Month: July 2015


Pickled Red Shiso Leaves | 赤シソの塩漬け

The rainy season is finally over to encounter a hazardous heat wave. It has been over 35C (95F) with humidity over 80 even 90 percent, a cruel weather continuing for at least a week or so and yet to continue until the middle of August so tourist contemplating to visit Tokyo should be well prepared to ‘sweat like mad’ – visit the natural Tokyo Sauna Habitat, guaranteed to loose a couple of unwanted pounds. (Think positive!!!) These thunderhead clouds are signs of very hot weather. 『梅雨明け10日』という言い伝えがある様ですが、、 『梅雨明けずっと』とおもうほど過酷な暑さが続きますね。 お仕事をされて方は通勤で大変。 家にいる方は外にも出る勇気が出ずに殺人的だと日々呟いております。(我家の主人?のこと、、笑)入道雲は日本の夏の風物とはもうおもえず、天気予報を見るたびに気象庁に憤りを感じずにはいられない日々です(笑)。 Even our little dog sleeps upside down to cool herself down. 我家のワンも28℃のエアコンの効いた室内でも熱を逃がすため、、上むきで寝ています。 Well getting back into the main topic…. After the rainy season comes Japanese plum making. The Japanese plum is called ‘umeboshi’, an authentic pickle which most every household stores in their refrigerator. Since the ‘umeboshi’ is pickled with ‘red shiso leaves’; this is the season to see ‘red shiso leaves’ which I was lucky to purchase a natural grown stem (no use of pesticide) from a farm. The shiso leaves can be used in …


Caramelized Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake | ルバーブをケーキ作りに…

Having grown up in Ireland (as well), rhubarb was quite a common vegetable which was often used for my confectionery baking ingredients – cakes, pies, tarts to even puddings and mousses. However rhubarb is not common in Japan only quite recent, of it’s vivid red color that pâtissiers in Tokyo are starting to using to accentuate their beautiful confectioneries, jams and sauces. For my home baking……(apart from what goes turn into jam), I keep a short stack of rhubarb in the freezer. Since I am not a heavy sugar eater, I prefer to keep my rhubarbs unsweetened (just a sprinkle of sugar) but I’ve tried out a new tested recipe with caramel and to retain the red color and designed shape when baked – A Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. 最近やっとルバーブが日本に少しずつ、、浸透してきたのかしら? 赤ルバーブの値段が高騰して始めているの気がつきます。赤と緑のルバーブは味に違いはないのですが味覚は見た目で左右されるますね。特に日本人とフランス人は。 赤ルバーブの方がケーキも作りたくなるし、、 ジャムも赤ルバーブジャムの方が綺麗で贈り物で貰ってもうれしいし、、 最近はJ◯Lのファーストクラスの食事でもアペタイザーのソースとしても使われる様になったとか、、(J◯Lのチーフパーサー情報)。数年すると手軽にボコボコとジャムにできるような素材じゃなくなるのかしらね? 赤い色を何とか保ちたいと考え、願い、、 綺麗にデザインされたケーキを作りたく、、 『アップサイドダウンケーキ(逆さまケーキ)』を作ってみました。 甘さも控え目が好きなわたし。『甘くない!』と不評な声を解消する為にちょっと冒険して、キャラメルの上にルバーブをレイアウトして焼いてみました。 Rhubarb placed over  a  layer of  caramelized topping. After residing in the oven for 60 minutes, turned upside down. Another favorites are my Rhubarb Crumble Cakes which has is a madeira cake base with rhubarb topped with …


Nara Chameshi (Rice cooked in Japanese Tea) | 奈良茶飯

    A shojinriyouri (food and meals eaten by the monks) called ‘Chameshi’. It was introduced in one a television program – ‘Travel Nara’ which translated to me as very authentically Japanese, our foundation of Japanese food – soy beans and Japanese Tea. Looking up the historical fact of ‘Chameshi’ – The origin of Nara Chameshi comes from the Todaiji (temple) and Koufukuji, where after having taken their first brewed tea, the second tea was used to cook the rice with a small amount of salt; in which the steam rice was soaked in the first brewed tea as a sort of ‘soup risotto’ (Ochazuke). Chameshi, ‘cha’ means tea and ‘meshi’ means rice.   奈良の旅番組を見ていたら、、『奈良茶飯』という精進料理をうるおぼえで作ってみました。大豆と日本茶で土鍋で焚いているご飯はなんとも美味しそうに見てて、、早速うるおぼえ乍ら再製してみました。 (ネットで調べて情報は下記) 「奈良茶飯(ならちゃめし)の起源は、東大寺と興福寺の寺領から納められる上茶を煎じて初煎(初めに入れた茶)と再煎(二番茶)に分け、再煎のお茶に塩少量を加えて飯(めし)に炊き、蒸らした後に初煎の濃い方に浸けて食べるのが本来の茶飯であったといわれている。何となく茶飯のお茶漬けを想像する。 この中に、焙(い)った大豆または黒豆、カチグリなどを加えて豆茶飯、栗茶飯などといったようである。前述したように、東大寺二月堂修二会(お水取り)の練行衆の食事に茶粥と共に茶飯が出ているので、僧坊では古くから食べられていたことがわかる。一般には、江戸時代の中期に浅草や各地で茶飯屋ができて、「奈良茶」の目印を出して客を呼んだことが記録に残っている。 (田中敏子著『奈良の味』改訂版より引用)           Original Recipe: (Japanese cup = 180cc) Rice Cooker Version 3 cups of rice 1/2 cup of dried soy beans 4.5 cup of Japanese tea (Obancha /Brown Tea or Osencha/Green Tea) 2/3 cup of Water 1 Teaspoon Salt 2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce   Wash the rice and drain the rice to dry …


Quest for Apricots | 杏の里を訪ねて、、 Part 1

Although we’ve been encountering continuous rain during this ‘monsoon’ season, there are few days of hiatus here and there where when we decided to take a trip known to be the ‘Home of the Apricots’ in Nagano-prefecture (I will place a link but unfortunately none of the web pages have English sites).

Zucchini Vegetable Quiche

a vegetarian…Zucchini Potato Crust Quiche | ベジタリアン・ズッキーニキッシュ

A friend of our family brought over a huge…huge zucchini grown in his petite farm in the outskirts of Tokyo.  Oh dear… big! but the size was just perfect to ring a (artful) bell in my head. Since I’m trying keep an eye on my husband’s cholesterol levels, I’ve made the crust with shredded potatoes. So…it’s SORT OF a vegetarian quiche not totally vegetarian since I’m using milk and eggs in my appaleil but it works.