usual
“morning set” odds and ends and coffee coffee coffee