I thought for a while about trying to strike a sophisticated, or at least, witty tone for the christening post of this not-so-new blog, but I couldn’t really come up with any inspiring messages. It’s okay; perhaps adulthood is just realizing who you are, even if that person is someone whose hobbies are like three clicks above playing with an Easy Bake Oven.
For the uninitiated, Japanese snacks sometimes come with a DIY element — most recently, completely engrossing tiny molecular gastronomy kits. Like, I’m 25, and my little sister is 16, and we’ve made 3 of these things and can’t stop won’t stop. The first one we did was the Poppin Cookin’ sushi kit, which yielded odd-tasting, amazing-looking gummy “sushi” with roe made using spherification. Anger Burger did a fantastic write-up on this kit that spurred the years-long hunt for these things for me.
This time, we tackled the Happy Kitchen burger kit, which was supposed to yield 2 double-double burgers, a small bag of french fries, and a (comparatively) huge soda. I thought it would be candy, like those odd burger gummy things.
Spoiler: it wasn’t candy. It was actually a couple tiny burgers, some tiny french fries, and flat soda, aka, brown sugar water.
The way these kits work is, you have various bags of powder, a little water measuring scoop, and a panel of inscrutable instructions in Japanese of how to combine this and that and how long to microwave things. Though presumably this is a cakewalk for Japanese schoolchildren, for myself and my teenage sister, this was quite trying. I watched a number of videos of small children making the kits to determine which powder was for the french fries and which powder was for the burger buns. Turns out I could have just smelled them, because the potato powder smelled tantalizingly like Pringles. Mmmm.
The grossest and most fascinating part was most certainly the patty, which smelled like airplane breakfast sausage. Actually, it resembled airplane sausage in a lot of ways. The bun actually rose up really well in the microwave and tasted vaguely like bland cake, and the cheese was remarkably similar to American cheese. I sort of liked the french fries. I know. I’m ashamed of me, too.
I can’t even. I mean. Look at this. It’s in my relatively normal-sized hand here, for scale.