We like to eat then tell you all about it!

The FULL Gospel of NOM!

In Beliefs, Foodie, Japan, Obsession, The Good Life on 10 March 2010 at 2:35 am

Please open your menu to the first page of Bamola. Chapter one, verse one.

Before August 4th, 2002 I would just eat to eat. Who cares what it was or what is in it. Just chomp and thank God for a full belly. Gradually though, I noticed that I was slowing down in the duration of time it took to finish my meals. Something in me demanded a change, a rerouting so to speak. After spending time in Japan and seeing the appreciation the Japanese have for food, my thinking on cooking, prepping and consuming has changed. It takes me like 20 minutes to eat what would take anyone else 5 minutes to finish. I at times am kind of embarrassed that others sit and wait for me to finish like I am a child who plays with her food for the first 20 minutes and finally thinks, “oh, it’s time to go,” and shovels it all in. I actually thought my slow eating practices were because I was getting older. But whatevs.

When watching Japanese cooking shows they practically shove the camera in the food. You see the bubbles, the juices, the textures and the steam. They are all right there, amazingly enough, not forming condensation on your screen. I don’t see how anyone can not have a food fetish after leaving that country…unless you are grossed out by “exotic” foods.

Another reason why I am enthralled with the art of food is because of Tomoko. I don’t recall if I have mentioned her but some of my friends know of her and the impact she has had on my life. Basically from the first weekend I got to my little town to the very last moments I was in Japan she stuck to me like white on rice. I almost mean that literally. I am amazed at the connection you can have with people. I honestly believe (and know) that God sent me to Japan just for her. He does that you know. He’ll send a person from way across the world just to be there for you in your time of need. I was her person in the time of her need. Anyway, Tomoko was a nutritionist in my tiny fishing village of Koza. Her life was food back then. Though we started off with a language barrier we grew to understand each other through food, English (she said she couldn’t under my Japanese hardly at all), travel and cooking. Sometimes though we’d have an understanding without any words being spoken. I found that fascinating!

Tomoko and I would go to restaurants that would have 10 courses. We even went to a Buddhist temple for lunch one icy winter. When traveling we’d get a travel magazine and look up famous places to try, too. We went to Okinawa and ate champuru (I got the non-bitter melon version). The chef/owner was gracious to us and even signed Tomo-chan’s book. She wasn’t giving that up for nothing!! We also had hibiscus juice~ yeah from the flower! I didn’t like it. She did though. Because of her, I even had whale pizza. THAT was a unique experience. Funnily enough with her and some other friends I had raw horse…and with another friend I had raw chicken. Geez, this listing is kinda getting to my stomach! I’ll move on!

Aside from a conversation in a tiny NYC restaurant with a friend and Tomoko’s love for food, I can only attribute my delight for noms to the love of colors that I can see AND taste. Actually, I mean because of all that I just stated that I had the greatest desire to have a food blog (and work on my photography skills). Tomoko would always grab her digital camera and take pics of her food. I thought it quirky but I followed suit. Interesting what happens when you pick up your friend’s hobbies.

In Japan, nothing is like home >> my opinion. That country is the one of the most random-est, gorgeous, in tune with nature, places I have ever been. You MUST carry a camera DAILY or you miss out. Plain and simple. So, even when eating I’d take pictures. I wanted to remember the place, the food and the people. A picture captures that. My all time favorite Chinese restaurant is in Japan. It is called Matenro. It was an hour train ride but oh so worth it. Because of them I not only learned to appreciate Sweet and Sour Pork I became addicted to it. A couple of months before I left Japan I started eating it like every other day for weeks on end. It got to a point where my body broke out in a rash so I had to stop. I miss that stuff though.

Dang.

So what is all my blabbering about? Everything I listed up there has become a part of my food heritage, history and I hope legacy. I haven’t even told you about the southern soul food and British West Indian influences I have in my home (probably hinted at it) because my focus isn’t there just yet. I need it to be. Those foods have shaped my world, given me some sort of identity to cling to while growing up. I’ll get to them, I promise. Aside from that, I have thousands of plate adventures ahead of me. It is always a good thing to have a food buddy in your life. Meals become sacred. Restaurants are taunting mysteries until you walk through the doors and order some magic or some fail! Much enabling goes on!! I AM chief enabler! I don’t deny it! Big Hache knows (:

I think out of all this eating and enjoyment it should come down to this: Good food, good wine, good friends, and good life. This is what I strive for especially with friends and family. We should eat to enjoy!! EAT TO ENJOY. Enjoy the company of the person across the table from you. Eat to enjoy the fruits of your labor (earning the dollahs). Eat to enjoy new spellbinding tastes. Laugh! Melt over richness of the desserts or the zing some cheeses may offer. Have you tasted the ultimate in all foods every whipped up? Thus far, I have however that isn’t stopping me from finding somewhere else to top that. Will be difficult but I am gonna try. Whatever the case ENJOY what you do. Enjoy every forkful. Appreciate that you have food and that you have this life and that you have these moments to share with someone or even just with yourself. It’s what I do when cooking or eating or even cleaning the dinner plates. As long as they make food I am going to make the interaction with it and all its incarnations and peripheral subsidiaries a  pleasure, a hobby, a tiny pursuit of perfection, a necessity, a challenge, a victory, a gift…a good life lived.

“It is time to NOM!!”

So saith Zee.

el fin.

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