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Monday, February 12, 2007

Pretty slow start to the day, just called home for awhile, talked to Navina for a bit, watched Grease: You're the One that I want, etc. Since I really can't remember any details, I'm guessing nothing too exciting happened!

Peter and Hitomi were the ones who had exciting plans today, heading off to a wedding this afternoon. One of the people who has been working at Orbitune for about ten years is getting married today, so off they went to the ceremony followed by the reception. Hitomi rented a kimono for the occasion, and Peter even got into a black suit, so they were quite the lovely couple as they headed off! Pictures to come. Hitomi's kimono was really nice, kind of pinkish, and v. pretty! I think they all are! It's a bit different from the one I rented, because it has shorter sleeves and a slightly less elaborate bow in the back. I think the kind of kimono I wore is supposed to be for the 'single young adult', so hers is a little bit more practical, but of course very nice - its too bad they're so constricting/hard to breathe/hard to eat/hard to sit down in, because they're very cool looking!

Weddings in Japan are complicated! Instead of having a registry, and bringing gifts or what have you, everyone who comes to the wedding is basically expected to bring cash. Usually its 30 000Y (300$), but couples can bring 500$. And then depending on who it is, it can go 3/5/700$ (I guess best friends would bring more). You have to avoid anything divisible by 2 (so they don't split it (or up) so easily?) and at all costs you need to avoid the number four (bad luck here I guess).

The thing with the money is that it also buys YOU a present. I guess after the wedding you get your thank you for coming card, along with a catalogue of goods. You can pick a present worth about half of what you gave. Its one way of adding to your crystal collection! I can't wait to see what kind of stuff is in the catalogue they get, I'm veeeerrry curious! There's also a slightly odd tradition that the groom isn't supposed to invite female friends to the wedding, and vice versa, which is really unfortunate - a lot of people have close friends of the opposite sex, it would be terrible if you couldn't invite them to the wedding! Anyway, when I find out more about the wedding, I can post some details - not sure if it was going to be a 'white' wedding, or not, and also no idea how a reception typically works - dancing, cheesy toasts, etc? No Idea!

As for me, I went muffin crazy today! The prerequisite for that was groceries, which of course, was an adventure. I went to a new grocery store (new to me, not actually new), which turned out to be a mistake, but anyway, it all started out OK - I found most of what I was looking for, and decoded 'vinegar' by using my keitai dictionary to find the kanji for it. There were lots of kinds, but the the kind I got seemed to work out OK - I was getting it to make buttermilk, since you can turn milk into buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to every cup of milk. It's a handy trick to use when baking because, let's be honest, no one keeps buttermilk in the fridge, but especially good to know here, when I wouldn't have the first clue how to look for buttermilk, let alone whether or not you can even buy it here.

Anyway, when I got to the checkout, the guy was asking if I had a card, and I was like 'no', because I didn't have a club card. I think he also asked me if I was going to use a card. Which I said no to (no is maybe not the best stock answer!). Turns out that they don't accept VISA. What kind of biggish grocery store doesn't accept credit cards? This is why a lot of people don't leave the house without 100$ cash on them! Even when digging out my backup 'need to get on a train or buy juice' Y500, and adding it to the other cash I had in my wallet, I could only scrape together 5900Y. Of course, it was 6200Y worth of food. Cause that's not embarrassing or anything! A couple of 'just add water' lunches lighter than I'd originally planned to be, I came home and set up muffin shop.

I have no idea why, but I really wanted to make muffins today, so I made three kinds (as you do!). I made a batch of low fat banana muffins which turned out pretty well, and then two kinds of savoury muffins which are soooo good! The first one has oatmeal and sausage in it, and the second kind has corn and pork in it. You can get really really nice cuts of thin meat here, so I got some pork and cooked that as a substitute for the bacon which was called for in the recipe. It turned out really well - I used kernels of corn as opposed to cream corn (again, no idea if that's something you can find here), but I think it turned out really well. There is now a mountain of three dozen muffins in the kitchen, and I'm very full! Muffins for dinner!

I'm just watching some Friends (it takes exactly one episode to bake a perfect batch of corn and pork muffins) <-- that's not a flavor you hear every day! And waiting for the 'kids' to come home. I felt like a mom sending them off to prom or something - taking pictures of them all dressed up outside the house before I let them leave, and then heading off to the grocery store to come home and bake muffins.

Oh good God!

D. - who is clearly 45 going on 20

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