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weekend: kayaking and Japanese cooking

I took a basic flatwater kayaking class on Saturday morning at a local lake. The weather was warm and sunny, and the lake turned out to be rimmed by beds of blooming water lilies and blue heron, along with the expected geese and ducks. We learned the basic kayak paddle strokes and then wandered around the lake, passing by anglers in little electric-motor boats and families picnicking on shore. The lake has a boat rental that unfortunately operates only May through August. The weather around here is most pleasant in the spring and fall, so that rental season doesn't make sense to me. Next weekend I plan to take a more in-depth kayaking class that should qualify me to go on kayak outings with area groups. At that point I expect to be in full kayak-coveting mode. :)

Saturday evening was a DC United match and some hanging out at DC9 with guests seelevarcuzzo and Justin.

Our local tea circle got a private Japanese cooking class on Sunday from one of the chefs at Sushi Taro. He started out making dashi from scratch—i.e., shaving bonito flakes from a hunk of katsuobushi. The simmering broth smelled wonderful. He proceeded to demonstrate cutting up a flounder, from scraping off the scales to making delicate sashimi slices. Of course, the knives he used were really solid and sharp (and expensive). In the end, we had a mini-feast of soups, sashimi, and a little maki roll wrapped not with seaweed but with a paper-thin sheet of cucumber. I think I might try making miso soup starting from bonito flakes (I understand whole hunks of bonito is essentially impossible to find in the U.S.), but the fish stuff is too advanced for me, and there are lots of easier things that can go into miso soup.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 11th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
Mine was through the county Recreation & Parks Department. It was a short, sweet, basic intro for recreational kayaking. It didn't include the "wet exit" or "paddle float re-entry" maneuvers that the Chesapeake Paddlers Association requires participants to know on all outings, even on calm-sounding bodies of water like the Occoquan Reservoir.
Sep. 12th, 2006 08:42 am (UTC)
I stopped eating bonito after I saw this one shop making them by sticking a whole dried out husk-o-fish through a nasty grinder. *shudder* Plus the way bonito wiggle around on top of hot okonomiyaki freaks me out a little.
Oct. 4th, 2006 03:26 am (UTC)
Try making the soup
I think it's so funny that I ran across your journal, I just made miso soup for the first time last night. I highly recommend making it yourself.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )