The kitchen is almost done. As I write this, I have one more day of serious work before it’s going to be fully operational, wanting only a day or two of cosmetic finish work (molding, trim, and paint). The new stove is like a Lamborghini; everything that used to take meaningful portions of an hour now takes mere minutes, countable on the hand without the spoon. It came in on time, and within acceptable budgetary parameters–meaning that various material/hardware expenses (and I went to the hardware store and/or lumber yard every day) didn’t exceed 5% of the total.
To celebrate, even though the island is still just covered in 3/4″ A/C plywood, we made a feast from some of the bounty acquired at Mitsuwa, where we stopped for lunch and a big shop on our way home from Newark airport. We got lots of Washugyu beef and Berkshire pork for future meals (see tomorrow) and tons of staples in the form of bottled and dried ingredients. And sake.
Last night’s dinner was in three courses, because I was energized by both the sight of the finish line and the quality of the new goodies. To begin, some luscious, artisanal tofu that I would tell you all about but for the fact that every single thing written on the label was in Japanese. Fresh, silken circles of delicate deliciousness, it was. I made a sauce using fresh sea urchin puréed with usukuchi (light soy sauce), rice vinegar, a tiny dab of smooth peanut butter (since I find that uni have a slightly peanutty flavor) and sake with the alcohol burned off. It made for a very pudding-like, seductive dish, especially for those members of the family (everyone but me) who do not love sea urchin. It’s funny, but “slimy orange invertebrate gonads” aren’t that much of a selling point. Go figure.