It feels cold here today. Cold in Brittany, near the sea where I live, equals a damp cold that defies the actual thermostat. Technically, I’ve lived in colder areas where snow is commonplace and negative temperatures are the norm in winter. When it’s damp, the cold penetrates to your bones no matter what you are wearing. It’s the fall/winter version of a Washington, DC summer. Visiting the American capital, everyone will tell you, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” The truth of this statement is immediately obvious. I woke up this morning and it felt like fall–damp, and thus chilly, windy and clear. I biked into town to take Elise to her play group and I was cursing myself for not wearing gloves (or bringing a thermostat full of hot chocolate with me)!
All of this has me making soup, eating (too much) cheese and thinking about hearty food. Sukiyaki is a classic Japanese winter dish. I know it’s technically fall but why wait? This is the first card Evita ever sent to me. She told me that since sukiyaki is an expensive dish to eat out, most families make it at home. It is sometimes referred to as a “fondue japonaise” here in France. Eating any kind of fondue-style (savoyarde or bourguignonne) dish in a restaurant tends to be pricely here, so it is easy to believe Evita’s comment. Each person picks the food directly from the pot and eats it after dipping it in the bowl of raw egg you see on the card. I would love to try sukiyaki but I admit that I need to get past the idea of dipping the food in the raw egg. I know it’s a mental block–I’ve certainly eaten raw fish before but I have trouble with eating raw meat and eggs (unless I’m licking the bowl after making a cake). It’s a shame that the only Japanese restaurant near our house is limited to sushi, maki and yakitori. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat everything I just listed but there’s so much I want to discover out there.