steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Pigs, Chickens and Snakes, Oh My

Yesterday I made oyakodon for the first time - a dish involving chicken and egg on rice. Which came first? The chicken, of course, with the egg being added just for a minute or so at the end.

The name "oyakodon" (親子丼) hides a slightly macabre joke, since oya (親) (parent) and ko (子) (child) refer to the relationship of the two main ingredients. But I like its straight talking, compared to, say, "pigs in blankets", which really ought to be called "One pig wrapped in another pig like something out of Silence of the Lambs but without any lamb in it".

The recipe book came from Haruka and her mother, who also sent me yuzu-themed bath supplies and some rather cute cat-shaped chopstick rests. Pullman figured large elsewhere in my haul, with both The Book of Dust and his essay collection. The latest Frances Hardinge was there too, and (at my request) the DVD of the 1970s series The Water Margin, a Japanese adaptation of the classic Chinese novel, the lengthy introduction to which (it begins, "The ancient sages said, 'Do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon?'") I found I could still recite some 40 years on from its first broadcast. But honestly, has anyone ever despised a snake for having no horns? It would be like despising a lion for having no wings. Only winged lions are in a position to do that.

On Boxing Day I took Haawa to Winchester, ancient capital of England but in this case also the location of nearest KFC, her favourite food, which she is sadly denied in Romsey. KFC is also, by coincidence, the "traditional" Christmas fare in Japan, and sure enough there was a young man of oriental appearance sitting in it when we went, but since he didn't speak I can say no more than that.
Tags: nippon notes, real life
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