i'm not the greatest cook in the world and have never claimed to be. to be truthful, i'm not even that interested in it. the whole process is so tedious. a true sisyphian test. u have to plan, shop, prepare, cook, eat, clean up, then do it all again, and again, and again. it is endless. if i could cut out the rest and just eat i'd be in heaven.
so with this rather (outrageous to some) view in mind, it is mind-boggling what i will do to entertain myself without The Family around. last week i managed to watch a cooking show on tv for over 1 hour. an older woman was presenting, and she had a younger, apprentice-like girl with her, whose role appeared to consist of nothing more than pronouncing 100 different variations of 'hai'. they were baking some pastry-type thing so there was a lot of mixing involved. in fact, that's all they really did but the older woman managed to pull it off without pausing for breath and gave a running commentary the entire time. what the hell is there to say about mixing flour, sugar and eggs together? it was absolutely extraordinary, yet oddly gripping.
if u'r a foodie, u would hate the kitchens here. for some reason, ovens are not the norm and a kitchen consists of a Huge sink, like a laundry sink (no water-saving rules here), a microwave, and a gas cooker with two burners and a grill. v similar to what u'd take camping. suits me fine as i can only cook pasta, although i do miss my baked cheese.
i find this unusual as the japanese produce the most amazing food and food is the national obsession. perhaps they think things are impermanent (living on a fault line and all) so don't invest in appliances that are large and cumbersome and may end up falling into a huge, gaping hole in the earth when the big one hits.
but as most kitchens are quite small, perhaps it's just about the space.