If you must judge me, do so after tasting my chilli.

Hiro and I have been forced into a life of frugality.  Well, we could live well, but we choose not to in effort to save enough money to host a wedding, buy a car, put a down payment on a house, pay off student loans, pay off credit cards, and on.  We’re lucky really, that we are both employed and live in a place we long to return to, and have all the modern comforts you can come to think of (internet, tv, nearby bus service).  But we’ve tightened the fiscal belt which has yielded some unexpected results (many additional adventures to come!).

Where we haven’t funds, we have imagination.  I know that imagination doesn’t pay the bills, but it does!  Here I will confess to rarely cooking.  And what little I cook it usually belly-full of preservatives and/or found pre-made requiring some heat.  I didn’t know how to al dente.  Or pan sear.  The only thing I could do, or thought I did well, was to ice cakes, and even then I paid little or no attention to the resounding taste.

My new test kitchen

So now that we’ve a home, with a large kitchen and combined cooking supplies, I took to the kitchen.  My kitchen.  And it was there I began to realize why chefs are so brazen, and why cooking is often referred to as an art.  I see that it’s more than the sum of a gaggle of ingredients.  It takes brains, brauns and inventive thinking to churn out a successful dish.  I’m not near there, but the journey is increasingly tasty…Since we’ve moved into our new little rental home, I’ve been continuously cooking.  We use up all the ingredients we buy, so as not to waste.  I try and be creative with spices and sauces.  Every meal is served with fanfare so we may appreciate the effort that went into it.  Hiro likes the new arrangement.  And I, hating dishes, like that he likes to keep a tidy kitchen.  EVERYONE IS A WINNER.

We moved, appropriately, on December 31, and here are some half decent contributions to come from the kitchen since then:

  • Homemade beef curry and vegetables
  • Eggplant parmesean
  • Breaded chicken
  • Barbeque chicken
  • Meatballs and risotto
  • Quesadillas
  • Homemade tortilla chips and salsa
  • Sweet and sour meatballs
  • Pasta Bolognese
  • Eggs made in unrecognizable ways (HAPPY BRUNCH!)

But the real adventure comes in the form of leftover presentation.

May I present to you, my foray into the world of Bento Boxes!

Bento box cozy

True, what’s shown is not an authentic bento box, but I hope forthcoming attempts will showcase some progress.  In the interim, I packaged Hiro a lunch reminiscent of what he’d carry as a kid in Japan.  The art of the bento requires a lot of the maker.  There is presentation to concern yourself with.  Flavor profiles.  Heat transfer.  I’m only just tipping the scales with what I understand of bentos, but the craftsmanship is like a personal stamp.  And I’ve been in the mood to further brand.


Itadakimasu! (in thanks for eating)