About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sushi and Such

Back in prehistoric days when I was in my twenties, I went out to dinner at one of the most famous Japanese restaurants in downtown Vancouver. You know, one of those places where the chefs prepare the meal right in front of you while swinging their knives around and flames shoot out from under the sizzling food. Well, my dinner was so awful that it turned me off Japanese food and I never had it again until, well, about a year ago.

Last year, my friend Suzanne (from Arizona) and I met in Los Angeles for a week-long winter escape. After a few days there with other friends, we drove to Stallion Springs, a little place just east of Bakersfield, to stay with her Mom for about 4 days. The nearest town is Tehachapi and the three of us went out for dinner one evening as a thank-you to her Mom for having us. They love Japanese food so I went along, expecting the worst. But...lo and behold, it was actually quite tasty. Ironic that I had a good Japanese meal in a California town with a Mexican name!


Anyway....my daughter loves sushi and she's always wanting me to go with her. But, I've told her I won't eat raw fish so forget it. But one evening about two weeks ago, we were passing a little hole-in-the-wall cafe in my village and she said, "Let's go get sushi." I said I'd just sit with her and have some tea but wouldn't have any. Well, needless to say, she talked me into it and again I found that it was quite good. She ordered "maki" which is what most people know as the rolls...you know, like California rolls or other such with different foods inside. Daughter didn't tell me that the salmon was raw in the ones I ate until they were all gone!

So tonight we decided to go out for Japanese food again and I would try something different. We each had what was called a "Happy Dinner Box." Included was miso soup, chicken teriyaki on rice, 6 California rolls, prawn and vegetable tempura, and 2 little spring rolls. Well, I enjoyed it but couldn't finish it all. I wasn't fussy about the miso soup and the chicken wasn't the best quality but I did like the teriyaki sauce. I only ate about half the dinner and brought the rest home to have tomorrow.


Daughter ordered 2 Nigiri tuna (raw tuna) tonight, too! She gave me a piece and insisted I try it. I thought I wouldn't be able to get it down or I'd throw it all back up...but it was just sort of tasteless to me. So, if I were hungry enough (like I found myself on a deserted island with nothing to eat but the fish I caught with my bare hands) I'd be able to survive. Other than that scenario, I think it'd be a waste of money.

I think I wasted a lot of years thinking I didn't like Japanese food. It must have been a fluke that the dinner I had back then turned out to be so bad. I think the meat must have been "off" because everything I've had since then has been very tasty.
So who likes sushi? tempura? teriyaki?

23 comments:

geewits said...

This is so strange! Just today I was discussing Japanese food with my hairdresser. I told him that I thought all Japanese food was either overly bland or overly salty. He said I should go to one of those "cook at the table" places. I told him that was where I had gone (this was in the per-sushi years). Sushi just looks disgusting. The truth behind all of it is, when I was in my early 20's I sold commercial exterminating contracts. I would inspect a place and give them an estimate for monthly exterminating. Of all the restaurants I inspected, the most popular Japanese restaurant in town had the nastiest kitchen I had ever seen. They would have been closed down had they been in my home state (North Carolina). I hope Vancouver has stricter health department standards.

Casdok said...

It always looks so pretty, but cant say i am a fan.

geewits said...

ha ha! "Turning Japanese" just came on the radio and I thought of this!

Hootin' Anni said...

You go for it! I am not a sushi girl. Around our house, if anyone wishes for caviar or raw fish we show 'em the way to the bait shop. rofl [just kidding]

Just dropping by today to send along my heartfelt thanks for such a lovely happy birthday wish! Y'all made my day so special yesterday, and I cherished every single wish left in my comments. You're a treasure!!! Thank you kindly!!!

Country Girl said...

I've been a big fan since I first tried it 8 years ago. We have a couple of excellent sushi places near my home and sometimes during the week, it's one of the things I look forward to most on a Friday night.

It's just so fresh, so good, and it makes me happy. I love sushi, but my husband won't even try it. (His loss).

Ruth D~ said...

Raw fruit and vegetables is as raw as I go. Fish? No thanks. Still, Leslie, if I went to have a cup of tea while you ate, I just might try a piece.

Liz said...

I've never had Japanese and I think I'd be like you. But if I didn't know what I was eating maybe ...

Pear tree cottage! said...

Well, down here we have streets filled with Japanese restaurants and chinese as well, so seeing as one of our little grandsons and grand daughters live very close to them in Melbourne (our city) they have grown up eating it and they love it and so do I.

My husband likes to take them to work for lunch if I make them (yes I have to kit to do that) but we prefer cooked tuna, avocado, chicken or smoked salmon in ours not raw fish, fish goes bad very quickly and I would never risk that in a lunch box!

Leslie, keep a look out for your post.......well in about 3-10 days who knows how long they take it is always different.

best wishes Lee-ann

leslie said...

Ruth, having a cup of tea with my daughter was how I started. Tried a bit and found it was okay. But the raw fish? Fogeddaboudit.... :(

MedStudentWife said...

*lol*... there is actually a sushi place in Tehachapi ?

Fidel & I were there, passing through travelers a year plus ago; passing through from a friend's place in the desert. Had we known.....

We love sushi. (all we got was a trip thru town & steak/pasta)

It may not be your cup of tea, but if you are ever in London, Ontario - visit Wonder Sushi.

Great food, all you can eat in 90 minutes for $21.00... may sound pricey, but the sushi is good & given ala cart prices in most places, you think you haven't eaten your $21.00 full, but you do.

Each time Fidel & I eat there.. we are just busting !!!

By the way ~ What did you think about the Tehachapi wind farm (s)?

leslie said...

Hi medstudentwife it was quite something to see all those windmill thingies in the stark desert! Talk about a small world and 6 degrees of separation! :D

granmal said...

Can't say that I've had any of the three - I'm a little chicken on the raw stuff.

meggie said...

I love Japanese food! We have had the cooked at the table type of meal, & also the little dinner boxes & sushi rolls etc. But then I have long eaten raw fish, prepared by Maori friends, & also Raratongan friends.
I tend to like all Asian style cooking except perhaps curries of Indian style, though I do love their vegetables.

Smalltown RN said...

for years I told myself I didn't like sushi...my sister and her husband loved it...they would go for sushi every Friday....and then for Dim sum on Sundays....I thought they were so exotic....finally at one of her gatherings she had this huge platter of sushi....I don't know what got into me...maybe it was the wine...but anyhow....I tried it...and what ever it was I ate...I really enjoyed it....I still don't really like the raw tuna....but I love the California rolls, my hubby really like to experiment so he gets me to try things....but you are right...for some reason we get it in our heads that we don't like something....only to find out we do....cheers my friend...hope you had a great weekend...

starnitesky said...

I am glad you enjoyed your Japanese meal. I have never yet tasted Japanese food - maybe one day!

Thank you for visiting my Blog - it was good to hear from you.

Isabelle said...

Thanks so much for sympathising with my nasty cold! Good advice, but I don't think hot toddies go with big piles of marking...

How nice to see your blog - and to see my name on the side. What a surprise.

I must go and mark now, though. Who would be a teacher? (mind you, the holidays are good...) I'll be back!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Leslie. I am allergic to any sort of fish but I loved your descriptive writing in this post.

Lynn said...

I am one of the few people who doesn't like Japanese food especially their raw foods. I'm not sure but no one was able to convince me up to this time to try them.

I'm here coz I have a tag for you. I am not really sure if you do tags but I thought of tagging interesting recent visitors in my blog. If you're not into it, that'll be alright, Leslie. :)

Lynn said...

Oh by the way, here's the link to the tag.

Tai said...

I adore it all!

I've found that when I have a questionable experience with food (or anything, really) I'll try it a second and third time just to be really sure that I don't like it. That way, I know for sure and don't always wonder!

Middle Ditch said...

I have never had Japanese food, but your story how your daughter hid the raw fish in a roll brought back a lovely memory.

I am Dutch and one Christmas my husband, two daughters and I visited my family during Christmas. We went to see my youngest brother and his wife amongst a whole lot of relations and my sister in law rustled up some real yummy, typical Dutch, snacks.

My husband tucked happily in beef tartar without realizing what it was ( he hates us Dutch for eating raw fish and meat, which is quite normal) and I watched him really enjoying his tucker. Shall I or shan't I, I thought, but my sister in law beat me to it. You should have seen his face!.

david santos said...

Hello, Done Leslie!
Great menu Japanese and good food.
Really beautiful.
Congratulations

Y-Maeda said...

Hello nice to meet you.
KO-N-NI-CHI-WA (^_^)v
I am Japanese.
I saw your wonderful site.
Please link to this site !
【Website】http://food-of-japan.blogspot.com/