Submarine Sandwich Realizaton

Eating my Sub at HNL
Eating my Sub at HNL

“Food always tastes better when somebody else makes it.” That’s what my Mom said to me when we were talking about her submarine sandwiches, which I always request she make for me when we visit. I kind of agree with her, especially because when I try to make the exact same submarine sandwiches, they always taste differently (and not as good) as hers. Every time I have the subs she makes I ask her the same question… “What kind of Italian dressing do you use?” because I’ve always thought that the dressing is the key to getting the same taste. But now I am thinking maybe it’s just because “Food always tastes better when somebody else makes it.”

Vacation Eats

Enjoying Ramen at Kamukura
Photo info: SONY SLT-A77V, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/200 sec, ISO100
Enjoying Ramen at Kamukura

Food is good! And the food in Japan and Hawaii is hard to beat. One of the things I look forward to most when traveling are the vacation eats: meals at the local restaurants and sampling the regional cuisine. This past trip to Japan, I ate almost everything that was on my list:

  • Sushi
  • Okonomiyaki
  • Takoyaki
  • MOS Burger
  • Yakitori
  • Izakaya goodies
  • Ramen
  • Curry
  • Kushiyaki

The only reason I didn’t gain 10 lbs is that in Japan you tend to walk quite a bit to get around and I’m also glad that I got to run, swim, and surf to keep my metabolism up.

Besides the yummy food, we had a lot to drink, not only beer, but lots of iced coffee and canned coffee (I have to keep my caffeine addiction in check). I loved it all! Of course, the above list was just the Japan leg of the trip. In Hawaii we continued our constant feasting with:

  • More sushi
  • Poké
  • Korean BBQ
  • Plate lunch
  • Fresh tropical fruits
  • Smoothies
  • Himalayan/Nepalese

To finish off the vacation, we had dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Torrance! It was really cool to have my parents and my brothers together at one time, something that doesn’t happen very often since we live so far apart.

The meals we have while traveling are a great opportunity to not only try different flavors or revisit signature regional flavors, but also to make great memories around these special meals. Vacation Eats are a great opportunity to add a lot of color to the vacation (and also life in general). Food is good!

Pizza Margherita and Peperoncino Pasta

Pizza Margherita and Peperoncino Pasta
Pizza Margherita and Peperoncino Pasta

Tonight’s dinner was homemade Pizza Margherita and Peperoncino Pasta, made by my wife. As I’ve mentioned many times, she is an amazing cook and we eat like kings at home. The other night we went out to a local Italian restaurant which was rated pretty highly on Yelp, but the food was just too salty for our tastes. I think maybe that left my wife unsatisfied since she really wanted Pizza Margherita. So, she made us a homemade pizza pie! It was great!!!

It got me thinking a little about how American and Japanese palettes are different. I’ve come to realize that I don’t like too much salt on my food anymore, but here in the States it is common for food to be pretty salty. There are always salt shakers on the tables in restaurants, and they get used really often! After eating Japanese and Japanese-style food for years now, my taste buds are not used to so much salt, so lots of times the standard restaurant fare is just too much for me. To be more specific, the type of saltiness I am used to comes from shoyu and miso, and not regular table salt, so it is a more complex flavor. I guess it is rare for us to say about a Japanese meal that it is too salty, but we might say that there is too much shoyu in it. I hope that make sense.

What is also a little uncommon about our meals is that often times there is no meat in the meal at all. Honestly, I don’t notice much of the time because the food is really delicious. It is such a normal thing to have a meat component to a meal in America and I think we’ve been conditioned by the meat industry that we need to have meat as a main component for every meal, whether it be breakfast sausage or bacon, turkey or ham in our sandwiches, or chicken in our pasta. It might be hard to believe, but there are delicious meals without any meat in them! I don’t mean to be preachy, but I do think we as humans should realize the impact our over-consumption of meat has on our environment, as science is showing us more and more in studies. I think it is really good, though, that people are becoming more aware of these studies and are choosing to be more mindful of where their food comes from, and the resources that are required to produce our food. The sharing of information on the Internet has a lot to do with that.

Sushi Memo Pads

Sushi Memo Pads
Sushi Memo Pads

I really like these Sushi Memo Pads. They look so cool! The problem is that I wouldn’t want to use them because the proportion of fish to rice would get messed up. I think I’d just keep them on my desk and stare at them all day! Speaking of my desk, I have way too many things cluttering it up. The main thing is bills and junk mail. I usually have a stack of papers about 3-5 inches tall that need to be filed away.

I usually sort them into stacks, then once in a blue moon will scan them all in as PDF’s to my computer, which then gets backed up. It’s a nice system, but I should scan them more often. The bottleneck is that it is a little bit of a bother to scan using my flatbed scanner. We do have a Dell 1235CN color copier/printer which has an auto feed tray and I think it can scan to PDF but, I need to figure it out again. I think I have scanned to PDF before, but I had to copy them to a USB stick, then put them on the computer. I think that is more process than using my Epson 4490 flatbed scanner.

So, as nice as these sushi memo pads are, I want to declutter the desk first before I make any additions. Maybe after decluttering, I won’t want to add anything to it and can save some money by not buying the sushi memo pads. Maybe I will just create a desktop background? I wonder if that will satisfy me!

Gudetama (ぐでたま)

I just discovered the brilliant “Gudetama” (Lazy Egg) and he has become my new favorite character! He’s so lazy and kawaisou… I love it. I know what I am spending my money on when I visit Japan this summer. I thought the Sanrio character “Kirimi-chan” was okay, but there wasn’t anything really special about her. Sure, she’s a salmon filet, but I get the feeling she’s trying too hard. Perhaps it’s the pressure from Sanrio. I’m sure they can be pretty demanding, so I have to give her the benefit of the doubt. She’s probably a good kid. But Gudetama has a genuine personality that I don’t think Sanrio can pretty-up, no matter how much marketing they throw at it. It’s probably his down-to-earth qualities and sincerity that strike a chord with me; his lifestyle is one that I can really identify with. I want live my life like Gudetama!

Gudetama - The Lazy Egg
Gudetama – The Lazy Egg

Follow Gudetama (if you have the energy) on Twitter at @gudetama_sanrio