this photo was taken in kamakura this summer.  i`d been staring at this one image for a while, and thinking about what lies beneath, which led me to the memory of the first time i ate lotus root.  it was over ten years ago when i was in college (soon i`ll be saying twenty) and despite going to school in rural canada there was a pretty good vegetable & fruit shop in the next town that carried many exotic treasures.  one of those was renkon, or lotus root sold loose in a bushel basket. my roommate and i bought a chunk, hacked it up with a butcher knife, fried it in a rusty wok, and savored every bite right down to the customary licking of the fingers.  it was pretty awesome.  granted any form of nourishment in college was pretty awesome for the sheer virtue of being edible, but i digress.   times are not so hungry anymore. 

and so since i started hearing my old vietnamese friend`s voice echoing in my head explaining about how delicious, how healthy, how much his mother loved to cook it; for my lunch i made a strange dish.  if you like traditional japanese food, please cover your eyes now as you will be shocked and dismayed when you see what i did with my reckon.

( i sliced it thinly, soaked it in water with a drop of sushi vinegar, spread it on kitchen paper to dry, fried it into crispy chips in olive oil, blotted it in the paper, sprinkled on some sea salt, and then SET IT ATOP A BOWL OF HOT RICE WITH A GENEROUS DOLLOP OF KEWPIE MAYO TWO PIECES OF NORI AND SOME SESAME SEEDS!)

reckon chips donburi.  i believe the root as well as the flower is deserving of icon status, its bewitching shape, its satisfying taste and texture, and perhaps also its subliminal origins.  i mean below the threshold, muddy and covered with waters.