It started exactly five years ago on a balmy Osaka summer evening. Dustin and I, newlyweds living in Japan, rode our bikes home from our late afternoon English classes and threw together an Asian Chicken Salad with Crunchy Ramen Noodles in our petite Japanese kitchen. We sat down to our creation, discussed the highlights (my student told me that because of me, she likes English and is longer embarrassed to speak) and low-points (I can’t believe I bought a huge box of cornstarch instead of powdered sugar – I couldn’t read the characters!) of the day, and then decided that we wanted to start a food blog.
We were both fairly new to cooking (fresh from college life, where we lived on quesadillas, pasta with jarred sauce, and store-bought garlic bread) and wanted to document the meals that we deemed worthy of remembering, as we branched out and tried new things, using the ingredients that were available to us at our supermarket across the street. We also wanted to share some of our cultural experiences with our friends and family back at home. I’ve always loved writing, and I was in need of a hobby that could double as a creative outlet. Deciding on a blog name was a piece of cake. Oishii means “delicious” in Japanese, and it’s what you heard whenever you were in the vicinity of Japanese people enjoying their food. It quickly became one of our favorite Japanese words as well.
Those of you who have followed along from the beginning joined us in many adventures, meals, and food-related musings.
You were there … when we acquired our first pet, a street kitten who we lured with a string, brought home, and named Arius. He helped us through the hard days when we felt overwhelmed by cultural differences, or missed our families at home.
… as we became more comfortable in our little kitchen and learned how to navigate the buttons on our Japanese oven that looked like a microwave.
… as we mastered our chopstick skills out in public and enjoyed many delicious outings with our students (in this picture I was just about to eat a piece of stomach stewed in miso at a Kushi-Katsu restaurant, specializing in fried things on sticks).
… as we shared plenty of laughs, discussions, snacks and tea during our English lessons. This was my Tuesday evening class enjoying my great-great-grandma Selma’s oatmeal cookies. They wouldn’t let me move back to California without sharing the recipe.
… as we made many dear friends, who opened their homes to us, taught us how to cook Japanese dishes, cooked us many Japanese dishes, translated labels and recipes for us, remembered and celebrated our birthdays, and became our family members away from home.
As we transitioned back to living in our own country, and settled down in Santa Cruz, California, you were there when we announced the birth of our beautiful son Levi, future foodie.
And now here you are, still reading. While I don’t post quite as frequently as I did before Levi was born, I like to think that over the past 5 years, I’ve grown as a traveler, writer, cook, food photographer, mom, and overall person. Thank you for reading what I’ve had to say and cooking what we’ve shared with you. Oishii was created to share good food (or at its beginnings, our attempts at good food) as well as meaningful commentary that gives a little glimpse into our lives. I hope you’ll continue to follow along, because there is still so much to eat, and so many experiences to be had. I’ve only just begun …
Happy 5th Birthday, little blog! I like what you’ve become.