My second weekend in Okinawa finally provided me with time to do a little exploring. I decided to take a scenic drive up to Cape Hedo, the northernmost point of the island. I felt like it would be a good way to get a better feel of the island. It was beautiful. I can’t begin to describe how many times the scenery took my breath away. The few photos I’m posting don’t begin to do it justice.
My original plan for the day also included stops at the Aquarium and the Nago Pineapple Park. However, that turned out to be a little too ambitious so I only managed a stop at the Pinapple Park. I had planned to grab lunch at a little Peruvian restaurant that is way up north, mostly so I could brag to Chino about how I ate at the only Peruvian restaurant in Okinawa. And then it was closed. My best laid plans are often foiled by fate. So frustrating.
Along the way north:
A couple of observations from my second week in Okinawa:
— Minis are not mini in Japan. They have a special class of mini car here which are easily identified by their yellow license plates. Minis don’t make the cut.
— The U.S. Air Force, or at least the folks who run their pool on base, have not discovered the benefits of mandatory kiddie diapers in public pools. Based on a few observations over an hour long visit, including a forced evacuation of the pool, seems like that rule might be in order.
— I found a quilt store while out exploring, but it was closed. I’ve been back again since then and it was still closed. I fear the proprietor is on vacation.
— I found a baby cockroach on my bed’s headboard before going to sleep one night. Needless to say, I now have a rather complicated pre-bed ritual.
— The last time I took the trash out through the back door a snail fell on my head. As a result, I now go out the front door and walk around to the back. (Are you seeing a pattern of extreme wimpyness when it comes to me and bugs?)
Two weeks of eating out made me crave a good home cooked meal so Sunday night I spent some time in the kitchen and baked up an easy, delicious pasta sauce.
Baked Tomato Sauce (adapted from the Wednesday Chef)
Tomatoes here are on the pricey side so I did half a pound and used an 8×8 baking dish. I thought the sauce was still good, but would definitely be better if you had more tomatoes.
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c. plain dry breadcrumbs
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. penne
1/4 c. loosely packed fresh basil lives, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with some of the olive oil. Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish.
In a small bow, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, and garlic. Cover the tomatoes with the breadcrumb mixture, making sure that each tomato is well covered. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are cooked through and starting to brown on top, 20-25 minutes.
Going into the oven:
When the tomatoes are done, add the basil and stir vigorously to mix everything into a sauce. Drain the pasta and add to the dish of sauce. Add the remaining olive oil and mix well. Serve immediately.