I think Nigella Lawson is amazing. Any woman who can make drinking tea in a dressing gown look sexy is an inspiration. In her cookbooks, she writes that all cream used in recipes is double cream unless otherwise specified (it’s never otherwise specified). She endorses using shop bought pastry for pies. She believes in buying disposable containers to cook messy puddings in. If it there existed a religion that worshipped her chocolate brownies I would be the high priestess.
A girl has to have her heroines.
So only a half a week into this little venture, Tamago and I have settled into some semblance of a routine. Because Tamago is at work in the evenings teaching English to cranky Japanese businessmen, I, Moon Tan, the ‘little woman’, the wee Australian lass, am left to take care of dinner. Not under pain of death or anything, Tamago has said on numerous occasions that I don’t have to cook. But I can only stare at my Japanese and TEFL textbooks for so long before I have to scream. So I have taken it upon myself to have a crack at using our little kitchen. Initially I thought, “no problem, I cook at home in Australia all the time. I’m no Nigella Lawson sure, but I have definitely cooked edible, and some have even said tasty, food in the past”.
So a few days ago I set off on my first excursion to the Japanese supermarket down the road with a list in my pocket, a spring in my step and hope in my heart.
Foolish foolish Moon Tan.
For starters pretty much everything in Japanese shops is labelled in Japanese. Shocker. I wasn’t sure if I was buying cooking oil or vinegar, sugar or salt, pork or cat (for the record, I elected for neither in this case). For seconders, there is a lot of food that I have absolutely no idea of how to cook. Sardines for example – who knows how to cook sardines?? No-one from where I come from that’s for sure. I’m sure Nigella has a recipe but even I have some doubts about her ability to make tiny little beady eyed fish appetising.
There are a few familiar faces in the aisles of the supermarket however. Old El Paso has indeed taken over the world and taco kits are available for purchase at my local supermarket. There are also packets of pasta and jars of bolognaise sauce available which was immensely exciting. These two revelations alone will ensure we won’t starve. I even found Milo, which was hellishly expensive and lastly, and perhaps the most comforting thing of all, nestled between the powdered green ocha (Japanese tea) and the instant coffee I discovered a navy blue box containing a variety of Twinings teas. Lady Grey, English Breakfast and even Darjeeling. Nigella would have been proud.
Tonight I’m going to try my hand at Nigella’s very own Spanish omelette recipe, Japanese style. If it’s not a complete disaster, pictures may follow…