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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dinnertime! gaijin-style ^^

Since coming to live in Japan I have been plagued by the feeling that I am really not contributing to anything at all. This normally wouldn't bother me. At home I certainly don't have a problem lounging around on the couch while indifferently observing my mom breaking her back over some chore or another. Yet for some reason, it is really troubling when it is a different family I am living with.
Anyway, I decided to remedy this by offering to cook dinner for my family. It was simple yet difficult to decide what to make. My repertoire of dishes which I know how to cook is limited to scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and anything out of a can that just needs to be reheated. This made choosing simple yet frustrating as I realized my own failure as a girl (no offense if any of you, my readers, are in fact some psycho feminist). I hate making decisions more than I hate failing as a female though so I had no problem with this. I made mashed potatoes, baked chicken (thanks for the recipe mom! It actually turned out fairly edible!), and corn (and yes, it was frozen packaged corn).
My host sister and I went grocery shopping on our way home from trip to get the ingredients. I had hoped to make home made macaroni and cheese too but I was easily convinced otherwise when I saw that cheddar cheese was approximately $6 for a tiny brick so small I would probably need two or three for the dish.
My American side was shocked when there were no baggers to do all our work for us after our purchase. Merely a little table with the plastic bags on it for the customers to place their groceries in.
Dinner itself turned out okay I guess. I am not a gourmet chef but it was edible. The chicken and the potatoes needed a lot of added salt and pepper but the corn was actually quite tasty. Maybe that is just because of the liberal amount of butter I added to it before sticking it in the weird Japanese microwave-oven thingy.
The potatoes couldn't have been all bad though since my host mom asked for the recipe and hey, I got the opportunity to not feel like a worthless couch potato which would be worth it even if I had made packaged Ramen and burned it. I am such a good person :)


  1. You are a very good person. And we will remedy the cooking lack when you get home. :-) I will put you in charge of meals periodically and teach you how to make biscuits, bread, brownies, and all the other traditional favorites.

  2. Your "helpless" feeling around the edges of your host family life is very familiar to us, Sarah. Although we urge our delightful host moms to NOT treat their host daughters like house guests but contributing, time-saving helpers, the family dynamics may be somewhat unshakable. The fact that you have tried to rise from couch potatoe-dom, says HEAPS about your resourcefulness. I imagine time is squeezing you a bit, but try and get over to Osaka for a visit before heading back to "BBB Land"...

  3. What does BBB land mean? Am I being really stupid right now?

  4. Maybe Biscuits, Bread, and Brownies? :-)