Tag Archives: sandwich

Gone with PB&J: It was a golden harmony!

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20140911_132901-a     You must be American or have American friends if you know about PB&J. For the readers who do not know about it, it means peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and is one of the American staples. I am not American and have never been to the U.S, but I love them!

     The first time when I had PB&J was when I was taking an English class at NHK Cultural Center several years ago. My teacher made some sandwiches of peanut butter and blueberry jam for us when I visited her house with some of my classmates. She was Japanese but had experience of staying with a family in the U.S. when she was a high school student. Peanut butter and blueberry jam together? To tell the truth, I hesitated to reach out for it. I was not able to imagine what taste it would be.

     Anyway, I got the courage to try this new food. Hey! I was surprised when I had a bite. The rich taste of peanut butter and the flavor of lush blueberry jam filled my mouth. It was a golden harmony. I was staring at my half-eaten bread with wide-open eyes while relishing its taste. It’s delicious! I went nuts over peanut butter and jelly sandwiches right away. Since then I have sometimes bought peanut butter and made some, but had not eaten them for a while until recently.

     Luckily I had an opportunity to have some last Thursday, when it was the final day of an English course at Aichi Shukutoku University. Like other universities in the Nagoya area, they offer many different varieties of classes to the public, and the English course was one of them for the intermediate level and had six lessons:
Lesson 1 – Asking about hypothetical situations
Lesson 2-Comparing society and yourself from today to the past
Lesson 3-Using Words differently (Vocabulary building)
Lesson 4-Thinking creatively and coming up with new ideas
Lesson 5-Discussing current issues
Lesson 6-Talking up relationships and snack time20140911_132936-a

     I enjoyed myself learning many things with my classmates at the course this summer. Now, look at “Lesson 6”! Yes, snack time during class?! I have had coffee with my teachers and classmates “after” class, but it was the first time for me to have coffee and snacks “during” class! Andy, the teacher from the U.S. brought many items: A bottle of coffee and of tea, a big can of cookies, and his handmade PB&J sandwiches! I also brought a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures and of Doritos Jalapeno & Cheddar Tortilla Chips (to make my teacher homesick), but Andy’s PB&Js were the best! I had a wonderful time as if it were a picnic! There was a terrible storm outside, though.

     Actually, I was feeling a little bit lonely at the same time while enjoying the food as if the summer was going with this class. You know, I took the class from the end of July to the beginning of this month. I do not know why, but I feel sad at the end of summer. The thundershower was signaling the end of the summer as if it knew my thought…

     When I posted these photos on my facebook wall after the class, an American friend, Betsy left a comment: I grew up on pb & j and occasionally tuna fish sandwiches, but that was fancy. Glad you liked them. I still eat them at least once a week! Wow! Once a week! I love PB&J, but do not eat them so often! For Americans, PB&J may be something like onigiri is for Japanese people!

My Travel in Vancouver 6 (Day 3 Part 1) ~ Granville Island & Yaletown ~ Can I Put on a Pickle on the Sandwich?

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バンクーバー2014 169     “Ah!” I was nodding in understanding when I saw the TV commercial on my third night in Vancouver. I was relaxing on the bed and watching TV in the hotel. I don’t remember what  the commercial was, but it was set in the kitchen of a restaurant. Two chefs are looking seriously at a sandwich, when another chef appears with a slice of gherkin pickle and puts it on the sandwich. Then the three chefs nod with a satisfied look… As I was watching this, I recalled an event that had taken place that morning. バンクーバー2014 171

    “Can I put a pickle on the sandwich?”
     “Sorry?”
     “Can I put a pickle on the sandwich?” The clerk said that again dangling a slice of cucumber pickle in front of her face.
     “Ah, yes, please.” バンクーバー2014 173

     I was in the food court of Granville Island Public Market in the morning. Granville Island has “island” in its name, but it is not an island. It is a peninsula and a shopping district. I came there to have brunch. While a lot of delicious-looking foods were beckoning me, a sign board caught my attention: Try Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese on a Bagel! So, I decided to try it. A cheerful clerk was making my sandwich at a brisk pace, asking “onion okay?” and so on. Then came the above question. バンクーバー2014 178

     The reason why I did not understand her at first was because I had never seen pickles put “on” sandwiches. In Japan, pickles are put “inside” sandwiches or on the side of the plate, as far as I know. However, the men in the TV commercial also put a pickle “on” a sandwich as the finishing touch. Is that a Canadian or North American (or other countries also?) custom? I did not know that! Anyway the smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel sandwich with a pickle on it was very nice. バンクーバー2014 191

     After the meal, I explored the market. There were many fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, cheese, etc. Even window-shopping was nice. Actually, Granville Island has more than 50 shops and facilities including a brewery and a totem pole workshop. I was going to plod around the island, but it started raining while I was shopping in the Net Loft, and then the rain became harder and harder. I gave up walking around outside, and went to Kids’ Market to look for English teaching material for a friend of mine, who has many English classes for young children in Japan. バンクーバー2014 196-a

     There were many families even on the weekday morning in Kids’ Market. Children were running around squealing with joy. The inside of the building is a tiny town for them. There is even a bridge inside. I bought a CD with instructions for teachers or parents there, and went out. It was still raining hard. I was discouraged about spending time on the island and decided to go back downtown.バンクーバー2014 204

     Actually I did not go back downtown directly. I got off the bus in Yaletown, which is on the opposite shore of Granville Island. It is a trendy district of Vancouver with retro-looking red brick buildings. The old warehouses and railway sheds of the 19th century have been renovated and reborn as fashionable boutiques, cafes and restaurants. One of the buildings is now a community center and displays the locomotive engine, “Engine 374”, pulling the first transcontinental train in 1887. You can see its handsome black body for free. バンクーバー2014 209

     I noticed that it would be convenient to go to the Roedde House Museum from Yaletown when I was studying the Google map. You get on the bus going along Davie Street and get off at the fifth bus stop, and then walk for several minutes. It will take just 10 minutes. But the museum opens at 1 p.m. and it was still around 12:30 when I was in Yaletown. If I had used the bus, I would have had to wait nearly 20 minutes in front of the house. The Google map said that it would take 18 minutes by foot. Fortunately the rain was stopping. So, I decided to walk to the museum at a leisurely pace. バンクーバー2014 202

    Multi-petalled cherry blossoms were in full bloom when I visited Vancouver. I saw many trees with the pink flowers here and there. I enjoyed taking a walk in the drizzle admiring the beautiful flowers of roadside trees and gardens of houses along the street. 4 22 011

     The Roedde House Museum stood in the rain in a quiet residential area. It was a couple minutes before its opening time when I arrived at the museum. So, I walked around the house peeping inside through the windows. Through the curtains, I saw a man sitting on a chair, reading something. I walked back to the entrance with tiptoe steps and checked the watch, which said it was a little after one. The door was closed. I turned the knob. But I could not open the door…(to be continued later.)バンクーバー2014 217-0