Don’t assume I’m not excited about the move to Kankokumura just because I haven’t written about it much – I’ll have you know that I’m thrilled, thank you very much. I’m telling everyone I meet, from confused students to fellow partygoers to the members of the absolutely delightful book discussion group I joined this week. Yep, just about everyone and their Mama-san knows I’m super psyched about the move, and now you do, too. What’s not to be ecstatic about, after all – a brand new thick-walled apartment more than twice the size of my current one at perhaps half the cost?
Well, there’s the move itself, I suppose. It all goes down this Friday and the preparations are underway, more or less. I’m demolding the rubber grout in my bathcubicle, filling bags of garbage daily, weighing the moving options – Kuro Neko or overpriced cabs? – completing the steps of the Carnitas-begun movement to get my internet connection moved to the new place, and culling heaps of ripped and unsuitable clothing to donate. Of course, there’s also the food – the squirrel hoards of canned and packaged goods I’ve bought and forgotten in my makeshift pantry over the year. This, I say, is a job for The One Burner Cookbook, and so shall serve as a tidy little epilogue to the one burner cooking madness. Amid suitcases stuffed to the gills, I sift through my packets and cans and rack my plumb-tired little brain for the Last Hurrah.
That is a cup of sake in the front, with the pink label, fresh several months ago, from the 100 yen store, in case you wondered.
Bechamel, Asparagus and Prosciutto Tortellini
1 package of Bertolli cheese tortellini, gifts from an August care package, never eaten due to the erstwhile gluten-and-dairy-free diet
1 carton of milk
several stalks of asparagus, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 package of 100 yen store prosciutto, or ‘raw ham’
1 pat of butter
several heaping teaspoons of rice flour, leftover from the gluten-and-dairy-free diet
salt and pepper to taste
Cook tortellini in salted water until tender; drain, dump into a bowl and transfer said bowl to the microwave, where it shall lie in wait. In another pan, on the one burner, melt a pat of butter while cutting asparagus and ham directly into melted butter with kitchen scissors; gently sautee asparagus and ham until cooked. Begin to add spoonfuls of rice flour and dollops of milk, heating and stirring until desired consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the until-this-moment dormant tortellini. Mix gently. Serve alone or with extra grated parmesan cheese, pepper and basil from your friendly windowsill basil plant.
Vegetable Dregs Curry
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 package of 100 yen curry roux
Several stalks of asparagus
Half a carton of 100 yen mushrooms
1 package of 100 yen potato and carrot curry mix
Half a leftover onion
1 package of 100 yen frozen green beans
2 packets of 100 yen brown rice
Refer to the Original 100 yen Curry recipe, only substitute scrap, leftover vegetables for the meat.
Pasta e Fagioli
3 cans of cannelini beans
1 clove garlic
Half of an onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 package of ditalini pasta
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 package of 100 yen spinach
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan cheese
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pot much bigger than the one in Liv’s kitchen. Brown a whole, unpressed, unmashed clove of garlic – discard. Add diced onions and carrots. Sautee, while mashing two cans of cannelini beans in a bowl far too small for the task. Add bean mush to the sauteed onions and carrots, as well as two cups of water. Also add the remaining can of whole, unmashed beans. Stir. Slice a tomato into strips and add to the pot, as well as the spinach. Bemoan the fact that your spinach is not escarole and that you have never been able to find canned chicken broth, with which your soup might be much tastier. Bring it all to a boil anyway, adding salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Add pasta to the soup and allow to cook. Serve hot, with sprinklings of grated parmesan cheese and pepper. Make enough to save – this soup is always better in the following days.
Wait. A can opener says what?
Sauteed Onion and Carrot Dinner
A tablespoon of olive oil
1 carrot, diced
Half an onion, diced
Heat olive oil in a pan, adding diced onions and carrots when the oil is hot enough. Sautee. Realize you’ve got no can opener and that your delightful plans of using up cans of cannelini beans to make a gorgeous bean soup on a blustery winter night are trash. Witness the carrots and onions beginning to burn. Take pity. Eat with your wooden spoon.
Just about packed now.