11th May 2019: Narai


On this day, we took a cute two-car train to Narai.

The train to Narai, waiting in Matsumoto

Narai is a former post town: a place where travellers would stop for a break in their journey along one of the routes connecting Kyoto with Tokyo.

It is also exceptionally well preserved, with the appearance that a Westerner expects from “old Japan”: a quiet high street, low wooden houses, panels, and archetypal Japanese implements and ornaments everywhere you look at.

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Self isolation, week 3: anything goes!

Pumpkin, cauliflower and korean bacon ramen

We used to do most of our grocery shopping in the shops in the area, but since the ‘outbreak’ and the ‘lockdown’, it all has been really messed up, with shops packed with people but devoid of food.

Now that most of our fresh food shopping comes from erratic and unpredictable home deliveries, and is complemented with whatever we can find when we venture onto the shops once a week, we’ve had to “change our paradigm”.

Or in other words, instead of going from recipe to ingredients, we’re now going the other way: here’s the ingredients, what can you do with them?

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Fideos soup (sopa de fideos)

Whenever we feel under the weather or just in search of some comfort, I channel my inner grandmother and cook a traditional Spanish stew: puchero.

Puchero in the pressure cooker
Puchero in the pressure cooker

This is a traditional “value for money” dish, as it’s easy to cook, relatively cheap, and the leftovers are also used for other dishes. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving ?

A classic on Sundays pretty much all year long (except when it gets hot!).

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