Because I’m Awesome!

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

For the next couple of months I’m going to be the designated dinner maker for Grendal and his parents from Mondays to Thursdays.  This is mainly because Grendal’s father has classes that would keep him out until after ‘dinner time,’ and Grendal’s mother doesn’t really like to cook(or so it seems).  To save money Grendal isn’t taking classes this semester and is hoping to make some products for the family’s business so it can get started.  I’m having to fend off school due to personal issues and I’m looking for a job in a city with some of the crappiest unemployment rates. :\  I am starting to make some handmade jewelry and macrame but I don’t think that’ll cut it.

But yeah, the post’s title…..I love to cook!  When I cook anything I have to make it perfect and I’m so damned critical on myself that it’s nuts, but its also the rare time that I will be boosting my own ego and going about how awesome I am(I only say this to Grendal though).  For a while one of my dreams was to become a chef.  I watch Food Network too much and some of the food shows on the Travel Channel, like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations(the guy may be a bit of an ass, but he knows what he’s talking about).  For the longest time I would make sure to watch Iron Chef, the original not the American remake, and just sit there in stunned silence.

I can’t really say cooking is in my veins.  My father was a cook at a restaurant and both my parents have cooked for the family, but there was no drive to really explore that avenue.  My younger sister tried her hands and concocting a whole mess of things but it never went too far.  She and I help/ed my mother prepare dinner and, after a point, I was the one cooking for my parents, myself, and my younger sister.  I loved it, especially making cookies and sweets.  The one thing, though, that I wanted to learn to make was sushi.  Its only been within the last 6 years that I’ve started really eating it but my mother has made sushi for years.  I loved the smell of the rice and the sushi vinegar she made(always from scratch).  I enjoyed watching her make it and then that was that, everyone else would eat it.

My fondness for sushi making eventually evolved into a love of Japanese cuisine in general.  Living in the middle the US and about an hour away from Chicago suburbs makes it a little hard to find good Japanese restaurants or even decent Asian stores.  The one, yes one, we have in town is focused more towards Laotian cuisine than general Asian.  So in order to get some good Japanese ingredients Grendal and I have made it a point to go out to Mitsuwa at least once a year.  When we were part of a Japanese Multimedia Club at a local college we would make trips up there with clubmates.  Oddly enough while the other members ransacked the snack aisle, Grendal and I would grab a shopping cart and do some grocery shopping.  We always get some quality ramen to take home and we both have some that we HAVE to buy: Grendal has his Melon flavored drink and I have to get these little sweets filled with red bean paste!

The one thing that I found that I enjoy doing is making bento lunches.  Its a nice way to keep track of what I’m eating and getting a great lunch in too.  I do the same for Grendal and he appreciates it, though it seems his bento box may be a little small.  I stopped doing this for a while but I know I’m about to get into that kick again, more specifically, though, making Japanese style foods.  Its been present in my life for years thanks to my mother and I’ve been keeping up with it ever since I’ve been cooking.  I looked at one of my Japanese cookbooks and felt that need to delve into again.  Sure enough I found myself seeking out some old sites that I visited to get some recipe and bento ideas.  I’m starting to debate about taking pictures of my evening meals and posting them here, along with the recipe but I need to keep track of where these recipes come from! 😮  Some of them are from the internet and others would be things my mother made and I just picked up on.

Ah well.  We’ll see if I decide to do this, so be warned…..tomorrow you may see a picture of food here and hopefully it was yummy.

  1. Spring says:

    Whoa–you can *make* your own vinegar? Why have I never considered this before? Do you have a recipe?

    I can’t wait to see your pictures. This might sound weird, but Japanese food is so pretty, lol.

    I used to live in the Chicago ‘burbs, years and years ago, so it could have changed, but it seems like I remember a huge Asian store or mall or something on route 62. I think in Algonquin…? I could be misremembering though.

  2. chibivega says:

    Mitsuwa is a pretty big Asian store on Algonquin rd in Arlington Heights. If it’s not the same place than its odd coincidence, XD.

    I don’t have the recipe for the vinegar, its my mother’s guarded secret and she doesn’t want any of her girls to know. But I do know what you mean by Japanese food being pretty. I just love gawking at the pictures in cooks books and with the bento site around it just makes it worse. Seriously, just do a google image search on the word Bento and you can find some amazing things.

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