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Home Cooked Dinner, Bill and Yuko’s, The Witness

Friday night I got home and had almost two hours to cook up something good for dinner.  Here’s how it shook out:

I started with two pork steaks.  The steaks were a little on the pricey side for the size, but they come from Okinawa pigs, and they were very pleasantly marbled with fat and very tender.  I rubbed them with a salty BBQ rub that I got as a present from my parents way back when, and then let them sit while I worked on the veggies. 

I chopped up five onions, and got them started on carmelizing.  A little later I dropped in some cut shiitake mushrooms and let everything cook together slowly over the next hour or so.  On another burner I threw some purple and green asparagus stalks into a sizzling hot stainless steel pan, seared them for a few minutes, and then braised them in chicken stock and butter to finish them off.

I gave the pork steaks a similar treatment, this time with the cast iron skillet, and once they were nicely browned on the outside I put them in the oven to cook the rest of the way through.

The last step was to grate some Gruyeres cheese over the carmelized onions and mushrooms and then I served everything with a bottle of Spanish monastrell that we have been wanting to try.  Kuniko got home, and we dug right in.  I was pretty pleased with the dinner.

Saturday I took it easy in the daytime, doing laundry and chores around the house, and Kuniko made it home from work a little earlier than she expected so we could even squeeze in an afternoon nap.  

In the evening we went over to Bill and Yuko’s place, just on the other side of town.  It was our first time to visit, and we liked their apartment.  They had done a lot of remodeling so it didn’t look anything like other apartments I have seen in Japan.  We talked and caught up on things, and had a nice Cajun-style pasta sauce with fettuccini noodles a fresh Asian salad with those crispy little noodles that I remember from my childhood (the Chung-King brand?).  They really did a great job with their hospitality and we had a nice evening with them.

Sunday we walked out to sit on the beach for a while, did some shopping on the way home, and I finally finished the game that we’ve both been obsessing over lately, a puzzle game called “The Witness”.  It starts out as a simple line puzzle, and then gradually expands more and more into a mysterious island filled with secrets.  With hundreds and hundreds of puzzles it was keeping us busy for a long time, and I still think that I probably only finished 75% of the game, but it was immensely more satisfying than shooting zombies or other mindless nonsense.  I usually prefer mindless games to blow off stress and relax, but The Witness was relaxing in its own way.  Highly recommended. 

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