I moved away from my hometown 1 1/2 years ago and started living completely on my own in Japan. I teach at a high school and two middle schools. I didn't cook at all for my first year here - it took me that long to figure out the grocery store! Also, it's boring to cook just for yourself, especially when bento are cheap and combinis are everywhere...but, eventually I made enough friends to start inviting groups over now and then, and I bake for my students when they pass their tests.
Besides cooking, I love all sports, especially horseback riding, running, and my newest obsession, judo! I started last year with the team at Kitsuki High School, and I'm good enough now that I can finally beat the middle schoolers! Yay! (Trust me, there is Nothing that keeps you humble as well as being knocked down by a 12 year old who's half your height and weight...hehe)
My favorite things to cook
DESSERTS! I love to bake, and more than that I love to bake for other people! So, living on my own has been tough. But this year I've made some good friends who love trying out my (sometime failed) experiments. It was touch and go at first, since kitchens here don't come with ovens (the Japanese even make cheesecake on the stove, and one of my friends somehow figured out how to make cookies on a fish broiler). My oven is really an overgrown toaster, so the cooking times are always off and stuff in the back cooks faster. It's been a challenge, but a fun one!
My favorite family cooking traditions
THANKSGIVING! I love Thanksgiving dinner. This year I did it on my own for the first time...I guess the only really special tradition our family has is forgetting the biscuits in the oven every year and burning them. (THREE BATCHES this year!! >_< )
My cooking triumphs
Oh. Well, the aforementioned Thanksgiving dinner ~ it was tough, I won't lie...I had to order a turkey from the FBC (they don't eat turkey here) and get one that was under 8 lbs because nothing bigger would fit in my "oven", but it was turkey! I also made deviled eggs, homemade biscuits, salad, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and apple crisp. I had a dozen people over and the Japanese now love Thanksgiving, too! :) Next challenge, July 4th BBQ~!
My cooking tragedies
Hmm, probably the black bottom cupcakes I tried the other day. The batter tasted so good, but the end result was mediocre at best...kind of bitter and I think I overcooked them a little. They were a lot of work, too! It'll be a while before I get up the nerve/desire to try those again, but someday I will.