We went to the grocery store and saw this package of what appeared to be some fish parts and it said "nabe" which means pan. That meant it was for soup. Anyway, when I got home and decided to make the soup I opened the package and what had been hidden is that I had two fish tails and a fish head! The heads had been turned downward so you couldn't see the eyes and the tail fins had been tucked so you couldn't see them either! My what deceptive marketing!!!! But being the adventurous person that I am I decided to cook this up anyway. The result: okay fish broth but the worst smelling kitchen ever! I did make the soup and it was allright but I will NEVER do that again since the stench was just not worth it. I still think the house smells bad.
Okay on to something else. The next day (Thursday) we were invited out to eat with one of the sisters in the ward and the Relief Society president. We went to this restaurant that I think was VERY expensive. They served this exclusive meal that was top quality:
It had lots of food but not too big of portions. The rice was in these little bowls that had some other things (fish and vegetables) in it and had been cooked in the cast iron bowls so the rice was just a little crispy on the bottom. It was called tamameshi. It was served with miso soup, a couple of pieces of sashim (raw fish), some tempura shrimp and veggies (batter fried), a bowl of noodles, and probably something else I haven't mentioned. By the end we were stuffed and it was SO good.
On Saturday morning we went to a town about 30 minutes away to do service at the temporary housing unit. We ended up making the soup for people living there:
Those big pots above held the soup and others helped clean the temporary housing units which are lived in by those displaced by the tsunami and many of them are older. The people who volunteered were from the Church in Tokyo and they were instructed to help them deep clean and talk to the people. The picture below shows some of the units. It is hard to tell in this picture but they are not separate units but are hooked together and each family has only a small living space.
There was tons of sushi, salads, meats, tempura, strawberries, and desserts. Unfortunately, I am feeling rather large after this week's feasting.
BUT I am sure you will be interested to know that my FAVORITE of all this week still has not been mentioned! We walked 2 miles to a small vegetable shop in the downtown district and bought a large head of lettuce. I have not really seen that here before. Anyway, this lettuce was so crisp and juicy and made the BEST grilled chicken salad I can remember. It was topped off with red pepper strips, mushrooms and green onion and caesar dressing. It was by FAR my favorite food of the week (some of you are laughing because you know I love grilled chicken salad!). Calvin will probably disagree because he loves sushi and other Japanese food but I can have my opinion too I guess. I am now looking forward to many more salads here in Japan!
OTHER NOTABLE NOTES:
* I loved getting out and walking this week. I have decided to stop complaining about the weather here. It has started to warm up (it is usually at least 45 degrees!) and at least we aren't freezing in our apartment either.
* I took some banana cake and cookies to institute class on Wednesday. Everyone loves refreshments and around here they gladly take home leftovers. The funny thing is that they are convinced I cook American food although I get everything off the internet and buy all the ingredients here. Plus hardly anyone cooks from scratch around here.
* We felt the 6.8 earthquake this past week. It was actually quite a ways away from here but we did feel it. It was not that strong but the unusual thing was it lasted over a minute. Most earthquakes we have felt don't last more than 10 seconds. Then that evening we felt 3-4 more small aftershocks. That is also unusual because there aren't usually more than one a day.
* We are going to the Tokyo temple and Costco this week. Stay tuned!!!!!!!