Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sweet Seasons /April 2006 - Bracken Shoot -

I still cannot believe that I skipped a wagashi entry for April, and it took me more than one month to realize it. This post was actually uploaded on June 5th. Sorry!

Young shoot of warabi (bracken fern)

It was not easy to find wagashi with a theme related to “April” or “early spring” at this time of the year, and this was the best I could. These lovely green balls in the photo above are matcha warabimochi (bracken-starch dumplings flavored with green tea). I don’t know if warabimochi is officially considered as wagashi for spring, but at least, bracken ferns and especially their young shoots are associated with early spring, so there is a connection. ;)


Bouillabaisse...? #2

OK, I have a confession to make.
I’ve been sick for the past whole week. It was nothing serious -- just constant coughing and sore throat. But to me, constant coughing for one whole week with no sign of recovery is something totally unusual -- something never happened before.

Unfortunately last week was my busy week; I had both daytime and night-time work back to back every day. No time to go to the hospital…(well, I wouldn’t have gone anyway even if I had time). All I did was feeding me with nutritious meals and trying all the common cold remedies I could think of, which did not make my symptoms any better. Finally, yesterday I gave up and bought the cheapest cough suppressant at the nearest drug store. Usually I’d rather stay away from the stuff with high codeine content, but no other choice this time… I got tired of coughing.

Anyway, this morning I woke up still coughing a lot, and thought about what kind of special nutritious food I could feed myself with. Then I realized that I was feeling like nice, hearty seafood soup.

So, here it is.


This was my supper tonight. I don’t know if seafood is good for coughing (-- the only thing I remember is that my grandma boiled lobster shells and made me drink the soup when I had the mumps), but I felt like eating this today, so maybe there was a reason… or maybe not. Oh, well.

For dessert, I made blueberry tarts to finish up the leftover frozen blueberries from the white wine jelly I made the other day.

If I would be still coughing a lot tomorrow morning, I would go see a doctor.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Can You Guess...

... what this is? ;)

OK. Time to tell you the truth.
Yep, this is octopus. Boiled… or maybe I should say blanched octopus with ume (plum) dressing.

This octopus dish was part of last month’s course meal at the kaiseki place I work at. Of course, for the kaiseki course they used much better, expensive octopus from Japanese waters. What I used, on the other hand, was cheap, pre-boiled and packed pieces I found at a nearby supermarket. But I just wanted to give this a try and at least my curiosity is satisfied now.

BTW, have you noticed that obachan is gradually getting out of the cave and now tagging the posts? I modified the categories section on my sidebar a bit today. The reason why I have 2 categories sections is that I had absolultely no energy to tag all of my previous entries. ;P

And I’m thinking about making another category for my next project, “my favorite appetizers and sake.” After the izakaya I used to work at closed last month, I st… no, I got a permission to take
1) a recipe book of popular izakaya appetizers and
2) an old food cutter
with me. ;)

Now that my busiest time is over, I may start my experiments as early as this “Golden Week.” I guess from my previous posts, some of my dear readers already know that I’ve been pretty much interested in our traditional drink, sake. I also have to admit that a recent manga has played a big role in intensifying my interest in this alcoholic beverage. The story of the manga is about an American young guy working at a Japanese sake brewery, and by reading it you can learn a lot about sake itself and various ways to enjoy it. I don't necessarily agree with everything that's expressed in this manga, but still I enjoy reading it a lot. Especially I was happy to see the name of my favorite sake, bijofu 美丈夫 included in one of the scenes (if I was not mistaken). :)


Monday, April 24, 2006

A Thank-you Gift?

White Wine and Tea Jelly

Yep, I quickly recovered from the hangover and enjoyed this white wine. In addition to drinking it with my supper (grilled salmon and baguettes) on Tuesday, I tried out this recipe yesterday morning. ;)
This was not bad at all, but next time I want to try something like… uh... well, how about a layer of this white wine jelly over strawberry or raspberry mousse?

P.S. Thank you GENKI people for giving me this wine.

A present given to me last night. I’m looking forward to tasting this as soon as this hangover is gone…
(Some drinks and karaoke last night. ;P)

Categories: ,

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Black Sesame Seed Cookies

Black Sesame Seed Cookies

It's been a while since I baked something last time...

These sesame seed cookies turned out just so-so because I omitted the almond powder called for in the recipe. I guess it made a big difference in the texture.
Well, next time I'll try making these using almond powder.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Garden Report - April 2006 -

Gosh! Is it already the 12th?!?! My blog hasn’t been updated for more than 10 days?
Sorry, dear readers. I’ve been extremely busy, and when I have time later this week, I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to.

These shots are from my balcony garden.

See the blueberry flowers?

Dog rose. I hope this blooms this year…