Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pick Up Sticks

     I hold my chopsticks wrong. There. I don't grip them in my fist like Early Man, or stab at my food with them, but I hold the lower chopstick against my middle finger, not my ring finger. This is how I did it throughout my childhood, and attempts to change to the more genteel fashion illustrated in the sign above ended, like all my forays into sports, in cramping and failure. The only option is to throw pretty at the problem, by which I mean distractingly pretty chopsticks.

Handmade glass chopsticks
    Ginza Natsuno stocks something around a zillion different chopsticks, from bamboo to glass. The shop, like the branch in the Marunouchi building near Tokyo, is tiny and packed to the brim. A quick stop turns easily into a long browse.

     Not only are they suitcase/post friendly, but the materials and the craft vary so wildly that you could pick up a souvenir, a set for daily use, or a wedding gift. And really, everything is a little better with real ohashi instead of the break apart kind that always splinter off into jagged little fence posts. Even when you're standing in front of the fridge in your jammies, picking at last night's kung pao, a nice pair of sticks could salvage that last little bit of dignity.

These screw together like a pool cue. Just because you're on the road doesn't mean you need to eat like an animal.
Trains and shinkansens for the kiddies. Son of Z has a set of these from Grandma and Grandpa.
Fancy inlay His and Hers sets for around $90 US.
     Of course, you're also going to need a place to set these lovelies down. If the chopstick selection didn't give you vertigo, the chopstick rests will. I know, it seems as superfluous as the napkin holder, but with so much more potential--they run elegant, witty, and seizure-inducingly cute. 

Bullet train/Tokyo Tower rests
Wooden lotus root slices! And dig the little silk potted clover.
Summer fun--beetle and watermelon rests. The kids love them, but living in New York turned me off to bugs on the table.
Sweets! The perfect reminder to save room for dessert. It's like they are in my brain.

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