Warning: This post contains schmalzy sappy Holiday Content and is thusly rated Stupid by the blogging board of commerce and fit only for the dumpster, or for TV movies.
Ok, I suppose I did make a bit of whining and moaning about not having a 'true' thanksgiving. In my defense I just love Thanksgiving. After all it is relatively unaffected by the consumerism frenzy that has nearly destroyed Christmas. And as far as I am concerned any holiday that involves lots of food is a big hit. So with Thanksgiving Day passing with a rather paltry dinner in terms of size, I was a bit miffed. No family, no turkey, no gluttony. Nothing! Heck rather few people even noticed it was a holiday. For most here Thanksgiving was hardly a blip on the radar. One can rather understand my if not depression than certainly sadness.
What does this have to do with Holiday sappiness and happy endings? Well we had another of our montly parties on Sunday. By We I mean Myself, Jared, Johanna and the grouping of Sakae school students that we sat near at Johanna's welcome party in September. Since I was at that party, I've managed to tag along to subsequent events even though I have no real connection to the school and any of the students. Now remember that at most this was the third time I'd met these people. Yet when I told them I was leaving, they were sad, they wanted to have a going away party for me. One wants to visit me! They were full of stories about Kanazawa, both good (beautiful) and bad (colder than heck with lots of snow.)
When all assembled we trooped to a nearby restaurant for some shabu shabu. This is a dish very similar in idea to oil fondue, only with boiling water instead of oil. In the pot goes thinly sliced beef, tofu, mochi, mushrooms, and other various vegetables. After cooking, you swish your catch through a choice of sauces. We had a soy/ lemon sauce and a creamy concoction of sesame seeds that tasted rather like peanut butter. Rinse wash and repeat till full! With pots of boiling water, and for me a hot sake it made the perfect winter dish.
Afterwords we all headed out to Karoke, where I tried with mixed success to sing songs in three different languages. We all had a blast, spending over two hours in the booth belting out songs with various levels of tunefulness and good taste. Some we all sang along with, some were duets, and some tuneful solos. We brokeup before the last train, and headed home with a great night behind us. It wasn't till the next day that I realized that WAS thanksgiving, just without the turkey. We had all the proper requirements, lots of great food, fine liquer and most importantly friends. Ok while there technically aren't 'family'. We all have to pretty much be there for each other, and so in a very real sense, that is my family right now. A bunch of hard drinking hard partying middle aged Japanese women. Crazy.
The group, this photo taken at the Okonomiyaki party in October.
Where's the Beef? Right here! Looks tastey huh?
If I may say so, using chopsticks to grab small discs of slippery mochi was very very difficult. Made moreso by the sake. Also a big thanks to Jared for the last three photos of the actual event, sadly I forgot my camera.