‘Smoke on Sundays when you’re drunk and dressed’

July 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Grey, grey Hokkaido mornings. 70 degrees and almost August. These typical grey days are full with storm bursts, sudden downpours. I’m sitting at my chabudai nursing a headache (wine-induced) listening to Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago, which is for me somehow and in all ways perfect. Back to the headache, but let’s start earlier.

For dinner last night I made katsu kare, which I love but have never made before because, once upon a time, hot oil scared me (tonkatsu isn’t actually deep-fried). I used a recipe from No Recipes, which I think is a really lovely website. I don’t have a thermometer so I was kind of winging the cooking time and temperature. I tested the heat of the oil by throwing some panko in and waiting until it sizzled, then kept the flame around medium high to keep the temperature level. I ended up cooking the pork for a couple of minutes on each side until nice and golden. Just keep an eye on it.

 The meat was really juicy and flavorful and the panko was nice and crisp.  I laid it out on some rice with a quick curry sauce (made from curry roux cubes). The curry sauce would obviously be better if you made it yourself, but in a pinch the roux cubes work. I personally like them because they remind me of the curry my host grandmother made when I lived in Toyohashi. Continuing with my menu of nostalgic tastes, I made somen for lunch.

Somen, somen dipping sauce, sesame seeds.

Over the course of yesterday I watched Half Nelson, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and the Notebook. Over the course of the week I also watched Taxi Driver and Saturday Night Fever. Can you tell I miss New York? It was hard to see Veselka and the other places in my city and not be there. I miss New York nights, the possibilities, the mornings. It’s Sunday morning, I should be at Veselka with a bowl of borscht, a mug of hot black coffee, and the newspaper. This called for wine.

Cute, right? A birthday gift (along with whole potatoes in shrink wrap…). It’s called Higuma no Banshaku (brown bear’s nightcap), 2007 vintage, from the Furano Winery. To be honest, I am a little skeptical of most Japanese wine. I generally stick to nihonshu. It was hard for me to decipher what varietals this was made from, definitely a mix (I looked it up on their website, from what I can understand it’s a mix of mountain grapes and Seibel grapes). It’s very fruity with a sour punch. It tasted young, I think the acidity needed to be better balanced, but it was definitely drinkable and I drank the entire bottle. I needed it to get through The Notebook (an otherwise insurmountable task).

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