Just a heads up to those of you who are wondering when the heck I am going to post a new recipe already around here. There is a new, summery recipe by me on The Japan Times online version  today! The Japan Times  is the largest English-language daily paper in Japan, and I’m happy to say that I will be writing for them occasionally about - what else? - Japanese food and cooking. The theme of this one is using food to combat natsubate, the Japanese term for “summer fatigue” or “summer lethargy” - a common malaise in most of the country, where it is unrelentingly hot and humid until about mid-October. The recipe is a very easy one to put together, essentially a meal salad with soba noodles as the base. (How to cook and rinse soba noodles properly .)
Here’s an alternate shot of the salad:
It really is delicious, if I do say so myself!
I worked on the recipe before I was hospitalized, but had to finish the article itself while I was still there to meet the deadline. That meant taking the photo of the dish too. So, I had The Guy make the components at home and bring them in a cooler to the hospital, where I could arrange and style them and photograph them. A nurse came in while I was doing this - I was cutting up extra shiso at the time if I remember correctly - and I had to explain that ce n’est ne pas pour manger, c’est mon travail! (It’s not for eating, it’s for my work!) Fortunately it was not Madame Méchante , but one of the younger laid-back nurses, and she just laughed. Phew!
It was one of those moments when I realized that I may just be turning into a real Food Writer; who else would be crazy enough to be styling a salad in a hospital, with an IV drip in one arm, a vacuum hose dangling from my back. Surreal.