I have always wanted to spend a night or two at a hotel in Japan with views of Mt. Fuji. There was one time when we were supposed to see Mt. Fuji on a family trip, but unfortunately it was a foggy/cloudy day and it was impossible to even get a peek of the mountain and if I remember correctly, it was the biggest letdown of the trip. Although I have been to Japan multiple times, there are still lots and lots of prefectures and cities I haven't been to experience their culture and food, and I can't wait until things are better to be able to plan my next trip!
I’m not much of a cook, but I did manage to at least learn enough to be able to eat healthy and not die of hunger. My brother and his wife are another story. My sister in law went to culinary school, and my brother has worked in the kitchen for a really long time. They often come up with really interesting dishes. Like the type of recipes that make you question the dish when you first see the ingredients, but once you try it, you realize they taste great together. Three weeks ago they made the following appetizers that I never thought I would have enjoyed, but I sure did!
Prosciutto e Melone:
Prosciutto is pretty much an Italian ham cured by drying and typically served in a very thin slice. The recipe is pretty simple, you pretty much wrap the prosciutto on a bite size cantaloupe. That is it! The sweetness of the cantaloupe mix very well with the saltiness of the prosciutto.
Watermelon Feta Salad:
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 c. cubed seedless watermelon
1 c. medium cucumber, chopped
1 c. crumbled feta
1/2 c. red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c. coarsely chopped mint
Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)
Like I said, a dish that might not look very appealing if we looked at just the ingredients, but! Altogether the mixture of flavors just works. Well, at least I thought they were really good. I also can’t say I’m picky when it comes to food either. What I really like about these two dishes is that they are very easy to make, and very refreshing for the summer!
When I lived in Moldova for almost 2 years, there were a ton of amazing people who made due with what they had. It’s the poorest country in Europe, and so some areas have it harder than others. One family taught me how to catch and cook chicken. Reenactment in a Moldovan apartment below:
At the time, it was the best source of protein available. Since that time, I’m glad to have discovered a lot more plant protein and other more humane sources of meat-like food. I’m hopeful that Moldova and other areas of the world are already making similar transitions—for the sake of the chicken, but also because it was a TON of work to do it the old fashioned way. Great memories though, and glad we get to learn and improve and progress as a human species, and find sources of food that are more sustainable & economic. Exciting times!