Saturday, September 27, 2008

When I Need Healing...

Home-baked French Bread, Ratatouille and Apple Preserve

I have to admit that my work has been pretty stressful. But I also have to admit that I'm better off now -- compared to how I was a year ago... in September 2006. Now I have days off more irregularly but more frequently, and still I'm making more money. And I got used to getting up early. No more insomnia! So I'm not complaining.

Nevertheless, there are some days that I feel stressed out at the end of the day, and hear my inner voice saying, "I need healing!!" And I go through the list of "things that heal me" in my mind. Fortunately I have a variety of things included in the list, and yesterday morning I went for two of them: 1) hearing something simmering in the kitchen and 2) enjoying the sweet aroma from the oven. I was lazy to put everything on one plate, but you have to give me credit for making (almost) everything from scratch.

Yep, I baked the bread myself, based on this recipe. It turned out flavorful -- very flavorful, and quite chewy. (I guess I got impatient again and my bread was not leavened enough.) :P But the bread tasted very good with both ratatoille and apple preserve, so I was satisfied.

I also made this asparagus soup from scratch. You think I got sort of carried away? Maybe. But it was sooooooooo good and worth the trouble! :)

Apple Preserve

I replaced half of the amount of white sugar with brown sugar, so the preserve turned out brownish like this. And the taste was... Mmmm... It was excellent with yogurt.

Yes, I felt so good after this brunch. Taking these photos kept me a little busy, but it was worth it -- they will heal me when I need healing but don't have time to cook/bake like this.

Oh, one question to those who are in Japan:
Are stores running out of bananas in your neighborhood? I tried two supermarkets last night and two other stores this evening, but all of them were out of bananas! What happened?! Is another health craze going on now?



Anonymous said...

Asahi had an article yesterday on the new banana diet, so I think so. (Apparently it's been mentioned on the wideshows, although I don't know if it's more than bananas for breakfast.)

K and S said...

yes, I think it has to do with the banana diet...I'm so happy you have different things to help you de-stress! everything looks and sounds really delicious :)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh... get better soon. Your stuff looks totally delicious!!!! I would have been healed too if I'm having those. Hahah...

I truly hope that all things go fine. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that bread looks delicious. I love the smell of fresh baked bread - this makes me want to go make some when I have the time. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow that looks so good!!!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to give yourself some healing. I've heard people say that baking bread is very stress-relieving. I wonder if maybe it's the kneading that makes you relaxed? Take care of yourself and don't get sick due to stress!

obachan said...

Anonymous commenter
Thanks for the info. So it's one of those AGAIN! Looks like this nation didn't learn anything from that Natto scandal, huh?

K & S
I'm kinda sick of "XXXX diet" fad in this country. Honestly. :(
As for de-stressing techniques -- Yep, they're helping me a lot.

Anonymous commenter
Thank you so much. I really appreciate your caring and support.

Another anonymous commenter
Go for it. It is truly healing, IMHO.

One more anonymous commenter
Thanks. I feel rewarded. :)

Yeah, kneading and slamming the dough against the work surface -- thinking that the dough is someone you hate -- is an excellent way to release the agression, I think. :D

Anonymous said...

hi Obachan,

This is my first time commenting on your blog but I've been reading your blog for more than 2 years. Really love all your food photos! They always looks so yummy & inspiring!

yeah. all the stores near my house are out of bananas too!!! for more than 2 weeks already! there's a banana diet craze going on again!

I hope the craze go off soon coz' I really miss having banana in my yogurt..

lierre.empire said...

hi..i always love reading japanese blog ..ur blog haf lots of nice blueberry!!...i from singapore...i b gng japan tis dec for honeymoon...any place to recommend for cheap hotels and gd baking place in tokyo??if u need things from singapore i can bring it over too =)
u can email me at