Monday, June 21, 2010

A Little Taste of Home

I may not still be considered Mexican food after I substituted so many things. I made fajitas with green peppers, onions, and chicken just fine. Tortillas and tortilla chip were a little difficult to find, but my host mom and I managed to find some. Tortilla soup calls for chicken broth. Easy, right? No. They do not have chicken broth at the store near my house. The have canned quail eggs, but no chicken broth. When I came home empty handed and broken hearted, my host mom said that they might have some chicken broth. In a cube.

I was a little skeptical at first, but it worked out just fine.

My host mom also said that we had Worcestershire Sauce (Ooster Sauce, as the Japanese call it), but instead, we had this.
Turns out Komi Sauce Deluxe is pretty close to Worcestershire Sauce.

It was when I reached the Pico de Gallo that things started to get interesting. I couldn't find Jalapenos (a bit of a shock), so I just some other spicy green peppers that looked like skinny and wrinkly jalapenos. The measuring spoons were marked a little differently (in ml; 小さじ was 5ml and 大さじ was 15ml), but I decided since the proportions were the same, it didn't matter. And so what if the garlic was vacuum packed?
It was still garlic, no matter how weird it looked.

Cumin was surprisingly easy to find. Cilantro slightly less so. I eventually just decided to substitute Italian parsley for cilantro, but I couldn't find any of that either! Instead, I found this:
Yes. That is for real.

In the end, my weird fajita experiment worked out pretty well! My host mom wasn't quite sure how to handle the fajita, so she ate her first one with a fork until she realized that everyone else was eating it like a fajita. My host family also said it was spicy, but I didn't really notice any spiciness (I thought the Japanese could handle spicy?).

Haru liked the tortillas (Haru's the dog, not my host sister. My host sister is Saeko)

Everyone liked their gifts (my host dad loves hats!)

And Haru enjoyed herself, too.


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