Saturday, May 07, 2005

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

As some of you might have guessed, I had to use up the egg whites I had left from making the custard cream the other day.

Going into the oven...

This was by no means a great success, but at least these macaroons tasted better than the strawberry tart :)

My mom is in town this weekend for some kind of tea ceremony teachers’ meeting. We went dinner together tonight and I just got back. (Sorry, no photos.)

It was one of the Kaiseki restaurants that my mom chose to go for dinner. I’m no expert so I might be wrong, but there seem to be 2 kinds of cuisine that are called "Kaiseki" here in Japan: One is the dishes that are served in tea ceremony, and the other is traditional Japanese -style full-course menu. What we eat at restaurants is the latter…..I suppose (I could be wrong).

Anyway, the restaurant was a very nice, cozy place. An unfortunate fact is, however, that I’m not too crazy about Kaiseki course in the first place. Oh, I do love those Japanese traditional delicacies, but it’s the way they are served that I’m not too crazy about.

Usually, our typical meals consist of the combination of bread or cooked white rice, meat/fish & vegetable dishes and a bowl of soup (pickles optional). They are served together at one time. But in Kaiseki, they start with appetizers, then go on to soup dish, sashimi (sliced raw fish), grilled fish, deep-fried dish, simmered dish etc. one by one, and finish with a bowl of rice with miso soup and pickles.

Well, I have nothing against Kaiseki. I think it represents the wisdom and thoughtfulness of ancient Japanese people in their efforts to have customers enjoy delicacies to the fullest. But eating meat/fish & vegetable dishes without cooked white rice isn’t really my style, and eating sashimi without rice is almost painful for me. I’m so used to eating fresh sashimi from my childhood in our typical meal style, i.e. with cooked rice, and that eating habit cannot be changed easily. So tonight, I have to confess that I couldn’t fully enjoy the dishes served after sashimi.

My mom and I had a good time at the restaurant after all, though. She told me about how she and my dad spent the holiday week with my sister and her kids + husband visiting them.

Oh, BTW, mom said that vegetables in her veg. garden didn’t sprout until just recently and she was wondering why. On the other hand, the fishermen in my hometown had an irregular big catch of amberjack recently, she said. Hmmm…abnormal climate? I hope something extraordinary isn’t going to happen…


Anonymous said...

Hey.. Obachan,
So nice.. that you got a chance to spend time with your mom just before mother's day.. :) so appropriate donch you think...??
I hope nothing extraordinary happens too... we have had too much casualty of late in asia.. :( 

Posted by MrsT

Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan! Those macaroons look so nice! ^^ Were they the crunchy airy type like a meringue or the chewy kind of macaroon?
I've never had kaiseki before so reading it from you helped me learn something new! =) I also find it weird to eat just the meat/veggies without the rice. If the rice is eaten at the end of the meal, wouldn't you already be too full from eating the other dishes?
Glad you had a great time with your mom and I also hope nothing abnormal will happen...unless it's something good. ^_^ 

Posted by Tea

Anonymous said...

It was so nice that you got to spend time with your mother..The food sounded good, even though it was served in an unusual fashion..
The macaroons looked good....Mine always look "hairy" with the coconut sticking out all over the place!!
I'm also surprised that they would serve bread with a traditional Japanese meal...I suppose its because Japanese bread is soooooo delicious..I used to buy it fresh every morning in good. I wonder why the taste is so different from bread in the USA? Maybe the flour? Maybe the oil? It even smells better...
Anyway...glad you had time with your mom...

Posted by carlyn

Anonymous said...

> MrsT --- Oh I totally forgot about mother’s day. Thanks for mentioning. I really hope that anything terrible wouldn’t happen…

> Tea --- They were rather chewy.
I heard that in Kaiseki the rice comes at the end so that you can enjoy all the dishes with alcoholic drink without being full, and then fill the stomach with rice and miso soup at the end to be fully satisfied, or something like that. But what about those who don't drink at all like my mom? Just like you said, we were almost totally full before the rice came, even though each dish had just a little amount of food.
And, yeah, I’d welcome something extraordinary good.

> carlyn --- I was wondering who’d notice that…actually I didn’t have enough coconut and I was too lazy to go out to buy some, so these macaroons have only about half of the coconut that was called for. Honestly I wanted it more “hairy.”
When I said “our typical meals,” I meant to include our modern Westernized meals (like the “set menu” at “Family restaurants” including “morning set.” We don’t eat bread with traditional Japanese dishes like sashimi or nikujaga, of course ; ) BTW, I miss those thinly sliced American bread…  

Posted by obachan