Goddamn am I getting old. I almost started this post with the phrase, "People from my generation..." which is something that none but the most prematurely aged young person would say. Another clue: I was starting this post with that hideous fragment because I was trying to limit myself to a subject about which I could knowledgably speak: my generation. Implying (accurately) that I have no idea what's going on with "kids today" and their eating habits.
Let me rewind (another telling detail..."young people" don't rewind, nor do they probably even have any idea what it is) for a moment: this post is about college food. When I was in college all those years ago (where's my cane?), the number one Staple Dorm Room Food was instant ramen noodles.
How could they not be, really, at $0.18 a package and no cooking skills required. One meal of ramen per day, one meal of Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese, and a bologna or peanut butter sandwich somewhere in there, and that put your daily food cost at somewhere around 50 cents (and your sodium intake at about 5 grams), enabling you to walk 2 miles to Vinyl Fever on Saturday and blow 14 dollars on used CDs.
Fast forward (now listen here, sonny...): we now know how to cook. We now have an interest in what food is actually supposed to taste like. We now weirdly refer to ourselves in the first-person plural. We now understand that sometimes, instead of traveling halfway around the world to experience a different culture, it's possible to have a taste of that experience by authentically cooking some of that culture's food. Or at least it's possible to justify an expensive and time-consuming cooking project with this sort of pseudo-noble rhetoric.
Which brings me to this weekend's project: tonkotsu ramen. Andy spent a few weeks in Japan last month, and came home raving about this soup like a man possessed. Every time I've seen him over the past couple of weeks, he would either begin or end our conversation by saying "tonkotsu ramen" and wiggling his eyebrows motivationally.
So we're going to give it a try this weekend. The first step is a very long-cooked broth made from pork bones and a piece of seaweed. Here's the eGullet thread for everyone's edification. And here's a recipe that looks quite promising. And here's a cooking video with a dog: