Thursday, April 29, 2004

More about Me

Well, here’s my answers to the questions that you may or may not have in mind (but are afraid to ask)… :D Why don't you find out more about me here?

Because I’m too young to be called obaachan (granny). :P
Besides, I don’t want to deny the fact that I’m an obachan (aunt) to my lovely niece and nephew. Instead of rejecting the label “obachan” to look/feel younger, I attempt to be a very special “obachan” that only I can be -- not any younger or older than what I actually am. ;)

I was born in 1964. (This way I don’t have to keep updating my age every year. Hehehe…)

One year in Pennsylvania, 3 +1/2 years in Mississippi, 2 months in AZ, about a week in Montana, about a week in Vietnum, about a week in Norway, about a week in Malaysia, 2 days in NYC, 2 days in Hong Kong.

Because I haven’t met a man who is brave/desperate enough to marry me. :P

No. But I do believe that fusion and ignorance are two different things.

Living with a big dog and a little kitty in a house near the ocean.

Yep, that’s because I read my posts over and over and keep making changes/corrections (or sometimes replace photos). I know I should do it before posting, but there are mistakes I recognize only after the posts were uploaded.

I wouldn’t hesitate to post a Japanese recipe as-is in Japanese with a proper credit. But translation is a different story. If I translate a Japanese recipe into English, there is always a possibility of mistranslation due to my limited linguistic ability. And the mistranslation may bring you a bad result when you tried out the recipe.

Imagine how you would feel if you were the author of the original recipe. You came up with a recipe after repeated trials and errors. You added your best tips and advices, because you want everyone to have a success. And you shared your recipe with readers of your blog (or your books, articles, whatever). Then without your knowledge or permission, it was translated into a foreign language that you don’t understand, and shared with the whole world. And because of a poor translation, the readers end up with crappy results.

Maybe you wouldn't care if you didn't know about it at all. But what if the translator credited the crappy recipe with your name and even linked to your original recipe, trying to look “copyright-conscious?” And you can’t even find out what’s wrong or what to ask the translator to improve, because you don’t understand the language that your recipe was translated into. Isn't it unfair? Wouldn't you feel that you wanted to make the choice of whether to allow it or not in the first place?

So, basically, I don’t literally “translate” and “post” Japanese recipes without permissions of the authors of the original recipes. And it is VERY unlikely that I get permissions. Of course. Would you give a permission in the situation like above if you were the author? I wouldn’t. So if you really desperately want a translated recipe, email me at the address in the sidebar.

I might, though, draw upon several Japanese recipes and/or cooking programs and summarize what they say to combine it with my own cooking experiences, like I did in my edamame or daifuku or nerikiri posts.

More to come...


obachan said...

Thank you so much. You never know how encouraging this kind of comment is to me.
Yeah, I'll keep going like energizer bunny. Hope you keep visiting this blog! :D

Anonymous said...

Aloha Obachan!

I just found this site and enjoy it very much! Thank you (Mahalo in Hawaii!) I'll keep checking in from now on!

obachan said...

I'm glad to hear that you like my blog. Especially I'm happy that you came to this post because I think most people don't bother to click on the "More about me" in the sidebar. Mahalo!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dear Obachan,

I came accross your blog when I started reading food blogs a couple of years ago. I've been checking in from time to time and finally decided to create a feed for your blog on Livejournal, so I won't keep missing your posts - now I can see them on my friends-page. I'm on Livejournal myself, because I prefer the much more user-interactive interface there. I'm Danish, from 1965, post photographs, recipes and the occasional piece of art, so naturally I enjoy browsing your entries :)

Thank you for sharing your experiments in food, art and life.


obachan said...

Hi Trifle,
So great to hear from you! And I feel so flattered to know that you created a feed for this blog. Yes, I will keep blogging. Hope you keep coming back! :D

Rei said...

Thanks for referring me to this page, (I should have started here to begin with). I completely agree with you on not translating copyrighted (or not) recipes. I just didn't think of it when I asked...rats! :)
Many thanks for the recipes that you do post though.
And your English is great btw.

The Cypher said...

Dear おばちゃん、
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and interesting site!
In case you'd like to know, we came across your site while looking for Daikon Recipes. Today we're making Daikon Nimono Salada kind of like daikon boiled in tsuyu soba soup stock.
Since it's a really big daikon, we'll be trying your Furofuki Daikon recipe tomorrow!

Best wishes!

Masami and Alex

Anonymous said...

こんにちは! あなたのウェブサイトをありがとう! 私は前に私の自身のウェブサイトを間始めた。そして、私はあなたの場所を見つけた。私は事によって公正な読書今である。それは非常に興味深い! 私は私のウェブサイトがあなたののようにいつの日かなることを望む。


Anonymous said...

This is a great site, and my esteem for it and its author grew when I read about why you don't translate recipes.

Anonymous said...

I came to your blog while searching for ume jam. This year my ume trees were full of fruits which I managed to catch before the typhoon hit our little corner in Izu. After preparing almost a gallon of umeshu, I had to find other uses for my fruit and I came to your ume jam recipe. the fruit is now soaking in salty water, result still unknown. Success or failure it is irrelevant, the fun is in the trying.
Keep posted.

Implosion said...


Do you mind if I ask a question here since I don't know where else to post it? Thanks.

In the past few months I had been experimenting with using panko breadcrumbs used for coating katsu. The breadcrumbs never seem to adhere to the meat properly when deep-frying.

I always dust the meat in flour, them dip in egg and then coat in breadcrumbs, pressing lightly.

Any advice at all would be appreciated. Thanks again.

obachan said...

Thank you, Rei, Alexandros, Tonya, Manju and odoriko. Sorry I'm not responding to your comments individually, but I want you to know how much I appreciate them.

Mmmm... as far as I read your comment, it sounds like you're doing it right. They say that if too much flour is on the meat before dipping it in egg, the breadcrumbs do not adhere well. But I don't know if it was the problem in your case.

Here's a trick that many Japanese professionals do. Instead of coating the meat with flour, egg and breadcrumbs one by one, you pre-mix water, egg and flour together to make something similar to tempura batter. You dip the meat directly in the batter and then coat it with breadcrumbs. The batter should hold the breadcrumbs much better. (The batter shouldn't be too thick, though.)

BTW, what kind of breadcrumbs do you use? Many young Japanese moms seem to prefer home-made soft breadcrumbs these days. They tear up the bread and throw it into food processor. That's it. Such soft crumbs stay on the meat much better and turn out lighter and crispier, they say.

Implosion said...

Eh, I had no idea what a light coating of flour meant- I tried again, shaking off the excess and it worked much better but some breadcrumbs came off. I will try leaving them to sit for a while before I cook them too. Maybe the egg will dry like glue?

I am using store bought Japanese breadcrumbs- ebi-furai type.

You really did help. Thanks so much.

Holly said...

Good morning. or at least it's morning here in Chesapeake VA USA!
I just found your blog and am going to injoy working my way through it. I took a trip to Japan 2 years ago and I loved it. I hope to get back some day! In the meantime I will read your blog and see what's happening from your view.

Anonymous said...

Hello Obachan,
Your site is so wonderful! And I like your Neko pic as well! If you have time will you drop by at Foodista ? We are building an online food and cooking encyclopedia ala wikipedia and i hope you can build your profile there share your recipes and expertise with us as well. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oh Obachan, I love your blog so much! I just found it and it's like a treasure.

I had to read several posts before I realized it was actualy a nihonjin blog and not a gaijin blog. Your English has just a touch of quirky Japanese charm - don't change it, it's perfect!
Your food looks delicious and your observations about life warm my heart.

I'm sure you are the best aunt ever. Your blogs remind me of this poem, i'm not sure if you've seen it?

When I am Old
I will wear Purple!

When I am an old woman,
I shall wear purple - -
With a red hat which doesn't go,
and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandles,
And say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
and gobble up samples in shops
and press alarm bells
and run with my stick along public railings,
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit!
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at ago,
or only bread and pickles for a week,
and hoard pens and pencils
and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
and pay our rent
and not swear in the street,
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner
and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised
when suddenly I am old,
And start to wear purple!

poem by Jenny Joseph

Thank you very much for your beautiful blog, I look forward to reading it in the future.

all of the best,


obachan said...

I'm not really sure if leaving them to sit for a while would help... It might be like waiting umtil some of poorly attached breadcrumbs to fall.
But I could be wrong. ;) Good luck.

Thank you for your nice comment and sorry about this late response. I hope you read my other posts and liked them.

Well, I have no idea what part of my English is reflecting the quirky Japanese charm, and I'm afraid that my English ability is not good enough to truely appreciate the poem, but I thank you very much for the time you spent on this comment. I really appreciate your attention. ;)

obachan said...

Woops! Sorry, I missed you.
Thanks for the invitation. Yeah, I'll drop by sometime and see how to share the fun.

Anonymous said...

I was searching for a butajiru recipe n found ur site. Guess what? I enjoyed it alot ! Specially when i read "more about me" i couldnt stop my self from smiling n laughing. What a great sense of humour u have :)

I lived in japan now (4 almost 5 yrs) n still learning about d culture, food and so on.

And i would honestly say, i will oftenly visit n read ur site coz i enjoy it alot.

Thx 4 all d recipes anyway...God bless


Anonymous said...

I like your blog. Keep it up!

Cecilia Macaulay (Tess) said...

The way you use words is pretty, and makes me happy. I come to this blog to see how your garden is going. Even though I don't want to read about food, I end up doing so, just to hear your nice 'voice'.

obachan said...

So happy to hear that you enjoy my humble blog so much. Hope you keep coming back.

Thanks for dropping by. I really love your site (esp. the pink and black ninja). I left a comment to your blog there but unfortunately it was not accepted. So I guess I shouldn't add your URL to my list of favorite blogs.

Thank you so much. I honestly don't know how my English is "sounding." I can check some obvious grammatical errors and typos myself (and still there are a lot of them left uncorrected), but I can't tell if I'm sounding childish or stupid or funny or uneducated or insulting or overly bookish or all of above ... That made me feel a little worried in the past. But I finally decided not to worry about it any more. The joy of communicating with people worldwide overpowers the feeling of embarrasement, after all.

Anonymous said...

hello obachan! (:

i have been reading your posts for awhile and i must say i really love them! especially the pictures, they make me Really hungry -.-"

i am from singapore and am headed to japan in april, was wondering if you could recommend any places for me to try the wonderful food (especially the beautiful wagashi!!) you so often write about. (:

pleaseplease contact me!! my email is
thank you very much!! (:

samh said...

This is one tasty blog you have here.

Do you make videos also? Maybe you have cooking videos or something like that on Youtube?

obachan said...

You must be in Japan, enjoying cherry blossoms everywhere and hopefully some wagashi. Hope to hear from you after you go back to your country! ;)

Thanks. Tasty blog. Mmmm... I love it.
I'm not too interested in making videos, but there's one thing that I'm tempted to put on Youtube and post on this blog. That's how to make these butterflies out of carrots. I may or may not give it a try...

Anonymous said...


I came across your site while I was hunting for a konnyaku recipe...I tried your recipe qnd it was delicious! this is my first taste of konnyaku and I loved it! I'm Indian but I live in paris and love japenese cuisine which I have discovered since moving here, reading your blog is really interesting for me

Jenny said...

Hello, Obachan,

I found your blog very interesting as it fill with wonderful looking dishes and the scenic pictures.

Wanted to email you but I got the hard time on trying to understand whether there is a comma or any word between kokopelli and

Have a nice day!


bakagaijin said...

Hi Obachan... I guess that makes me an Ojichan or just plain "o'chan." hehe. Anyway, a big arigatou for the web site. I spent 15 years growing up in Japan and I'm always on the lookout for good Japanese food :-)

Existential Weatherman said...

I liked you blog. I found it when I searched for "Ume Jam." I love ume boshi, ume jam, ume everything.

I live in Gujo Hachiman and have a blog, with videos I made of a Japanese chef teaching some cooking techniques. You might like it.


Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan,

I just found your log and was absolutely delighted. I think I might qualify as an obachan too, though I am still stubbornly in denile about it.I also love to cook and was taught quite a few cooking tricks from my grandmother who was born in 1898 and lived as a farmer's wife most of her life. While the ingredients that you use are different, the spirit behind your cooking reminds me strongly of her.

I noticed that you tried cherry pie and that it flooded on you. I think I know what happened. There are two types of canned cherries, one has a very thick filling surrounding the cherries, that is the type you can use to make pies. The other has a liquid filling that needs to have other things mixed in with it to make it not flood the crust. However, flooding or not, as you noticed, both taste good. My grandmother used to also add a touch of lemon to the cherry filling before putting the final crust on and baking. I hope this helps you someday.

Obaa-chan said...

Hello Obachan,
I just found your blog and have really enjoyed reading it! There is still lots to read of it but I wanted to post this comment to say how much I love it. I am writing from Australia and have chosen my "nickname"as I am going to be a grandmother in a few short months for the first time :) I am a year older than you and have a beautiful Japanese daughter-in-law who lives here in Melbourne. I am looking forward to the day when I can finally visit Japan.
In the meantime I will continue to read your blogs.
I just also wanted to complement you on your wonderful English!
Warm regards. :)

~ Rhonda ~ said...

Obachan! I can not believe that I haven't "seen" you before...I've been sitting in front of my computer, enthralled, for the past hour and a half reading your "older posts"...what an amazing blog you have! I am so happy there are people like you in the world...and even happier that on some plane, we get to "meet" you. :)