My aunt shared her secret for making perfect Japanese food. It's her method for perfect food in general, but since she's in denial that she's not Japanese, she only makes Japanese food.
"I make every recipe 100 times in a row," she told me.
As a result, her dishes (including onigiri) are impeccable and mouthwatering.
My aunt also makes you shower the second you enter her house, immediately launders your clothes (made filthy from the outside world), and directs you to change into a different pair of slippers for each part of the house. She once refused to let my friends (who were dropping me off after dinner) into her house to use the bathroom, for fear of their germs.
She means well, though.
“Ever been to Jiufen?” I asked Mom.
“You should go! It has a nice view of the sea. It’s supposed to be the city that inspired Spirited Away. And they have the best gweh I’ve ever tasted - your favorite, with taro and the green one with radish or whatever the chewy stuff is.”
She looked skeptical. “How did you get there? You don’t speak the language.”
Two orange tabby brothers followed us home in December. They lived with us for five weeks, snuggling, wrestling, running around like madmen and punching each other in the face, until their owners saw our “found” signs (which had been posted in front of their house for weeks).
Chupa misses them a ton. They shredded furniture, ate my expensive paintbrushes, pawed wet paintings and shoved my brush around whenever I painted, but they were cute and soft fuzzballs.