Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cassoulet de Chango (The reason I miss my oven)

Ovens are not normal kitchen equipment in Japan. Chorizo is also something I can't find in Japan... well not the kind that I like. I had to make this while I'm here in Tucson and I'm putting the recipe here for all to see.

05.21 Tucson-5
-Cassoulet de Chango
2 tins of great northern beans
1 can of veggie broth
1lb of chorizo
3 small white onions - chopped
Crushed garlic
1/4 a bottle of red wine
2/3 of a package of fresh sage - chopped

-Bread Topping
one baguette
crushed garlic
olive oil
Cook the onions, some garlic, and meat first. Once the onions are nice and clear and the meat cooked add the rest of the stuff. Simmer down. Not too wet, but don't over do it. Grill the bread in olive oil and garlic. Transfer the mix into a casserole dish, top with the grilled bread and sprinkle some sage on top. Put into the oven on low (275-350F) for a few hours (more than 2 would be best).
Whole artichokes are also rare in Japan. You can find the artichoke hearts in a jar, but not the real thing. This was Yuko's first time to eat a one. She loved it and wondered why you can't get them in Japan. I got 4 for $5 at a local supermarket, which I thought was a super deal.カスレ

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rachel, NV

05.07 Nevada-11, originally uploaded by sleepytako.

Humans: 98
Aliens: ?

Rachel is a little one street town bordering Area 51, AKA Dreamland, the secret military base where the US government developed and tested various fighter jets. Only recently did the government even acknowledge the base's existence. Since the 90's interest has grown and fallen about the base, and people have spent many hours theorizing about what went on there. TV and radio shows like Art Bell's Coast To Coast AM or the X-Files helped fuel the alien crazed that happened in the 90's. While still off-limits, the base is said to be shut down.

05.07 Nevada-10

Today, Area 51 no longer has the cultural pull as it once did, but during those UFO fueled days in the 90's Rachel and the Little A'Le'Inn became a Mecca of some sorts for UFO buffs. I had never made the trip there, but I felt it was atypical something American worth showing to Yuko on our trip. I planned this trip not only to be fun but also to help explain a little bit about where I come from: geographically, culturally, politically.

05.07 Nevada-12

Rachel and the A'Le'Inn represents many things about America, the desert, and the way I think. There's the capitalistic chance to make a dollar anyway possible--look at all that Obama stuff out now, this is the same. There's the Jeffersonian / Libertarian distrust of our government that is symbolized in the entire UFO myths and the "research" which is done over the site. There is the landscape and quirky art that comes from the desert. There's also the humor ("UFO Self Parking" or "Aliens:?") that is equally honest if you believe in UFOs or not.

05.07 Nevada-13

I was an Art Bell listener from around 1994 or so when I was in High School. He broadcast his show from the then little town of Pahrump, NV. Listening to him talk of UFOs and the desert influenced me into my love of the deserts, Nevada, detritus and the like. Going to Rachel, even for the 15 minutes we spent walking around the Little A'Le'Inn was a treat and a part of my introduction to America.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Camping Trip!

04.30 Grand Canyon_Monument Valley-22
Yuko and I are on our Camping trip

Flagstaff -> Grand Canyon NP -> Monument Valley -> Mexican Hat -> Moki Dugway -> Natural Bridges NM -> Capitol Reef NP -> Bryce Canyon NP -> Zion NP -> ?

The photos up to Natural Bridges are online at my flickr. All the captions are in Japanese, sorry about that.

Days 15-18.

04.30 Grand Canyon_Monument Valley-8