22 November 2012

Empty-ish Nest

Tuffy lived at home while she was going to University of Washington, so this is our first holiday with an empty nest and her first holiday as a fledgling. She'll be sharing a Thanksgiving potluck with other JETs in Nagahama. The organizer assembled the contributions into the following menu:

Suzie: mac and cheese
Sandy: a pre-made meat of some sort that you will buy at Heiwado because I know you don't cook
Kayla: roasted root vegetables, pumpkin soup, maybe hummus
Amy & John: roast chicken
Melissa: eggplant side dish
Michael: mashed potatoes
Leslie: drinks, paper plates and cups
Tuffy: okonomiyaki
Caitlin: disposible utensils, and..
Willie: drinks, maybe a side
James: chocolate
Ellen: pie, & stuffing maybe

Tuffy was not much of a cook before she left for Japan. Now, she not only has to feed herself, she has to do it with unfamiliar ingredients, in a kitchen that has a stovetop and broiler, toaster oven (with no temperature control), and microwave. Like many Japanese kitchens, hers does not have a large oven. The one thing she says she can reliably pull off is okonomiyaki. Her Thanksgiving grocery shopping list (from creepy stalking on Facebook):

☆天ぷら flakes
☆green onion

Basically, ingredients for okonomiyaki.

Scarecrow's Thanksgiving menu is somewhat more traditional, although he's planning to roast a small-ish turkey on the grill rather than in the oven. Not as far from the beaten path as a potluck in Nagahama, but adventurous in its own way. Our nephew, Sparky's son Arkman, will be having dinner with us. This will be the first time we've seen him since he moved up to Bremerton from southern California a month or so ago for a new job. I don't expect he'll make an appearance until after the football games are over. Scarecrow warned him that we don't have a TV.

So it'll be different for all of us, but we'll all be celebrating the holiday with good food, family, and friends. I hope all my blogger buddies in the US have as much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I'd be curious to hear how the grilled turkey worked out. It's also interesting that you don't have a tv. Skip would be lost without hers.

    1. Cranky, the turkey was the *best*! Scarecrow did a small (for a turkey) fresh bird, unstuffed, on the rotisserie. It was beautiful, moist, smoky – better than I've ever done, and I thought of myself as a pretty decent cook. Disadvantages: dressing has to cook separately, and no drippings for gravy, although there may be a way around that. Something to try next time.

      About the TV. We technically don't have one, it's true, but I've been known to watch TV shows on Netflix. :)

  2. Ok, I had to look up okonomiyaki. Sounds likes it's highly varied as to what goes into it. A good dish to do -- one can claim artistic license as to the outcome assuming you want to claim it at all.

    TV - ha! I spent a good portion of my adult life without TV or just having one for watching movies. I definitely had a hole in my popular culture knowledge.

    Around the time of my second big episode/flare, I signed up for basic TV reception. It was the gateway. I now have a Smart TV with instant streaming Netflix (the good part) and cable (the highly questionable part except for about 3 shows). I've started weaning myself and cutting back. So, an intervention isn't likely needed.

    Glad you had a good Thanksgiving.