This is a belated introduction, since I posted a discussion topic earlier. Let's see...I am a second-generation Japanese/ native Californian who went to college in Providence, Rhode Island, where there were not really many Japanese restaurants or markets. Also, the campus food was greasy. I missed Japanese food dearly, and I eventually started practicing my Japanese home-cooking skills in the dorm kitchen. Whenever I would return to California during breaks, I would ask my mom how to make certain dishes, and even got to the point where I would take notes watching Japanese cooking shows. I am still continuing my journey in appreciating and enjoying Japanese home cooking. I've been following this site and just hungry for a while, and they have also been very helpful-- Thanks Maki! Also, I run a Japanese food blog for fun with two co-writers. Meshing our love of photography and poetry and Japanese food together, we take any favorite dish and write a (sometimes silly) poem, along with a description for each. Through it, we're trying to find the importance of food as an art, culture, and well, as something that we can not live without. Ha, that sort of turned out as shameless advertising. Anyway I'm so glad to find so many other Japanese food enthusiasts here! Best, Alissa (http://umaimon.tumblr.com)