"The scourge of pour over coffee" was a hit of nostalgia – I’ve had coffee made like that so many times, and although it is sometimes nice (Intelligentsia in Los Angeles, Ritual Roasters in San Francisco) the place where I’ve had the most pour-over coffee is here in Japan and it is usually terrible. If I wanted dark roasted blends, I would stick with Starbucks. Drinking coffee black seems to be rarer in Japan than in the US, so what is the point of the extra prep time when it’s just going to be diluted with milk and sugar? High quality milk and sugar are the real keys to success. People who fetishize Japanese pour-over coffee should all be sent cases of canned coffee so they can taste the competition.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time today reading about how to make cold-brewed iced coffee. Why ridiculous? Because all you do to make cold-brewed coffee is pour water over coffee and let it sit for a minimum of 12 hours. But, there’s always the hope that there is some magical method of making coffee that will deliver both caffeine and a magical rainbow of taste at the same time. But, no, even America’s Test Kitchen fails to come up with a fancy method of making cold-brewed iced coffee. They try, saying to start by roasting the beans, but their basic directions are the same: cold water over coffee.
It’s snowing outside, really snowing for once, so why am I thinking about drinking cold coffee? My kitchen is so cold in the morning that it turns the simple act of turning on the coffee maker into a frightening prospect. However, if I knew that coffee was already waiting for me and all I would have to do is pour, that makes weekend coffee so much easier. "Weekend" coffee because during the week I drink the coffee at school. Some days, like today, when I really need caffeine to get me out of bed, I’ll use my electric kettle to make tea.
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to cook dinner at home at least 3 times a week. So far, I’ve used my kitchen, I want to say once, but I think the number is closer to zero – I have not used my kitchen at all in 2012. I find cooking for one dreary and would rather eat out or eat peanut butter and crackers. Eating crackers for dinner feels less lonely than going to the trouble of chopping vegetables, sautéing them, and then doing all the washing up. It’s like more than 45 minutes of work for less than 15 minutes of pleasure, and since I don’t usually like the taste of my own cooking, it’s not even that. The taste issue could probably be solved by adding more salt and sprinkling on some MSG, but that would defeat the supposed health benefits of eating at home.
Tonight, I will go home and make red beans and rice. It won’t be very good, all of the ingredients have been living in the freezer for quite a while now, but it will be edible. I can always go out for curry tomorrow, or the day after that, or the day after that.
御焦げ – おこげ – okoge – burnt, toasted rice
And slang for a woman who hangs out w/ gay men. That’s rather unkind. (the steamy way to dinner)
とにかく, Yakitate! is the anime mentioned in the article. It’s cute and funny and will teach you how to make bread in a rice cooker.
Okoge is also a 1992 movie. Unfortunately, like so many pre-2005 Japanese movies, it’s not on DVD and not easy to find online.
My coffee maker is gurgling strangely, it had better not be anything serious. I have gotten hooked on the after dinner cup of (decaf) coffee.
One of my goals for this semester is to clean/organize my bookmarks. At some point, about a year ago, I just started bookmarking pages, no folders, no Delicious, nothing. The only exceptions to that horrible habit were the pages I used to study for the JLPT.
Stuff about food: I’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of animal products I consume – the Vegetarian Times vegetarian starter kit (pdf) is pretty helpful with that. I was a vegetarian from about 16 – 26, but I was a bad one who ate only potatoes and cheese. This guide is pretty useful, although it does contain some lies, for example, “Brown rice, gently seasoned with herbs and lemon and sprinkled with chopped nuts or sunflower seeds, is a perfect dish.” No. “Brown rice” and “perfect dish,” no, not really. Anyway, next time Vegas has a rainy Sunday (ha!), I’m trying their peanut butter cookie recipe.
Before I start reading any more recipes, I should probably buy some measuring spoons. I’ve spent the last 5 months using a soup spoon and guessing.