Sushi Nakazawa

Our indulgent dining continued tonight, as tonight was the last night my friend would be in town. She’s flying back to San Francisco tomorrow. She was extremely generous with us and insisted on treating us to have the omakase at Sushi Nakazawa, a very popular and hard to reserve restaurant where the chef was actually an apprentice of the famed Jiro of Tokyo. While the food and service were excellent and notable, it was a bit annoying that a) they said they usually do not allow men not wearing long pants to dine there (Chris was wearing long shorts that exposed half his calves), b) they served Chris’s sake in a stemmed wine glass (“because we are here in America,” the white server said with a smile), and c) why were absolutely none of the servers Japanese at all? The only Japanese staff we saw were the sushi chefs at the counter.

Presents from Paris

Chris came back from his week-long trip to France and surprised me with Jean-Ives Bordier butter, the famous butter churned in the Brittany region of France that is known for extremely high butter fat (well, all of France is known for that), grass-fed cow cream (resulting in yellower butter), and inventive flavorings. Last October when we went, I packed gallon-size ziplock bags and foil in anticipation of purchasing these special butters and bringing them back home, and it was so worth it. When we tasted these on bread, it was life-changing; the quality of the butter was unmistakable, and the taste could not be compared to anything I’d had here before. This time, Chris brought back five different flavors: smoked salt, which I’d loved and bought the first time, citrus olive oil, seaweed (or algae), espelette chili, and buckwheat. It will be a challenge to figure out how to use each of these, but I suppose the first step would be just to taste them on good bread. The buckwheat butter is especially strange, as the only thing I could think of doing with it would be to top it on pancakes or spread it on muffins.

Wedding catastrophies

Tonight, I had two chats with two different prospective photographers I’m considering hiring for our wedding. One question I like to ask photographers is what is the craziest thing that has ever happened in a wedding that they did not anticipate, and how did they handle it (from a photography perspective). Tonight, I got an answer I wasn’t that prepared for. Usually when I ask this question, I really mean to ask if any spiffs happened with family, if family members were uncooperative with the photographer in getting the family/friends shots, etc. Tonight, a photographer told me that the worst thing that ever happened at a wedding was when one by one, each of the reception table centerpieces caught on fire because of the flowers hanging too low above the tea light candles. The bride had hired a florist who wasn’t experienced with doing weddings as a way to save money, but when the florist made the arrangements and placed the candles around the vases, she didn’t realize she was placing them ominously close to the flowers. So they all caught on fire. As a word of advice, she said to me, try to make sure you hire a florist who is very experienced with wedding florals and arrangements.

And of course, this light show was not photographed.

Late mail and photo cards

During our time in the Southern Hemisphere in December, we set up mail hold with USPS. In 2012 when we did this, we had no problems, and on the first day we arrived back, our mail was already in a big bag waiting for us at the front door. This year didn’t go so smoothly. This time around, the mail arrived a week late after I called USPS and the local post office almost a dozen times altogether to complain and demand that the mail be delivered as originally requested. Frustrating, but I suppose it’s better late than never.

In the mail, I received three “happy holiday” photo greeting cards from each of my three cousins. This is a regular thing that they will be sending probably for as long as they live (or aren’t wrinkly, maybe). This past year, Chris and I sent a few photo greeting cards but limited it to just a few people we thought would appreciate them..and I guess my relatives. It made me wonder whether we will be that family who, once we have children, will send these photo greeting cards, year after year. I tend to keep these because I generally always keep cards and photos for sentimental reasons, but how many of these actually just get tossed every year? Who really appreciates opening and receiving these things? Are my cousins going to keep the ones that I send?

For some reason, I am strongly doubtful.