My Accidental Japanese Dessert

On Friday, before Chuck left on his work trip, I made a reservation at a cute little restaurant on a quiet, picturesque street that I found on one of my wanderings. I perused the drinks section of the menu and determined to try something different and local. I spotted
“milk zenzai” and suddenly realized I had been craving bubble tea. I speculated that perhaps the milk zenzai would be similar to the milk tapioca tea that I so loved at the Asian restaurants back home, and ordered a glass with my meal.

When my dinner came without the milk zenzai, I tried to ask our waitress about it. Of course, my lack of Japanese language skills made this extraordinarily difficult, and while she understood that I was asking about milk zenzai, neither of us could communicate my specific issue. I only ended up confusing her and embarrassing myself by the time I gestured “never mind” and demonstrated happy satisfaction with my glass of water.

Moments after we finished our meal, the waitress brought me this:

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“Milk zenzai!” she chirped. Chuck and I looked at each other and grinned. Of course milk zenzai isn’t a beverage – it’s a dessert! I must have confused the sections on the menu (no real surprise there.) Feeling foolish, we gave it a try. It did have the sweet tea flavor, and there were tapioca balls submerged in the milky liquid, so I like to think I wasn’t too far off. However, I was mystified by the presence of kidney beans in a dessert. The pastry-like piece in the middle of the bowl was a sort of baked bean-puff as well, that made for a most unique flavor. I enjoyed the sweet milk, but jury is still out on the bean-pastry. It was yummy and different to be sure, but I mean – it’s no chocolate lava cake 🙂 Chuck, on the other hand, thought every bit of it was delightful.

I’m really glad I made the mistake, because I tried something new that I otherwise may not have gone for, had I known what it was. Here are some pictures of the rest of the meal… just because 🙂

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Two of my favorite culinary items from this past weekend’s Army/Navy Football + Christmas party are pictured above: jumbo spiral cut ham and chocolate chip cookie dough brownies! I also loved the mashed potatoes, but they aren’t quite as photogenic 🙂

The party was a hit. It was pouring rain outside, but pretty much everyone we invited showed up. After the game (yawn), we played a rousing and hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity, and then played with the XBOX Kinect until our knees and joints ached. I never tire of Dance Central!! I looove that came, and of course – I always win 🙂

This is our last week before we head home to Virginia for the holidays! It’s pure admin before we go. Medical clearance for Japan, various appointments for government passports for Japan, random miscellaneous paperwork… you guessed it, for Japan. I feel so bad for poor Annie. Her past two Japan-centric visits to the vet were traumatic enough, but the worst is yet to come! Early January, she has to get a blood test that will require tying her up and restraining her, since they will take the blood straight from the jugular. They will ask me to leave the room 😦

Probably a good idea, to be honest. It’s gonna be heartbreaking!