Wednesday Food Report

THIS WAS MY DINNER:

Left to right, starting from the top: Green tea (綾鷹 [Ayataka]), C1000 Vitamin C lemon drink, 揚だし豆腐 (agedashi tofu), an avocado that I cut up, and two types of mushroom with bok choy cooked with some sort of mushroom-cooking sauce that I found in the vegetables section at the store. The tofu was my compromise with health food, haha. Wikipedia says it’s “deep-fried tofu.” It’s healthy, somewhere deep down inside^^; I saw the avocadoes (grown in Mexico!) today at the store and got all excited.

Not too bad, right? I felt like it was a good compromise, considering that the week I was home sick I didn’t really cook, and since my appetite’s been coming back, and I think also because I began work again Tuesday (today is Wed), all I’ve wanted to do is just eat and eat and eat. After work on Tuesday, I went to Marukyu and just bought tons of pre-made food and just ate it all…I was so full and I just kept on eating anyway ><; I didn’t sleep as well as I liked, either, because after eating all that I think I had indigestion…

I have to admit that I’m also posting this first picture because someone at the Board of Education follows my blog and has been asking for a couple days what I’m eating (ie, since the doctor and the X-ray both said I’m better on Monday)…although people seem to ask that question anyway. Proof! I haven’t just been eating sushi! Although I think it’s better if I don’t post a picture of all I ate yesterday^^;;;

Some people like to know the prices of things, so here you go! According to Google, 1 dollar right now = 80 Japanese yen (¥), so for the tofu, for example, it’s normally ¥158 so it would cost me $1.97. I’m using that exchange rate for this list. (I forget how much the tea was, but it comes in a huge bottle and it’s usually a little under ¥200, like ¥187 or something like that.)

Agedashi tofu – ¥126 (got it on sale ¥32 off from¥158) –> $1.57 ($1.97)
Avocado – ¥158 –> $1.97
C1000 Vitamin drink – ¥178 –> $2.21
Eryngii mushrooms – ¥128 –> $1.59
Enoki mushrooms – ¥58 –> $0.72
Bok Choy – ¥98 –> $1.22
Mushroom and Bok Choy cooking sauce – ¥105 –> $1.31

So, altogether but not counting the tea, my dinner cost ¥851 or $10.60. It felt cheaper at the time, because all the food things I bought were under ¥200^^; However, this price could easily be brought down by not buying prepared foods like the tofu or drinks that are more expensive despite being smaller, like the Vitamin C drink (drinking more tea instead). Without those two things, the total comes down to ¥547 or $6.82. However, Vitamin C is good for you! And I wanted variety, so that’s what I get. I don’t care how much the avocados cost, it was soooo good^^ After writing this, though, I’m still feeling the need to justify myself^^;;; But still. I’d rather pay more for dinner and have some variety than just eat curry rice every day like I did in Tokyo.

As for the actual cooking of the mushrooms/bok choy, I didn’t really have a plan when I walked into the grocery store. I just knew that I wanted to eat vegetables and be healthy, I knew that I didn’t just want kabocha/pumpkin to be my “vegetable” because I don’t know how many real health benefits I’m getting from that even though it tastes good, and I didn’t even know what to cook vegetables in so they would taste good, so I just bought the vegetables advertised on the cooking sauce packet that I wanted to buy. After picking those things up, I walked past the meat section and thought “meat sounds really good,” but there are so many types of meat, I didn’t know how to prepare meat with the vegetables/sauce in a way that would still taste good, and I didn’t see meat in the picture, so I let it go. Then I got home and read the instructions, and it said you can put pork in. Ahh…well, next time. (All the instructions are in Japanese, by the way, so if you show up here and just want to cook something, just know that.)

So then: in honor of Daylight Savings Time, which friends’ Facebook updates have reminded me exists, let’s go back in time and have lunch:

School lunch is wonderful^^ I forget what this is called, but it had vegetables and pork in it (with rice). To be honest, there are lots and lots of times where I don’t know what things are called–I just look at it and I know if it’s tasty or not. We always get milk with our lunches, and I think it’s whole milk. I usually eat with students from a different class each day at the elementary school, but today the teacher had something else going on, so I ate in the teachers’ room (there’s a table at the back, and a sink and a couple cupboards with teacups, tea, coffee, and that sort of thing). As a result, I got to have tea, too! The kids don’t get tea, so when I eat with them, neither do I.

The rice in the middle is left over–the teachers roll it into rice balls and wrap it in clear plastic wrap. You eat the fruit last, like a dessert. When I peeled my mandarin orange, I ended up with a pile of tiny pieces that I put in my empty bowl, but the teacher next to me managed to peel hers perfectly and keep the skin all in one piece. I took a picture because I was impressed:

There was a conversation after that that I didn’t 100% follow, having to do with a certain company or social situation or something, where there were certain manners associated with how you peel your orange. Haha, maybe when my Japanese gets better I’ll bring it up again.

The orange reminded me of when my friend Kaoru came and visited from Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. She brought a box of treats from Tokyo, and when I opened it I didn’t prettily open it from one of the folds on the end and ripped the paper, and she was like, やっぱり、アメリカ人だ, like, “I guess you really are American,” hahaha. It does make me think, though…this could be way off, but Japanese products are always really easy to open (like, items are still wrapped in plastic like in the US, but there’s always a flap at the bottom, and it’s like opening a not-very-sticky envelope). It’s like, Japanese products are made to be opened, and US products are made to keep people out (I can’t remember if this is my own idea…I feel like I might’ve had this conversation with someone before and they made that observation)…it’s probably a stretch to say, but maybe all those years of tearing stuff have made me characteristically resigned to “tearing stuff open” instead of just “opening” things…? I don’t seriously think so…but then again, if I’m not planning on keeping the wrapping, then I don’t really open things nicely if it seems like it’s going to take more than 30 seconds to open, hahaha.

So, that ends today’s food adventures. Hope you are having a nice week, and thank you for thinking of me and praying for me while I was in the hospital, and maybe after too!

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