Little girl 790 xxx
photos by george billard

12.17.10 Turning Japanese

Cold weather means hot pots which means trips to Mitsuwa, the Japanese superstore in Edgewater, New Jersey. It's on our way home from the city, and we take special delight in our visits there. For one thing, they have the most spectacular soft-serve ice cream in flavors like green tea and black sesame. I'm especially obsessed with the sesame, which is a murky purple color and so smoothly, sweetly seductive you could almost swoon. The enormous store contains aisles of ingredients—from produce to rice to fresh seafood—as well as kitchen tools (rice cookers), a bakery, an extensive sake selection, and several small restaurants serving udon, ramen, katsu, etc. In short, it's tough to get out of there in a hurry. You'll find yourself examining 10 kids of miso and 20 kinds of soy sauce. I have discovered wonderful quick-cooking brown rice; little jars of yuzu kosho and shichimi togarashi; and fresh chrysanthemum leaves. As I've mentioned before, I highly recommend you delve into the world of hot pots. These one-pot meals are super healthy, warming and hearty, and ideal for one or two people.