Every evening since the tsunami hit Japan, I have been watching the news and reading newspapers. Throughout the day, during class breaks, I read online and constantly follow the plight of my fellow humans. It sounds strange to say but it's true. I have been watching the videos, watching the people on the ground, watching stories of hope, love, loss and most recently, stories of fear about the nuclear crisis compounding an already grave situation. It one of the first periods in history where we have such constant, abundant, shocking, detailed and almost instant coverage of such a catastrophe. I could not take my eyes off of what was happening right in front of me.
It made me remember a few things, left me to ponder others and lifted my soul. It made me remember that nature is a force that has been relatively gracious with humans so far. It made me remember that no matter how advanced we are, our things are flimsy. It left me to ponder the ramifications of such a catastrophe and how other countries facing similar situations in the future will go about "safeguarding" their people. It also lifted my soul in the most magnificent way. It was seeing people being kind to one another, helping one another, giving their last piece of food to an elder, waiting patiently and harmoniously in long lines and most poignantly changing their greeting of Konnichiwa (hello) to We are all in it together...hang on ... that did it.
This little gesture of humanity filled my eyes with joyous, compassionate tears and connected me with all these people on the other side of the world. My fellow humans. Still sounds strange. Still true.
We are all in a fragile place right now. We are all in it together...hang on ...
Traditional Japanese Nagamono ながもの (Udon) noodles for good luck
Here is what you need...
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 lb. wheat flour
- 1 cup of warm water
- 4 cups dashi stock
- 2 tablespoons of shoyu
- 2 tablespoons of mirin
- scallions, sliced thinly
Here is what to do...
- Dissolve the salt in a cup of warm water, stirring a little to help it along. Then mix flour and water, adding a little of each at a time. Once a doughy consistency has been reached, take out and on a floured surface, knead until soft.
- Place in a bowl, cover with moist towel and let it sit for one hour. Then knead once more, cover and let it sit, once more, for a half an hour.
- When ready, dust a large smooth surface with flour and roll the dough to a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Dust the top of the dough with flour and fold in half gently so as not to have the dough stick. Then cut the dough, folded, into 1/4 inch strips.
- In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a rapid boil and then lower the noodles in for about 10 to 20 minutes or until they are tender (stir periodically with chopsticks to make sure they aren’t sticking).Once the noodles are tender, drain through the colander and rinse gently in cold water. Make sure to shake of excess water and to rinse the noodles until they are completely cool.
- Now add your dashi, shoyu, mirin and scallions and send all your good wishes to all those that need them.