Last Sunday Hisa and I decided to finally go see the Ushiku Daibutsu statue. Daibutsu literally means “big Buddha”, and Ushiku is the town it’s located in. Basically, it’s a giant Buddha statue. We’d seen it from a distance before, but never actually gone to see it, so since the weather was great on Sunday, we decided to go check it out.
Now, I knew the statue was really big, but what I didn’t realize was that it’s actually the largest statue in the world. No really. They have the Guinness Book of World Record’s certification and all that. This statue is freakin’ huge. Sadly, you can’t really tell that from the pictures.
I think I have a better picture that gets across the size of the statue…
If it were up to me, this would get the Guinness World Record for the cutest statue in the world. But then, my opinion is a bit bias. :)
To put it in context for you, the Statue of Liberty is 40 meters tall. This statue is 100 meters tall, 120 if you count to lotus flower pedestal it’s standing on.That’s pretty darn big.
The great thing about this place is that there was more than just the statue! There was a bunny petting zoo as well as other animals, a flower park, and show with performing monkeys. Yes, monkeys!
All in all, we had a fun time at the park. We also went up inside of the statue, which was pretty cool. Best of all, I can now say I’ve seen (and been inside) the largest statue in the world. Go me!
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Last week I made meatloaf for dinner one night. I think many people would agree that there’s something extremely comforting about meatloaf. As a kid, I don’t remember having any particular feelings about meatloaf, other than it was good, but so were many other things my mom made. Now, however, meatloaf reminds me of family and home and when I was a little kid. It’s pretty high up on my list of non-chocolate comfort foods (yes, chocolate comfort foods have their own list). Especially when served with potatoes of some sort. A lot of people love meatloaf with mashed potatoes, but I prefer fried potatoes with ketchup. I always loved my mom’s fried potatoes. I still do, but now I can make them myself, hehe.
It took me awhile to really establish my own meatloaf recipe, as if you’ve ever searched online for meatloaf recipes, there’s about a million, and they’re all different. I like to think my meatloaf is simple, but not too simple. Hisa and I both like it, so that’s what counts.
This recipe makes a small meatloaf, enough for 2 people with some leftovers, or enough for three with no leftovers. If you have a larger family, you’ll probably need a bigger meatloaf, so feel free to double this recipe. One good rule of thumb, bake your meatloaf for 30 minutes per pound of meat. If you double this recipe and use 2 pounds of meat, keep the oven temp. the same, and increase the baking time to one hour.
Meatloaf (serves 2 – 3)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1/2 green pepper (or one whole Japanese piiman), diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1 Tbsp ketchup, plus more for topping meatloaf
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs (I always use panko)
- good dash of salt and pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion, green pepper, and minced garlic. Cook until onion turns translucent and pepper is tender, 4 – 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool a little.
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, sage, ketchup, egg, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the onion mixture from the skillet and mix. Add the bread crumbs and mix well.
- Shape meat mixture into a loaf shape, and place in a glass baking dish. Pour ketchup on top of meatloaf and spread around with a spatula into a thin layer.
- Bake, uncovered, for 30 – 35 minutes. When done, turn off oven, and let the meatloaf set for 5 minutes before serving.