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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PURGATORY

People ask me how can I prove I'm in Purgatory.  More people than not actually believe that there is a Heaven, and it is said you will enjoy an Afterlife if you're good in this current world.  My illusion is no more fanciful that that.  Better yet, I'm actually enjoying my fantasy, while most are anticipating what might never happen.

While retirement is probably the main reason, a flexible lifestyle is one of the joys of Purgatory.  Here were my three latest meals in my Paradise.

I decided to have lunch in downtown Honolulu, so my day began with a walk past egrets:


No, they were not on the menu, but I did wonder if this ultimate Heaven for the faithful will have gravestones, or egrets.  

I walked into Chinatown Liquor to purchase a can of $1 beer:


Further into Chinatown Cultural Plaza is a site to honor your ancestors:


Leading to 


Of course, you can't eat the koi, and I was not into their special, pig feet:


I ordered the Shanghai Soup Dumplings with Custard Tarts:


It doesn't show above, but I also had a miniature bottle of Courvoisier Cognac, which I poured into the dumpling (you first need to make a tiny hole at the top), and topped it with vinegared ginger and hot sauce.  These are not as good as at Fook Lam, also located in this Plaza.  Also lacking was the traditional layering at the bottom of choy sum or won bok (these are Chinese vegetables).

My second meal in my Purgatory had to do with fresh Matsutake Mushrooms:


Some of you have seen this item in oriental markets and wondered who could afford it.  Note the price:  $80/pound.  Matsutake is one of those ultimates in cuisine, where the highest grade can go up to $400/pound.  This is a mycorrhizal mushroom that grows throughout the world in harmony with tree roots.  It supposedly has a spicy-aromatic odor.  I detected none in the above, so mine must have been a low grade variety.  At one time Japan grew their own, but a pine-killing nematode largely ruined that privilege.

I once worked for University of Hawaii Chancellor Doug Yamamura (who was remotely related to me), and he spent weeks every summer on vacation in the State of Washington, mostly to find this fungi, but certainly as an escape from people.  He never shared even a piece with me.

Frankly, I was doubly disappointed with this mushroom, because not only was the aroma missing, but it had no particular distinction.  Added to the teriyaki beef shank, which above shows a price of $4/pound, it could have been any mushroom.  Of course, only in desperation will anyone enjoy the meat from this cut.  It is the marrow that is prized, and I wanted to combine this with Matsutake.

I have the larger Matsutake in my refrigerator, so will match it with a piece of $100/pound Japanese wagyu beef.  Will this combination magically transform this pricey vegetable into a delectable accomplice?  Find out on Saturday.

I normally have a simple breakfast of cereal and fruits.  However, on those days I walk 18 holes on a golf course, I have a huge meal, with only an apple for lunch:





These were mostly leftovers from dinner last night:  yellow-fin tuna poke (a Hawaiian marinated fish dish), corned beef/cabbage, to which I added more chopped cabbage and onions, covering an egg over easy, natto (a Japanese probiotic bean concoction)  and rice, with tsukemono (Japanese pickles, which I make), and accompanying cold green tea and spot of hot sake.

I did go golfing, walked 18 holes and saw a rainbow at the Ala Wai Golf Course.  We have a lot of these color bands in Purgatory.


The Dow Jones Industrial average.....again...broke it's all time high, up 6 to 23,563.

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