Visited Uwajimaya, the huge Beaverton japanese market for the first time. Other than picking up some fresh water chestnuts (I assumed they grew inside of cans), I realized an over two year old quest. That quest was for proper cast iron Nabeyaki Udon bowls with lids. Sounds odd to care but there's certain joy in preparing, serving and enjoying food according to tradition. There's a reason that this bowl exists as there are reasons for every local culture's approach to food. Pickling of food, for example, was and is done to have something to eat in the dead of winter.
I digress... the cast iron bowls are truly mac daddi and my first use of them with udon noodles, fresh vegetables, egg, spices and 'fu (b-dog's word for tofu) was sublime. Will send along a photo once I cook something else in them.