Starting The Big Food Thing

Announcing the big project to continue moving forward:

I obsess over food. Are you like this, dreaming up menus, wanting to throw more dinner parties, and exhausting all the total span of food-documentaries found on Netflix and Amazon Prime? It is nonstop foodies podcast over here! For all of my wanting to pursue food writing like never before, I am diving into a focused food project. I call it EAT・EN.

 

Clear background EATENPicture one place to showcase the hearts and stories in Japanese kitchens, the soul behind a menu, the detail involved in a single skill, and the people, old and young, Japanese, Korean, American, Indonesian, blends of families with traditions all of their own, the desire to conjure new memories here in Japan. Preparing tea and sweets with traditional tools. Making the picnic meals we relish under cherry trees. I want to hear the stories and peek into the places where food happens, the memory of grandparents making omurice, fluffy omelet, not overcooked, nestled over ketchupy-rice with carrots and diced chicken for eight-year-old you.

Japan is more than sushi, but it is also digging into more of the stories of a family who have worked their sushi shop over forty-years. With the help of some translating friends and eager listening, I’ll take us there.

ACS-2928

Japan is old; it’s neighborhood udon shops and the ojiichan weighing his flour on the scale, centered in the window like a painting while plum blossoms tap the pane. Japan is new; it is first tea crops and discovering a cocktail of pear with Nihonshu. It is more Michelin stars than anywhere in Europe.

IMG-0023

With EAT・EN, I will walk my hungry, curious little self into Tokyo’s kitchens, from the tiny, single-range apartments with barely-a-fridge, to sumptuous café counters, or homes with busy moms bustling and older couples slowly stirring. I am taking down stories, writing-out basic recipes, and capturing some of the steam and laughter on video. I am recording the soul of our kitchens, the heart of who the cooks are in heritage, culture, language, and style. It’s coming!

I call this EAT・EN, as EN means “connection” & “tie” in Japanese. I also am referring to the past tense of EAT, as in “We shared a beautiful meal; all of the yakisoba and pickles were eaten.”

ACS-3517

Please be on the lookout for our big website reveal soon!

Advertisements

Finish What You Start: A Primer & Battlecry

“Finish one thing before going on to the next,” we often hear. “Put away the first toy before you take out another activity.” Simple, right? This is how we train children so they do not become the manic, high-wire creatives we are who cannot focus on a shoe long enough to get it tied.

We teach our young ones to manage their brains as they manage a room or a shelf. We were all taught this, mostly. And yet, look at how many tabs or files you have open on this computer or phone. The world has shifted to become the place where you manage pulls and tugs from 6,000 directions, “notifications” if you will.

I have new ideas, new projects, and ventures, (Learn to make pasta! Interview every Michelin chef in Tokyo!) but I cannot seem to clean up the first toys. As a (novice) writer managing children, household, and ideas, I still have loads in Grammarly, loads in Word and now Pages files that I cannot move. They have to sell, but they’ve sat for so long! They are projects with what can feel like inordinate amounts of steps.

If my essays and pitches were muffins, they’d be scientific gateways to finding new drugs and cures. They’d have mold. They’d have died in a dumpster years ago.

ACS_3539

So. New move: I make the new dough. I form recipes and pour them into tins. I bake. I use what is available now to me in this season of spring–AND, because I am still the manic, night-owl creative, I will take the seed, the beautiful thing that was my starter and I will move those pitches, the interviews, the book reviews that I did not know how to handle or sell and I will, L-rd willing, see me develop what I need: the perseverance of a three-year-old. I will do it! Maybe we simply need the positive pressure of new things to finish up the good starts from before. Or maybe some things just happen simultaneously.

ACS-3503

ACS-3452

Welcome to the locker room of a thirty-nine-year-old writer and mama perpetually hungry and currently on crutches, mostly nursing my sprained ankle in bed. I hope it’s been fun. Say, can I get some more coffee?