Last week, my boyfriend bought 5 plumcots (a mixture between a plum and apricot) and didn’t eat any. Then he went out of town for a couple of days, leaving me with slightly overripe fruit and no one to cook for. I don’t know why cooking dinner suddenly becomes so much less appealing when someone else isn’t there. I certainly don’t cook solely to please him- I love cooking, I love eating good food! So why is it so hard to make something when you’re alone? Actually, my instinct was to eat cereal for dinner or to undertake a huge culinary project like making ravioli from scratch or various fancy breads, but I figure it was nicer to share those things.
If you’ve never had dutch baby pancakes before, you have to give them a try. They are so easy to make and I love how they bake in the oven: crispy edges, golden brown and filed with whatever you want. They are quick and hassle free: no flipping, sticking or issues with overcooked outsides and undercooked insides. This one is particularly tasty (if I may say so myself). The hazelnuts give a wonderful crunch and flavour, the pears are juicy, and it is perfectly (i.e. not overly) sweet.
I was on a pancake hiatus for a very long time. Whether it was the recipes I was using or my own skill in the kitchen (I suspect it was the latter), every time I would try to make pancakes, they turned out to be a disaster. The same thing would always happen: I would cook them for what felt like an eternity and they would still taste gummy and undercooked on the inside. It usually ended up with me throwing a pancake-fit and us having to eat some sub-par food.
The food in Japan really left a mark on us. I think that it was largely because before we went our idea of what Japanese food was pretty much sushi. So, the process of discovering all sorts of wonderful food was always an adventure.
One of the most special meals that we associate with Japan is the first time we ate Okonomiyaki. We were in Hiroshima and were told by our hostel that we had to go to this multi-level building that had multiple food stations that all served Okonomiyaki, a specialty of the city. Of course, we went, and randomly chose a stool at one of the stalls. Luckily, I was able to get the vegetarian version of the dish. We sat there, watching the chef make Okonomiyaki like a pro, I can’t imagine how many he has made in his lifetime.