Hear the Coke Fizz

Rat’s favourite food was pancakes, hot off the griddle. He would stack several in a deep dish, cut them into four neat pieces, then pour a bottle of Coke over the top. The first time I visited the Rat’s home, he had pulled a table out into the balmy May sunlight and was hard at…

Kafka’s on the Stew

  She ladles hot stew onto a plain white plate and carries it over to the table. There’s a bowl of salad, too, tomatoes and greens, and a large loaf of bread. There are potatoes and carrots in the stew. The fragrance brings back fond memories. I breathe it all in deeply and realise I’m…

Mmm, this is a tasty burger!

Your recent letter was a pleasure to read. The passage on the relationship between hamburger steak and nutmeg was especially well written, I felt: so rich with the genuine sense of daily living. How vividly it conveyed the warm aromas of the kitchen, the lively tapping of the knife against the cutting board as it…

A Sandwich Made in Heaven

“Thinking about lunch. Smoked salmon with pedigreed lettuce and razor-sharp slices of onions that have been soaked in ice water, brushed with horseradish and mustard, served on French butter rolls baked in the hot ovens of Kinokuniya. A sandwich made in heaven!”

She cooked me some prawns, isn’t it good, Norwegian wood?

In the evening, Midori did some shopping in the neighborhood and made dinner. We ate tempura and rice with green peas at the kitchen table, and washed it all down with beer.  “Eat a lot and make lots of semen,” Midori said. “Then I’ll be nice and help you get rid of it.”

Omelettes on the Shore

The large off-white fridge was packed with food. Muttering to himself, Nakata checked out everything, finally taking out some eggs, a green pepper, and butter. He rinsed off the pepper, sliced it into thin strips, and sautéed it. Next he broke the eggs into a bowl and whipped them up with chopsticks. He pulled out a…

Let’s Dance (and eat spaghetti)

  I munched on the celery and thought about what to have for dinner. Spaghetti. First slice two cloves of garlic and brown in olive oil. Tilt the frying pan on its side just so, to pool the oil, and cook over a low flame. Toss in dried red peppers, fry together but remove before…

A Very Controversial Beef and Green Peppers Stir Fry

  The meat and vegetables were ready and waiting, so that I could cook them the minute she came in. Not that I had any great feast in mind: I would be stir frying thin slices of beef, onions, green peppers, and bean sprouts with a little salt, pepper, soy sauce and a splash of…

Get Jazzy with Pizza

  She took the pizza out of the freezer and popped it in the oven, then brought the Chivas Regal out to the living room table. While she opened a bottle of wine for herself, I selected a few tapes – Jackie McLean and  Miles Davis and Wynton Kelly – and pushed the  PLAY button…

Bourbon and nibbles à la “Hard-boiled Wonderland”

I made myself a big Old Crow on the rocks, flash-broiled a block of atsu-agé fried tofu, and topped it off with grated daikon radish to go along with my drink. I offered her a drink but she wasn’t interested.       “Could I have a bit of that atsu-agé, though?” she asked. I pushed…

Breakfast, Hard-boiled Wonderland Style

I put some water on to boil, took tomatoes from the refrigerator and blanched them to remove the skin. I chopped up a few vegetables and garlic, added the tomatoes, then stirred in some sausage to simmer. While that cooked down, I slivered some cabbage and peppers for a salad, dripped coffee. I sprinkled water…