"Meri Kurisumasu" as the Japanese say. If you are in Japan during Christmas, it may be a holiday in the States, but it isn't here. In fact, all the excitement takes place before the "Big Day".
Couples have dinner together on the Eve. Satoshi and I have done this a couple of times since moving to Japan, but there is zero ambience, especially if you go to a restaurant which is popular with the younger crowds, not to mention, the food is very overpriced.
There was one Christmas Eve dinner where Satoshi was sitting right across from me and we couldn't hear what the other was saying because of all the chatter.
Another thing that is overpriced during Christmas are the cakes. Outrageous prices for 6-inch or 8-inch cakes made by well-known pastry chefs!
So anyway, here is our Christmas tree. A gajumaru (banyan), I picked this up at the 100 yen store, maybe a year or so ago. And when I bought it, it was less than half the size, I even cut it once to see if it would stay small....look how big its gotten.
Since Christmas falls on a weekday this year, and Satoshi doesn't get the day off. We decided to have our Christmas dinner tonight.
I made some barbecue shrimp from a recipe that Nate gave me. (Thanks Nate!)
Barbecue Shrimp adapted from Ruth Chris' Steak House Waikiki Beach
10 shrimp peeled, deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sake
juice of one sudachi (lime)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
several shakes of Tabasco
several shakes of cayenne pepper
several shakes of paprika
1. Wash shrimp, peel, discard shells.
2. Heat pan, add oil, cook shrimp until just done.
3. Remove shrimp, add sake, reduce volume by 1/2.
4. When sake is reduced by 1/2, worcestershire, tabasco, cayenne pepper & paprika.
5. Shake pan well, cook 1 min., reduce heat to low.
6. Add butter to pan.
7. Add shrimp back, toss well to coat w/ butter & heat.
The shrimp was delicious, very tasty with a little kick from the chilies and went nicely with our tender, wagyu steak. I also tried making a matcha (green tea) yule log cake but that didn't work out, so it turned into trifle. Still, we had a nice dinner and I have lots of dishes to wash....
Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! Tomorrow is a holiday...the observance of the Emperor's birthday.
(photo taken at Herbis Ent in Umeda)