Living in homestay last year meant I never had to do my own cooking or washing. Now I’m in Seminar House, I’ve been thrown back into it kind of unawares. I’m the kind of person who tells people “I love to cook” because I think it gives some kind of special insight into my personality, making me seem cool and and a little sensual. The truth is, I love to cook when I’ve put a bit of planning and effort into it beforehand. If I suddenly realise I’m hungry, and my hunger won’t wait for me to get to the supermarket or knock up something from the ingredients in the fridge, I’ll just chow down on some instant noodles (which in Japan are plentiful and cheap, and unlike the inferior Pot Noodle, actually edible). But occasionally I get it together enough to make something nice.
The other day I made a fritata. It’s a Spanish dish, like an omlette but with more stuff in it. Basically, it’s potatoes and whatever vegetables you want to put in with eggs filling in the gaps. As if bringing Spanish cooking to Japan wasn’t weird enough, I also have pasta and sauce, which is a go-to meal if I can’t be bothered to make anything better. I’ve got some soba and vegetables in the fridge for another quick easy meal, and of course rice. The rice cookers in the communal kitchen make the special glutinous sticky Japanese style of rice, and take about twice as long as it takes to cook basmati, which is what I use back home. I’ll still have rice with my meals, but right now I view cooking Japanese-style rice more as an invconvenience than anything else.
I’m looking forward to trying out new things as the semester continues. Usually I shop at a little supermarket called Sanko, just over the river from Seminar House, but the other day I went to Top World instead. it was an Aladdin’s cave of tasty treats, definitely the Sainsbury’s to Sanko’s Morrison’s. If that means anything. Anyway, a horde of culinary delights awaits!