I think the beauty of cooking is in the basics. If you can master these, I believe you can make anything. Not only can you make basically any recipe you want, but you know exactly what is in your food. NO preservatives, NO words you can't pronounce, No insane salt content or hidden sugars.
Travis and I are having a major "I miss America" phase. We've not really been into the local culture much these days, maybe since it was just Memorial day and now summer in Okinawa is in full swing, minus the smell of freshly cut grass, ice cream trucks, and weekend trips to the lake with plenty of cookouts, friends and family.
Sorry to be depressing, but it works out well for you in the end!