PLACES (of the earth & mind)

Happy Birthday Mom!


John has a little garden on our balcony. We are hoping to have a full salad someday. Our neighbor Lauren feeds her garden with a super-secret Barry-Bonds elixir, and she has already had some fruit! We are going the organic route.




our salad may have to be pepper-free



When I moved to Hanover, New Hampshire, my junior year of college, I gained about 20 lbs in three months. There is something about being in a new place that cultivates the hunger in me...I like to explore with my palette.

Accordingly, we have been eating out...a lot. Meals in Okinawa are generally "family-style" and individual dishes run about 500 yen - about $5, so it's not a bad deal to eat out once a day. Except for my waistline. So, I started cooking. Or, more precisely, UN-cooking.

As a devotee of Raw cuisine, ever since Camilla worked for that crazy nameless raw food chef in Santa Monica, I love to create raw dishes. I found a great website of a raw food chef named Ani Phyo:
She has a DVD, and you can even see her prepare some recipes online.

This is a pic of my version of her apple pie recipe, which I've been eating all day - uncooked, vegan, delicious. Here's the link to the video on how to prepare it:

(Nikki, I know you feel the need to post something degrading to vegetarians - please resist if you possibly can)



Last night, we were joined for dinner by Eri, John's friend, and a native of Okinawa. Her English is quite good (having lived in Hawaii for several years). I didn't realize how rife with idioms and slang my speech was until trying to communicate with Eri.

We ate at Chatan, a restaurant that overlooks the East China Sea. She wanted us to experience some real Okinawan food, because as it turns out, we've been eating Okinawa-Japanese-American-hybrid food all this time. For example, "taco-rice," a local favorite, is really just taco fixin's served on a bed of rice. DOH! I should have known.

So, we had her order some over her authentic faves for all of us to share. The papaya salad was pretty tasty, so was the bitter melon and tofu dish. For dessert, we had an ice cream parfait with okinawan cookies, which taste like a less-sweet version of really good gingersnaps. Yum.


Apparently the tropics are not always....tropical. It got quite chilly here over New Years. As you can see, it took a fuzzy ear-warmer and Uggs to get me out to the driving range. John and I took videos of our respective golf swings, but I don't think that I'm ready to upload such embarrassment just yet. However, Captain Ron and Corey will be happy to hear that my swing has much improved since my Thanksgiving 2006 foray into ice-golfing. By the time Corey and Andre make it out for a visit, I might be able to keep up. John, however, had some fantastic shots, despite his Happy Gilmore-style swing (that’s what happens when you play hockey for a decade and a half).

Here’s a lovely shot of the rough seas by our house.