Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Greatest Weekend Of Eating Ever!

(PICTURE: I'm not sure what is tastier, shabu shabu or my new cardigan from Uniqlo.)

My friend Masumi is a master chef (by skills, not by trade). One piece of advice I can give all ahoyhanoi readers is that when a master chef invites you over for dinner, you accept.

I showed up to Masumi and Kensuke's house with a bottle of sake and an empty belly. The bottle quickly disappeared and over a course of many hours my belly was jam packed with delicious food. Everything Masumi makes is relatively simple but extremely delicious. The first time I ate at Masumi and Kensuke's house I left nearly comatose after eating a six course meal! On this night, Masumi out did herself again by making many different dishes from salads to soups to sashimi to the main course -- shabu shabu. I had mentioned once to Masumi that I had yet to eat shabu shabu in Japan. Being the amazing host she is, she made sure that I could check shabu shabu off my mental checklist of Japanese foods.

Shabu shabu is relatively easy to prepare. Kensuke got some delicious, very thinly sliced pork from his favorite butcher to go with mushrooms, tofu, leek and mustard leaves. The mustard leaves were actually grown in Masumi and Kensuke's garden.

After finishing all the food, a few bottles of beer, a bottle of sake and a half of a bottle of red wine, Masumi's cell phone rang. On the other end of the line was Masumi's sister who was visiting from Sendai. Masumi's sister and her parents had been eating and drinking too and decided to come join us. About fifteen minutes later, I got to meet Masumi's family. Not only was it great to meet them but they brought MORE FOOD AND DRINKS!

After a couple of hours of hanging out, Masumi's parents and sister went back home. However, before leaving they invited me to their house the next night!

(PICTURE: Me, Masumi and her family.)


mom said...

It is so wonderful to read about the terrific people you have befriended and how welcoming they all are!

Always on a diet dad said...

Better then a turkey leg or a Jet tailgate?

Laura said...

ben--i read about your adventures and what an amazing time you're having and the great people who have taken you in at every stop along the way and i think how great it would be to travel and do this. and then i imagine that i would be at home alone all the time. it just seems like you've become such great friends with people and i wanted to comment on what a great skill that is in a completely foreign place.

Benjamin said...

Thanks, Laura. I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have met some of the friends I've made. Masumi and Kensuke have been amazing to me since the first day I met them.

I have no doubt, Laura, that you would make tons of friends too if you traveled abroad. The secret as a foreigner is just smiling at people and being open to trying different things.

Now, Dad, don't make me compare this meal with a turkey leg or a Jet tailgate. That's like choosing children!