Saturday, December 31, 2005

Twilight Nippon

"It's not New Year's Eve without the Twilight Zone," quoth sister Lola as she lies supine on my sofa. "We could watch the Dukes of Hazzard Reunion," she quips as confirming evidence that the Twilight Zone marathon is the only way to go. I sip more champagne, I eat a mini quiche.

I think about New Year's Eve. Time for resolutions: a tradition I rarely entertain, being a rogue and a discontent. This year may be different, I prophesy. I feel the icy breath of 40 raising the fine, blonde hackles on the back of my computer-hunched neck.

2006 Resolutions: 1) I will learn to cook Japanese. 2) I will learn to knit one garment, however simple.

I Google Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing, my favorite:

Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing

1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 Tbsp. Mirin, Japanese cooking wine
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger (you can use more, but it might kick your butt)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil, dark if your store offers the choice.
3 oz. silken tofu (this will thicken it up)

Whirl in blender until smooth. Pour it into a pitcher and sit that in the freezer to chill. Above should serve a 2-3 person salad just fine.

Carrot-Ginger Dressing (Orange Goddess)

Prep time: 5 minutes
· 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
· 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
· 1 tablespoon soy sauce
· 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
· 1/4 cup orange juice
· 2 tablespoons peanut oil
· Equipment:
· Blender
In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Pulse blender until the mixture is mostly smooth, then add the oil and puree for 15 seconds. (Blending oil for too long emulsifies it, giving it a mayonnaise flavor you don't want in this dressing.)

I am inclined to try the second one without the tofu first. Mostly because I can get all the ingredients at my local Stop N Shop, instead of schlepping the extra 25 miles to the vegetarian-friendly Whole Oats food store for the special components.

Lazy. Japanese people aren't lazy. I want to be Japanese.

I drink more champagne. Shama shama!

I still haven't baked the Christmas Tree sugar cookies I promised my husband weeks ago. I tell myself that he won't eat enough of them to justify making a whole batch. And then I will feel obligated to make up the difference.

That's just not Japanese. I want to be Japanese. I want to eat Miso and seaweed for breakfast. I want to do Tai Chi every morning - outside, even! I want to rake tiny pebbles into serpentine shapes and walk the middle path. I want to watch more Akira Kurosawa movies.

Favorite Kurosawa movie: "Yojimbo"
Only other Kurosawa movie I've ever watched on purpose from beginning to end: "Ran"

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