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Dr John Hawkins

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Hard Work

Posted on 2006/01/17 14:37:08 (January 2006).

[Monday 16th January]
It had been quite a while since I had done a full five day week at work, what with all the Japanese public holidays around the start/end of the year. This marked the start of the first five day week for almost a month in fact. I was not deterred by this however, and determined to put in a really hard day's work. I was pretty proud of what I had achieved by the end of the working day, although whether this will be appreciated by the powers that be remains to be seen. So anyway, I ended up leaving work quite late - by my standards at least - around 7:30.

Yuka, Chie's sister, came for dinner in the evening, which was really nice. It did however mean a continuation of the hard work theme after leaving the office. I rushed back as quick as I could, ran round the shops to buy all the stuff I needed, and the moment I walked through the door went straight to the kitchen, where I busied myself for over an hour trying to make a nice dinner for the girls.

Cooking in Japan is still not easy for me, both the available ingredients and the apparatus present all sorts of difficulties when compared to what I am used to in England. Today I wanted to make lasagne, but this is pretty tough going without a proper oven! So I decided instead to make a sort of plated lasagne instead - making a tomatoey and cheese sauce as usual, but boiling the lasagne sheets, and then assembling an individual "stack" on each plate. Considering all the difficulties with which I was faced I thought I did a pretty good job of it really.

Comment 1

They don't use oven for their cooking...? Hard to conceive! Is everything boiled or sauté?

Posted by Sheri at 2006/01/17 16:08:14.

Comment 2

Yep you're spot on Sheri, just about everything is effectively boiled or fried... Oh and sometimes they have a little grill thing, which gets used on occasion... but I have never seen a proper oven in a Japanese home. Many microwaves seem to have an "oven function" but this is generally really ineffective, and not useful for any serious cooking, especially given the size.

Posted by John at 2006/01/17 23:57:58.

Comment 3

I can't get used to this gas oven in France either. It burns everythiing on the bottom, even on the lowest setting. And the silly flimsy suacepans they use on the hob tip all over the place.
The grill is in the top of the oven so you have to bend down before it spits in your eye (apologies to Flanders and Swan of "Mud, Glorious Mud" fame for the misquote). Doing anything with a gratinee top is a joke. Give me my all-electric ceramic hob and separate grill any time.

Posted by Mum at 2006/01/18 14:21:11.

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