We knew we were in the right place – the parking lot was packed. Our son and his wife had told us they like Ichiban for sushi and Japanese food, so we thought we’d give it a try.
As we were seated in our little booth at Ichiban, with cubby holes for our shoes, and a well for our feet, we looked at each other and had the same thought – how is it we have never been here before? We love this place, even upon entering. Friendly greeting, gracious service, full of people eating plates of delicious food, nice atmosphere – how did we miss Ichiban?
There is a stylized salmon design on the tabletop; a sure winner for a gal from the Pacific Northwest. I can hear Japanese being spoken in the kitchen, and the food . . . the food is the closest I have come to food from a little Japanese restaurant in Seattle. They even have salmon teriyaki on the menu, and bento boxes! I am in heaven.
We had a pot of green tea, and we ordered bento boxes.
If I have one tiny complaint, it is this: there is too much food! Each Bento box came with a full sushi roll. This is the California roll:
I had the bento box with chicken teriyaki. It came with a good sized bowl of miso soup, which I love, cucumber salad, an asparagus salad with shrimp on top, an egg roll and two delicious little fried beef dumplings. Everything was tasty. Each taste was separate and delightful.
AdventureMan ordered the Bento Box with Shrimp Tempura:
There was so much food! We ended up bringing home a lot of salad and our main courses. I’ve never seen so much food in a bento box.
We are impressed that Pensacola has such a great Japanese restaurant. No wonder people are keeping it a secret!
I love it that on their menu, they have Sushi for Beginners. 🙂 If you have never tried Japanese food, Ichiban Pensacola is a great place to start. They can guide you on some menu choices, and make sure you have a delightful initiation. If you already like Japanese food – see you there.
We have most everything put away now, a real pain in the neck, but we keep in mind that it is not as much a pain in the neck as losing everything, or having to hack a hole in your own roof to escape a flood which completely ruins a house so you have to rebuild and live somewhere else while you are rebuilding. It’s even a lot easier than having a window or roof or garage breached, and the resulting damage from wind-driven rain, or just sheets of rain.
Today has had higher gusts of wind and frequent showers, and an occasional breakthrough of Pensacola sunshine.
We know how long it takes to put on our window protection – and take it off. We know how long it takes to clear all the potential flying objects out of our backyard. We know a couple vulnerable points, and that it’s going to be expensive to get a fix big enough to give us complete protection. It’s a gamble.
Here is something else I know, very valuable.
I know that I can keep hot coffee and hot water HOT for five days.
This great thermal jug from Qatar had coffee still warm after five days – not hot, but warm.
This little thermos from Starbucks kept coffee very warm, but not hot:
And this is a large thermos/ server I found in Kuwait and used for three years for large groups of ladies. Six years later, it is still working great. I poured boiling water into it on Sunday night, and on Thursday afternoon, it was still almost boiling hot. It was hot enough you can use it to make soup, which is just what you need to be able to do when you have no electricity and need to fix something that can warm you up.
This is another wonderful recipe I found on allrecipes.com. My sweet daughter-in-law told me about allrecipes.com, and once I signed up, they started sending me recipes every day. Not all of them are of interest to me, but most of those I have tried have been really good.
We LOVE this soup. It is delicious, and easy to fix. While it is an African recipe, we find that many of the most delicious Southern dishes are similar to African dishes, probably because there were so many African ex-pats brought to the USA and settled in the South a few hundred years ago. Their legacy lives on in Southern cookbooks.
African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup
• 1 tablespoon good olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 pinch ground cloves
• 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
• 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
• 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
• 1 pinch cayenne pepper
• 2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
• 1 bunch fresh chopped cilantro
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes.
2. Pour chicken broth into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add peanut butter.
3. Remove the soup mixture from heat. With a blender wand, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Stir in fresh cilantro. Serve hot.
Woke up this morning to more wind and grey skies, occasional rain, more of the same. We are still in an outer band – as is South Carolina, LOL. This storm is going to effect a lot of states before it finally clears out.
These warnings are from Weather Underground, my favorite weather site.
High Wind Advisory
Syria is heavy on our hearts, and in our helplessness, we honor our Syrian friends by trying a Damascus dish, Tabak Rohoo.
Although we did not manage to empty the cooking pot by sliding the completed dish out still in layers (a challenge for the future), this dish was so delicious that we plan to have it often. AdventureMan was amazed; he doesn’t even like lamb, but this lamb is delicious.
It is hard to imagine that this dish might be even better if made with ghee. We substituted a very good olive oil. 🙂
The recipe is from allrecipes.com, where I find some of the best recipes ever 🙂
A Vegetable Stew – Tabakh Rohoo
SUBMITTED BY: ALMALOU
“This is an Arabic vegetable stew made in layers and served with steamed rice or bulgur. My Damascene sister in law recently showed me how to make this. It is delicious. The addition of ghee or rendered butter at the end of the cooking is a traditional Damascene style of cooking; however, these days these dishes are made without the extra fat.”
1 Hr 15 Min
1 Hr 35 Min
• 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
• 1 pound lamb meat, cut into small pieces
• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 pinch ground cardamom
• 2 onions, sliced
• 1 potato, peeled and sliced
• 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cubed
• 1 pound zucchini, thickly sliced
• 2 pounds tomatoes, cubed
• 1 chile pepper, chopped
• salt to taste
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1/4 cup water
• 6 cloves garlic
• salt to taste
• 3 tablespoons dried mint
1. Heat the ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Place the lamb meat in the pot, and cook until evenly brown. Season with allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom.
2. Place a layer of onion on top of the lamb in the pot, followed by layers of potato, eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. Do not stir. Place the chile pepper in the center of the vegetables. Season with salt. Mix the tomato paste and water, and pour over the vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour, until vegetables are tender.
3. With a mortar and pestle, crush together the garlic, salt, and mint. Mix with 2 tablespoons of liquid from the pot, and pour over ingredients in pot. (I used a mini-jar on my blender. I tried the mortor and pestle, but there was a lot of stuff and it was messy and unsuccessful. The blender did just fine, and this mixture is essential to the delicious nature of the dish – Intlxpatr)
When removing the mixture to the serving dish – a fairly open or wide bowl – tip the pot and let it slide out the side so that it stays in the layers.
Hurricane Isaac – for Pensacola – has turned out to be not so much. Yes, there has been high water, due to the ceaseless winds pushing water onshore. Yes, there are some bursts of high winds. Yes there are some heavy showers.
We’ve seen worse, we’ve had worse storms. The think about Hurricane Isaac is that while there is nothing you can put your finger on, he is like that annoying guest who stays too long. He is hanging around, and we would like to get on with our lives.
Example: Our grandson’s school is still closed, and our son and his wife need to go to work today. Fortunately, AdventureMan and the Happy Toddler have a great relationship, and AdventureMan has made a plan to introduce him today to the public library, it’s treasure trove of childrens’ books, and that you can take them home – but you have to take them back. We hope the library is open today! We don’t know! It’s just annoying and inconvenient, these are minor things, not the great huge overwhelming problems that Plaquemines Parish is facing with their huge guest who insists on hanging around. Huge and slow, just the size and duration is causing expensive and life-threatening problems.
My plan for today is to put the heavy things back on the walls, mirrors I didn’t want to replace, framed art-work and hangings I didn’t want damaged if we were hit by the hurricane or tornado. Yes, there are still tornado warnings. No, I am not so worried.
At 6:30 this morning it was hot and humid. At 0900, it is still hot and humid, with occasional showers of warm rain. Aargh. Thanks be to God, no flooding in our house, no breeches in our defenses. We’re ready to move on. We’re ready for this to be over.
We’ve had some squalls, wind and rain, but at noon the skies are blue with some clouds, the wind has dropped, and we decide to see how things look. Many are closed and boarded up, few are open. Our favorite lunch spot is open:
The sun is shining, but it is weird:
As we are eating, we learn that Isaac has now been declared a hurricane. We decide not to drive over the two bridges to the beach, but we take a look downtown and take the Bayshore Route home. The downtown marina is almost entirely empty:
The pelicans are enjoying a little surf:
Over on Bayou Texar, you can see that the water level is very high. The piers in the park have totally disappeared, and our favorite restaurant, the Oyster Barn, is underwater – oh NO!
This heron is happy to have the pier all to himself, until a local fisherman comes along and scares him away:
These people have temporarily lost their dock on the Bayou:
Now back home, the sun is hidden by the thickening clouds, rain falls in flurries and we can hear the wind whistling down our chimney. We are glued to our TV’s, keeping up with what is going on in New Orleans and Louisiana. It looks like the eye may be heading west of New Orleans, more toward New Iberia.
As we were out last night, we saw this gathering of trucks. They are not Gulf Power trucks, or at least they don’t say Gulf Power, but they sure look like trucks pre-positioned to take care of wind-driven electrical outaages. It’s very reassuring.
The weather is very warm – lows in the high 70’s, highs in the low 80’s – and the air is drenched with humidity. An electrical outage is hard on an Alaska girl like me, who hates stale warm air. It’s also hard because this weather is ideal for mosquito breeding, and mosquitos head my way when given any access. Let’s keep the electricity flowing and the air conditioning running!