Hey everyone! I have been wanting to write a blog post about this topic for quite some time now. As some of you may already know, I have been learning how to speak and read Japanese for the last few months.
With that being said, I am definitely hoping to make my dream vacation a reality someday (hopefully soon). I would absolutely love to take a trip to Japan, specifically Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.
Of course, this trip would need to be between one to three weeks in length, as I would want to thoroughly explore the cities, popular destinations, and family-owned restaurants. I would love to try the authentic foods, including takoyaki, taiyaki, onigiri, and udon. I specifically love their arcades and claw machines, so this would take up a good portion of my vacation and my spending money!
While parts of Japan are highly advanced in architecture, transportation, and technology, I would still like to see the traditional aspects of this beautiful country. I would certainly dedicate a full day or two to seeing the temples, country-side, and traditional art (including shodo). It is the mix of the new and the old that intrigues me, as I believe this culture balances both quite well.
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!