Went to the Farmer’s Market today. Bought some loose leaf camomile tea and local Seto drip coffee. Sensei took us there by car since it was in the next town. Also brought us to a viewing point to see the fields opposite. It was a site for excavation of the famous Seto clay. The way they separate their clay is unique – in layers depending on clay colour, rather than like other places where the clay might be used just as it is mixed from the ground. According to Sensei, places such as those are much decreased compared to the mass production heydays of Seto. Always makes me wonder what the city was like during that time.
That night we had a Shabu Shabu party! It all started because V had asked Sensei a simple question – if there was any restaurant in Seto famous for Shabu Shabu. Sensei had thought about it for awhile and then concluded, no not really, but we can do a Shabu Shabu party! One thing I love about Sensei is that he’s always up anytime for a party. We had gone to the supermarket to get Shabu Shabu beef and everyone split the cost of the ingredients.
Not only is Sensei a pottery master, but he also cooks a MEAN Shabu Shabu. There is a technique to it, first putting in some pork lard to use as oil. Then sampling a bit of the meat first. After that comes the rest of the ingredients. And with Shabu Shabu, there’s also the raw egg that you use as the dipping sauce. SO. SO. GOOD.
He also showed us this travel program, 鶴瓶の家族に乾杯, in which a famous comedian made a surprise visit to his studio last year. Tsurube-san, travels around Japan with a guest host, usually to the countryside to interact with locals. Apparently it was a totally unexpected visit and on that day whe Tsurube-san arrived, Sensei had been in the middle of glazing his works. It was pretty amazing seeing Sensei, M-san and the other students there at the studio that time. There was one scene in which Sensei was teaching a huge group of perhaps 15-20 foreigners in his studio because once a year, some foreign students from a university will do a day trip to his studio to learn about Japanese pottery. It just so happened to be on the very same day that the host of the show visited. Talk about superb timing. It was great to see all the famous places in Seto though, and count down those we had seen (Unagi shop and hat shop nearby) plus those we had been to (fantastic soba place AND the Seto Yakisoba shop).
Wrote in my diary that night:
So hard at night
Trying too hard when should just give it a rest
Feeling like a human with the urge to just go too fast after all I guess”
Learning when to call it quits for the night, was often a difficult task for me. Translates to all other aspects of life I think.