We're not supposed to eat cherries in the snow or savor plum pudding in July. Each culture seems to have its own idea of what goes best on the plate each season. So even in a time when greenhouses and air transport make almost anything available at a price, we still savor fresh asparagus and fiddlehead ferns in spring, parsnips and turnips with Thanksgiving turkey, and strawberry shortcake and wedges of cool watermelon on summer picnics. In Japanese culture, the nabemono dishes of table-cooked foods prepared over the brazier that is also warming the house are emblematic of the colder winter months and usually come off summer menus at Japanese restaurants. Some dishes, however, are too good to be constricted by this culinary straitjacket. I've spent years looking for places that serve my favorite, shabu shabu, no matter... More >>>