Japan flag

Konnichiwa, Japan. I can’t wait to meet you!

It seems so long since we have had an international lunch, and I suppose it is. We were all so busy in November that we couldn’t find a free Sunday, so here we are having lunch in Japan in December.

Our menu comprises prawn and vegetable tempura, smoked salmon and cream cheese rolls, oysters with teriyaki dressing, Japanese pancakes, nasu dengaku, beef with miso mash, black sesame ice-cream and a toffee apple roll. It all sounds yum!

I’m also looking forward to enjoying our Japanese tipples. The internet tells me that Sapporo beer is better than Asahi, so I’ve got some Sapporo in. And how could I resist buying sake while I was at Uncle Dan’s?

I am really, really looking forward to the cocktail. What else would we have but Japanese Gumboots. This is a drink I used to have years ago with a friend of mine (hello, Peter!). Cointreau, Midori and lemon juice. Could there be a better combination? It is officially called a Japanese Slipper but, really! Who wants a slipper-size drink when they can have a gumboot-size drink? Japanese Gumboots, here we come!!!

Getting the factsheet together has been interesting. If we can blindly believe everything we read on the internet (we can trust the internet, can’t we?), Japan has more McDonalds restaurants than any country outside the US. This cannot be a good thing. And the birth rate is so low that there are more adult diapers sold than baby diapers. This also cannot be a good thing. Japan comprises 6,852 islands and, unsurprisingly, sumo wrestling is the national sport, although the most popular spectator sport is baseball. The fact sheet and place mat are attached below.

Our guests this time will be friends of mine from way back. Jenny is a retired school teacher who has been to Japan quite a few times, and Robert is just an all-round nice guy. Lauren, Will and the kids will be there, as will Jan. Lauren is going to write the quiz. Jan, we have to crunch Will somehow!

I have to admit to being a little worried about the weather. I have finally bought an outdoor setting, and Melbourne has just recorded its longest spring period of days with temperatures above 30 degrees (13, I think). I was worried it would be too hot to be outside. But the Weather Bureau announced today that Melbourne can expect three times the average December rain to fall on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, along with “unprecedented” thunderstorms. Ya gotta love Melbourne’s weather!!

Watch this space for my next report. We’ll either be very hot or very wet, or maybe both.

But we will have lots of food, lots of fun, and lots of Japanese Gumboots. We might need those gumboots!









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