Using Up my Garden

Wow, I had time for one more post before starting with my Australia series!  Since I was getting ready to head out of town for a while (and Ryan is busy with work), I had to use up everything in the garden that was ready to be eaten for fear that it would go bad while I was away.  This meant that I needed to pick my first eggplant, even if it was small.
I was cleaning our the fridge, too, and discovered I had some corn tortillas that were still good.  So, I cut up the eggplant.
Chopped some mushrooms that were still my fridge.
And then chopped up one of the tomatoes from our garden.
I decided to cook the veggies in some olive oil and turn it into tacos.
I started with my pretty eggplant, and then added in my mushrooms.  I used a little bit of olive oil too.
When those were mostly cooked all the way, I added in the tomatoes and warmed them a little bit.
It was so simple!  Then I put it in the tortillas and I was ready to go.
Well, I was ready to go until I realized that I had some cheese to get rid of too.
This were absolutely amazing!  I need to make these again and again!

QUESTIONS:  Did you have a garden this year?  If you could grow only 1 thing in your backyard, what would it be?  What do you like in your tacos?

Misawa City Festival

I have big news!  It's travel time for me again, and this time I am heading south of the equator for the very first time.  That's right, I am headed down under.  Don't worry, I will be blogging about all of my adventures, including the main reason I am going, which is for the International Congress of Dietetics.  This year I decided to attend this conference, but s a result I will (sadly) not be able to attend FNCE (the Academy's big event- Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo).  However, I am more than thrilled to have the chance to meet up with dietitians from all over the world in the very exciting city of Sydney, Australia.  Australia, here I come!

But in the meantime, let me share with you this festival that took place last weekend just outside the base.  There were a few parades, but I decided to only attend one.  Last year I watched the parade with the big floats, and this year I watched the costume parade.

Here are the pictures of the various groups within the parade.  When I first arrived I walked all the way to where I heard lots of action, but then realized it was the end of the parade, so these first few pictures are of the last few groups.  Then I wandered back up the street, stopping to look at the food options, and then found the start of the parade coming back around, and watched it from there.  You may noticed that many females in the groups are not actually ladies at all, but rather men dressed up like women.  This is not uncommon in the Japanese parades.  At least they know how to have a good time.

This group was great.  They dressed like super heroes and then danced to Michael Jackson's Beat It.

This group was dressed like the big winners from the Olympics.

Here are the pictures from when I walked back up the street and looked at all the food.
These are chocolate covered banana pieces.  Instead of a whole chocolate banana, they cut pieces of the banana up and dip each in chocolate, so the sticks vary in the number of pieces, and then the price varies accordingly.
Takoyaki!  These are little batter balls filled with octopus.  This is a very popular street food in Japan.
Check out this fried chicken.  It was huge!  They actually had deep fryers out on the streets and were frying up the chicken and other items.
This is okonomiyaki, which is a Japanese version of the pancake.  This is also a very, very popular street food, as well as something done in restaurants too.  You can see my experiences making okonomiyaki here.
Then I spotted a lemonade stand, which was new to the festival scene around here.
And they were serving it in little baggies.
So I got one!  Yum!
Here are the rest of my pictures from the parade.  You can see there are marching bands mixed in with groups in crazy costumes that were performing dances.

This is a replica of Miss Veedol, which was the first plane to fly across the Pacific from Japan to the US.  It left from Misawa so it is famous here.

This float is carrying Americans that were smiling, waving and greeting the crowd by saying "konnichiwa", which means good afternoon, or generally speaking, hello.

These little kids were so cute and did a great job.
This group was dressed as Tinkerbell.

Here are some med dressed as women.
Here is the Misawa ice hokey team.
They were pulling the goalie around on a piece of wood on wheels.
Next up are Sumo wrestler costumes.  Um, so you can probably guess what my next picture is of.  Scroll quickly if you don't want to see.
Sorry, I just could not resist!

He came over to see some of the kids sitting near me.
Here is a group dressed like fire fighters.  I have no idea if they are real fire fighters or not, but it is possible.

Yes, there is a gentleman wearing a long sleeve shirt that looks like he has nice muscles.  It was pretty funny.

This group was really cute with their dance.
This guy had just jumped out from the pink ball he was hiding in.
Again, some men dressed like women, dressed like apples.
That was it for the parade, and after 2 hours at the festival, in the heat, I decided to head home.  but not before grabbing a small bag of these little pancake puff balls.  Yum!
That is it for the festival, and like I said, I am headed to Australia soon, and I will be keeping up with my blog while I am there, but I will be delaying my posts some, as I usually do.  I probably won't have anything posted until early next week.  But make sure to check back because I promise I will have lots of fun travel sights and foods to share with you.

QUESTIONS:  What was the last costume you dressed up in?  Are you a lemonade fan?