Thursday, July 14, 2011

Two Pineapples

After unloading a bit of angst on a friend about my husband refusing to contemplate the possibility of my early departure, he wisely said to me, "At least he wants you stay! That is a good sign. I mean really what would you think if he said, 'Sure! Go, I'll see you in a year!'" It wizened me right up- it didn't hurt that when my husband came home from work this evening and I declared a "chocolate and toast emergency" he suggested I go immediately to the store while he bathed the children. I am now free to move along to an emerging interest in pineapples.

I recently asked one of the cooking mamas about the abundance of cheap pineapples in Japan. Her response struck me as humorously Japanese, "Well then they aren't Japanese pineapples. Pineapples from Okinawa cost about 800 ¥en." I nodded appreciatively wondering what a $10 pineapple tastes like if I am salivating over a $2 pineapple. Seriously, I ate the whole thing! I have been buying a pineapple a day this week. I keep meaning to make pineapple jam, but we keep eating the darn things. I am also newly impressed with jam making. I have made jam maybe five times in my life- all of those times here in Japan- so I am no expert, but the results are so divine that I can't help myself. I want a rack of jam jars, full of tasty ripe fruit made into jam, so I can make cakes with it or just eat it on my toast. "Jam and coffee or tea and jam?" that is a beautiful thought to have in the morning.

I have given some thought to the idea that jam making could be seen as a waste of time since you can buy a pretty fancy jar of jam for less than five bucks in the States. All I can think: you haven't made your own jam. It taste so good! I bought a tome of a book on making jam, The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, but I have yet to read it- it's big, and beautiful, and it feels complicated. Luckily, my cooking sensei demonstrated two tasty jams that I adore, and so I have cooked them up a few times- marmalade and apricot. I want to try making pineapple jam because it is in a cookbook, Warm Bread and Honey Cake, mostly because I want to eat the pineapple cake that is on its' cover. Step one is to make fresh pineapple jam (recipe included) just as I am in the throes of jam making; it is as if the fates are calling, except I keep eating the pineapple. Maybe tomorrow I will just buy two pineapples; it's still just five bucks for the cheap ones.

A Pineapple Frappe from Bill's
I was also thinking about Bill's pineapple frappe so I mixed one up tonight except I erred on the ingredients- it is supposed to be pineapple, melon, and mint, but I made it with pineapple, kiwi, and mint. Happily, my husband made mojitos with the mint, and I have now forgotten about the frappe incident. Perhaps though I learned something of use. The Bill's frappe may be made with a simple syrup infused with mint because after seeing my batch in the blender, I remembered that at the restaurant it did not have kiwi seeds or pieces of mint leaves in it; it was sublime. I must do more research very soon.

Stay tuned, tomorrow could be a two pineapple day.