By Sawako

Two month passed since I have returned to Japan. Today I am going to talk about what I miss the most in the United States., except for dear friends (of course!).

Some people say they miss beautiful green grass,
big parks, wild animals, or a large portion of American food. As for me, I miss a big oven. Traditionally Japanese kitchens are not equipped with an oven. According to my research online, an oven is deeply ingrained in a western culture where people mainly eat meat and bread. Japanese, on the other hand, tend to eat fish and rice, which do not require an oven to cook. These days in Japan, we can buy a “microwave oven” which literally means a microwave and oven are two in one, sized a little bigger than a microwave itself.  This microwave oven is inconvenient because we cannot use microwave and oven at the same time. I often feel a little frustrated such as the time when I cannot warm up something while I bake cake. It might be one of the reasons I do not bake as often as before. I need to mention their bright side. They do not take larger space compared to having a big oven and a microwave both at home. It is definitely a big plus for Japanese small kitchen.

Since I spent most of my time at home in the U.S, baking became one of my favorite activities. I liked to bring baked sweets to International Neighbors and enjoy them with friends. Having baked goodies together is fun in terms of bringing up an interesting conversation such as what kind of ingredients they used or how they made this beautiful shape of cookies. From now and then, I fondly remember my days in Ann Arbor where a sweet-smelling from the oven was spread to the room, waiting for it to bake with an exciting feeling, as well as a big oven itself.