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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A SIMPLE BUT ALMOST ULTIMATE DINNER AT 15 CRAIGSIDE

I live at 15 Craigside, where I'm provided 3 meals/day.  However, I might go down to our dining room only 25 times/month, almost all being dinners with special tables of close friends.  This seems like a huge waste of money, but one's priorities change with age, and I have chosen to Live Life My Way.  Today is a good example of my current lifestyle.

I have six postings left before Planet Earth and Humanity unbecomes a daily, plus I will shortly begin my 20th year of retirement.  Thanks to the support of the director of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, Rick Rocheleau, I have maintained an office on the Manoa Campus for almost 46 years now, and I hope to continue this status into the Year 2020, or maybe even into 2022, which would mark half a century of service to the University of Hawaii.  Whether this happens will mostly depend on my health, but, also, progress on the Blue Revolution, one of the reasons why I am still here.

Today I welcomed a faculty member from Nihon University, who will stay with HNEI for a year or so, working on an element of the Blue Revolution.  Nihon has 70,000 students with 32 research institutes and 3 hospitals.  His laboratory on their campus has 72 students.

He will be using my office as his local headquarters.  Can you believe that back in Tokyo he works from mid-morning until an hour or two past midnight, MTuWThF, every weekday night?  He says that is because he has so much to do.  

Nice to have someone actually spend time in my office, although I hinted that this will be his final chance at any kind of vacation for the rest of his professional life.  His family will later join him in Hawaii for short periods.

Here, Hiro Eto and I are having lunch at Orchids in Waikiki:


Both of us had their onaga specialty.

Having taken yet another small step for the Blue Revolution, on the way home, I decided to celebrate by stopping at Marukai, for my Tuesday night table has been dormant while my neighbors visit their son in California.

Every so often I'm known to splurge.  I considered the following:


Note that the beef is from Miyazaki, regular winners of best wagyu in Japan.  The price, after the discount, was less than $80/pound, a bargain when I usually pay around $100/pound.   Oh, you, too, can have some Japanese wagyu through D'ARTAGNAN:  11 pounds for $1,499.99, with free shipping.  You can do the math yourself.  Or try Amazon, only $549.95 for 3 pounds.

The tuna (maguro) chunks were:
  • o-toro bluefin tuna at $48.99/pound
  • chu-toro bluefin tuna at $28.99
  • local yellow-fin tuna at $16.99
The person behind the counter said that some o-toro was coming in tomorrow, but he cut a nice small sliver and made me taste it.  Yes, it was wonderful.  However, as that fish was not the freshest, I chose the chu-toro.

Most of you settle for wasabi out of a tube, including me.  I saw that $119/pound root of a wasabi plant, and decided to skip that option.

Have you ever had a Parker rated wine at 98?  This was my first, which I purchased at Foodland Beretania for my 15 Craigside lanai feast.  This is an affordable (in a manner of speaking) Alvear Ximenez Solera 1927 from Spain, where the 1927 stands for a few drops of that vintage year, which they mix into the bottle.  Frankly, I can't really tell any taste difference from a 99 to what Robert M. Parker, Jr. would refuse to drink.


My meal:


The meal was a surprise, and shows how much I know wines.  First the wine was not red, but kind of brown.  I thought, oh no, it went bad.  I carefully tasted it, and the wine was sweet.  The shock was that this Parker 98-rated wine is supposed to end dinners:


"The impressive 1927 Pedro Ximenez Solera, from a Solera begun nearly 80 years ago, boasts a dark amber color as well as an extraordinary nose of creme brulee, liquefied nuts, marmalade, and maple syrup. Huge and viscous, yet neither cloyingly sweet nor heavy, it is a profound effort priced unbelievably low. It is meant to be drunk alone at the end of a meal." ~ RP

Would have gone great with the Castello Blue Cheese I keep in my refrig.  Well, I have a lot left, so maybe later this week.

People ask me how my papaya plant is doing:


No papayas, but alive.  My basil is doing great:


And one of my mint plants has beautiful purple flowers:



I never before saw flowers on mints.  I took the glass of sweet wine, tossed in a sphere of ice (bought this device at Noritake Garden in Nagoya) and went to play poker, where I won $10 on close to the final hand and ended up ahead by $5.  Ah, life at 15 Craigside.  

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