Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Blueberry Extravaganza!! - Part 3

Blueberry Muffins

As in my previous post, while making my blueberry dessert, I got tempted to make another blueberry-related dream of mine come true. That was, taking photos of blueberry scones or muffins sitting on my favorite tea cloth WITH some berries in a small woven basket in the background and some berries scattered on the cloth, maybe with some white wild flowers or something. Well, I already had that setting on my table right in front of me. All I needed was scones or muffins...

Of course I didn't have enough time for both scones and muffins, so I chose muffins.

Now let me share with you the result of my crazy morning ...

OH it's been a long time since I did something like this last time...   It really felt like, "Obachan IS back!!" :D

These weren't just waste of time, though. My parents do not like Western pastries, but they did love my blueberry-custard cream dessert when I shared it with them.
So, in addition to satisfying my desire, I did do something good to my parents, too. Right? ;)

Blueberry Extravaganza!! - Part 1 and 2


Two days ago, I found a big bowlful of blueberries on the kitchen table. Dad said that one of our relatives bought so many of them, for some reason, that she didn't know what to do. So she kindly came to our house to give us some.
OH! So many blueberries!!

Now, long term readers of my foodblog may remember that I used to grow a blueberry bush in a planter when I was living alone in an apartment. It yielded only a handful of berries, but I was really making a big deal out of it. Remember?

And it was my dream to one day get so many fresh, ripe blueberries, smother them with something like custard cream and eat them from a big bowl with a big spoon. I experienced that luxury at a Thanksgiving dinner or something at my friend's house in America almost twenty years ago. And it became a wonderful memory that will last a lifetime. OK, OK. You can laugh at me. But food-related memories can be really deep seated for anyone, you know?

Anyway,this could be my once-in-my-lifetime opportunity to make that dream come true! Actually, I thought, "Mmm.... If I use relatively small amount for one purpose, I could make a couple more blueberry-related dreams come true."

One of the dreams was making fresh blueberry pancakes, stacking them up and drizzling them with maple syrup with a few fresh blueberries on top. So that became Part 1 of my blueberry project, which I went for yesterday. Look at my breakfast yesterday morning! :D
Part 1. Blueberry Pancakes

And last night, I made something similar to custard cream as a step to my lifetime dream. LOL Then this morning, instead of just eating it from a bowl, I expanded the project a little bit. So, Part 2 of my project was taking some photos of my blueberry-custard cream dessert...

 Part 2. Blueberry Custard Cream Dessert

... and then, of course, eating it! :D

The dessert was not exactly the same as what I had in America decades ago. But it was close enough. Quite satisfactory. Really! :D

But I couldn't stop there... I ended up adding Part 3 to this project, which I will share in my next post. :)
Yeah, the baking fairy in me went hyper!! LOL

Monday, July 25, 2016

There Still Is a Hope...

Green Ume Plums and Rock Sugar (Jun 3rd, 2016)

Guys, I have a confession.
1. I forgot to post about my ume plum juice project 2016 when I started it in June.
2. It was NOT a total failure -- at least -- but not a great success, either.

So, let me give you more details.

On June 3rd, I sterilized the jars and lids in boiling water for more than 10 minutes. I had kept the green ume plums in the freezer overnight. I bought a new bag of rock sugar instead of using the leftover from the year before. So, in a nutshell, I WAS ALL READY for a success. I pictured myself having a sip of nice, refreshing ume juice on a hot and humid day at the end of July.

But, oh well. It was already quite hot in early July, and I was lazy to put them in the fridge. Actually I thought about it but reluctant to do so because the rock sugar was not melted completely then. And when I took a look at the jars four days ago, my ume juice was covered with white foam and probably white mold. AHHHHHHHH!! Fermentation! Oh NO!

The good thing is that, thanks to several kind bloggers, now I know how to save the juice when this happens. According to their blogs, if you remove the plums and the foam and cook the juice (syrup?) at about 70 degrees C for about 10 minutes, it will be still drinkable, UNLESS it developed green or brown mold.

So, that's what I did yesterday.

Ume Plum Juice -- or Syrup, Being Heated

After heating it for more than 10 minutes, I cooled it, poured it in two bottles and put them in the fridge.

The taste? No, I haven't tasted it yet. I'll probably give it a try in a few days, and I'm not too optimistic about the taste, to be honest.  With the mold and being heated like this, the real refreshing ume flavor must be lost. I'm just happy that I didn't waste 1 kg of ume plums and 1 kg of rock sugar. That's about it.
Oh well.  ;P

Friday, June 03, 2016

And This Time I Didn't Use Cheese !

Oven-baked Horse Mackerel?

The lunch I had yesterday. See? This time I didn't use cheese, and it was definitely a right decision. :)

BTW, I used tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, thyme, white wine, salt and pepper for this dish. And it was baked not in a regular oven, but a toaster-oven. Then, is it OK for me to call it "oven-baked?" And as long as it is "baked," I cannot call it "acqua pazza" right?

How about "baked horse mackerel a la Provence?"  ;)

(BTW I'm not going to tell you that the horse mackerel fillet's expiration date was May 30th.)




Thursday, May 19, 2016

Gee, I Didn't Need Cheese for This One ...

Jack mackerel with tomato sauce and cheese, baked in toaster oven

My lunch today.
Mom bought a lot of small jack mackerels the other day. They are not small enough to be ideal for deep-frying, but not big enough for sashimi (sliced raw fish). So I used about half of them to test my tomato sauce. Other ingredients were olive oil, garlic, herbs from my garden and cheese.

The dish tasted OK. The tomato sauce was not too sweet and went well with seafood, I thought. But it would have been better without cheese. Definitely. :(

Anyway, soon we will have fresh tomatoes from dad's veggie garden. And around that time, it is also young jack mackerel season. Mmmm... can't wait! :D

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It's This Time of the Year AGAIN!

It's great to have a relative who grows tomatoes in a huge greenhouse. Every year we get so many of them! :D

And that means it's time for me to make tomato sauce and jam as I do every year, which means, using the onion, thyme and garlic from our veggie garden and deep seawater salt from a local shop.

Ahhhh... Now I'm ready for a huge seafood pizza!! :D

Monday, April 11, 2016

First Abalone Picking in 2016

First harvest this year! Seventy of them!

I guess long-term readers of this blog already know that April is never April without this: abalone picking.

Here's my old post about this chewy type of abalone and my mom.
And one year later, mom had to have a surgery to cut off her left foot and wear an artificial foot. The above post in 2009 was the last time she was able to pick abalones.

Maybe a caring daughter should quit abalone picking completely for mom? If the daughter continues the habit, would that make mom feel miserable about her not being able to do that any more?
Believe me. I thought about that A LOT. And IIRC, I didn't pick abalones at all in 2011.
But in 2012, I finally decided to re-start and continue this habit. If I continued, she might feel miserable. If I stopped, she might feel guilty. Either way, she would feel hurt a little. Then wouldn't it be better that my family can at least enjoy the taste of this type of abalone?

So that's why I picked seventy of them last Saturday, like this:
(click on the word "this"above to see the viedo!)

... and cooked them in a pressure cooker.

I guess I'm going to batter-fry some of the leftovers in a few days. :)

And I posted some of the photos from this abalone picking on another blog of mine.
Click on the link below and enjoy!


The sea in this area is full of life. We're really blessed. :)


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

A Dream Came True !

Beetroot Pickles with Cottage Cheese

See what I'm enjoying now! :D

Never really thought I could make this happen here at my house (my parents' house, to be more precise), but oh, you never know!!  Oh, I'm so happy!!

What I would like to do differently next time is adding some whole cloves (I didn't use them this time) and making the pickling solution less sweet.



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