Sunday, January 04, 2015

Some Things Never Change... Our New Year's Feast

I guess long-term readers of my foodblog already know what our New Year's feast looks like, because it's always the same. Right?

But think about it. With mom's dementia progressing, being able to make the same celebration feast with her as previous years is a great thing. Actually, this time, things weren't as bad as before.
This is what I wrote on my FB about our preparation for the feast this time:

"Last year, I had a real hard time on the New Year's eve, cooking with mom all day. She was on Aricept then and was irritated and feeling insecure. This time, her memory wasn't necessarily improved, but she was calmer and more organized today, and seemed to be feeling confident in some tasks. I guess I have to give mom's medication credit. The combination of MEMARY and ARICEPT did work for her!! "

And we managed to make and enjoy our Zoni soup, too, just like previous years!
Everything was the same.

Not very exciting? OK, then, I'll post something different this year. Me in kimono (traditional Japanese outfit). How's this?
At the end of last year, I was invited to my good friends' wedding. I decided to wear kimono, partly because I didn't want to wear my "only-for-funeral" suits nor rent something. Borrowing mom's kimono was the least expensive solution, to tell you the truth. But the main reason was for mom. She used to teach putting on kimono, and I thought that asking her to do that on me could stimulate her memories and do her good.

It worked! ;)
She did a great job, and looked like she regained some confidence. So I asked her to do it again to celebrate the New Year. Hence, the photo above. ;)

So, our start of 2015 was not bad, I would say.

Hope you enjoyed your New Year's feast very much. ;)

A Belated New Year's Greeting

The first sunrise in 2015 -- Photo taken at an abandoned fishing port near my house

I wish you the very best for 2015 !!  :)

Sorry I didn't post this on January 1st. It was a hectic day, as you can imagine, and it took me two days to recover. Now it's already the 4th, but I hope it is not too late to with you a wonderful, happy, prosperous new year full of excitement and lots of love.

                                                                                                      - obachan

What? You say these vines remind you of something you've seen before...? like, at the end of last year?
Oh, you're just having a deja vu.   ;)  ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas to All My Friends All Over the World !

My Christmas Fruitcake 2014

The rum-soaked dried fruits were baked into this lovely cake about a week ago. The cake was iced today...

... and now it's looking like this on the table.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful time now. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Looks Like I Don't Do Well with Sudachi...

Awfully Bitter Sudachi Infused Liquor

Remember the sudachi infused liquor project which started in August, 2014
Yeah, the photo looks kind of nice. And the fragrance was sooooooo wonderful when I opened the jar. But the taste was... !!  X(

I should have taken out the rind much earlier. It gave the liquor quite a bit of bitterness.
It'd help if I added a lot of club soda and ice to it...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Preparation Started !

Dried Fruits Soaked in Rum

FINALLY I used up this bottle of Myer's rum! Don't ask me when I bought this bottle. Hehehe...    ;)

As you can see, there wasn't enough rum left to cover the top of the dried fruits. I guess I need to stir them once in a while...

The post about my Christmas fruitcake 2014 will come in about a month.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Unforgettable Sudachi Citrus Dressing

   Fish Marinated with Super-sour Suchachi Citrus Dressing

My previous foodblog, Obachan's Kitchen & Balcony Garden had a "Bloopers" category (please don't try to open it, though ... It doesn't work now and I can't fix it anytime soon). On this blog I'm not labeling "bloopers" any more, but THIS dressing should have deserved a label like that. :P

Here's the story.
I harvested bunch of sudachi citrus this summer, and used some for infused liquor, but still had a lot of leftovers. And before my family could use them up as a condiment for grilled fish, they turned yellow. So I came up with an idea of using the juice for a salad dressing. Not bad idea, right?

So the idea was OK. But the result wasn't. It turned out REALLY sour.
The reason was that I didn't have enough olive oil at hand and didn't feel like additional shopping. And I was too lazy to save the sudachi juice for some other use -- like jelly or something --. As a result, too much juice and too little olive oil made a VERY sour dressing. ERrrrrrrr!

I thought that it might be OK for marinating fish, especially when served with cheese. Hence, the top photo.


I'm actually writing this post in November, but the dressing is still sitting in the fridge. And I've been ignoring it until...
... until it turns obviously moldy or rotten and I can throw it away with no guilt? Hehe... ;P.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ginger Project - Part 1 -

Sliced Ginger Roots

To tell you the truth, I'm writing this post in November, after harvesting some ginger roots from my veggie garden. I was going to post about the excitement of the first harvest, but I thought it would be better to upload this "part 1" story beforehand.

So, this is about what I made in September with some store-bought ginger. And I'm posting it with a date in September... Sorry about my procrastination - as always - and modifying the post dates like this from time to time. :P

Anyway, in early September, my inner voice ordered me to make ginger syrup, and I followed the order. I cooked ginger slices with sugar and spices ...

 ... until I got this nice, thick syrup. The color turned out pretty dark because I used brown sugar.

 Homemade Ginger Syrup and Candied Ginger

What you see in front of the syrup is candied ginger I made with the ginger slices left from the syrup making.

The syrup was a success. I mixed it with club soda and threw in a few mint leaves to enjoy the sweetness with the refreshing kick, and before I knew it, the jar was empty. :D

The candy turned out quite hard, sweet AND very gingery. I was pretty satisfied and looking forward to using it for ginger bread and soft ginger cookies. But one day when it was extremely hot and humid, the candy melted and the whole thing turned terribly soggy.
* Sob *
So, would I throw it away?
Of course not.

There'll be a post about the Part 2 of this ginger story, and you'll see how I used the soggy sugar-ginger mixture.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another Jam Session in the Kitchen! ;)

Homemade Blueberry Jam, 2014 

I've been lucky with my jam making this summer: Ume plum jam (used the plums taken out from homemade ume juice), tomato jam (used home-grown oval tomatoes, Aiko) and this blueberry jam.

If you are a long-term reader of my blogs including the previous foodblog, you might remember the sunshine blue bush I was growing in a planter? I brought it with me when I moved into my parents' house and planted it in the garden. Last winter it looked sick, so I cut most of its branches. Then the bush had no flowers this spring and I thought the other blueberry wouldn't yield any fruits because it wasn't a self-pollinating kind. But for some reason (maybe someone in this neighborhood is growing blueberries), it gave me this many!

This Year's Harvest (336 g)

Yep, I kept them in the freezer, and this time I didn't wash them before freezing because I had read that it would make the skin harder. And the day before yesterday, I finished the tomato jam, so yesterday morning, I found myself cooking these berries in an enameled pot.

The jam tastes good, but seedy. I wonder if there is a seedy kind or it's the way I grow the bush...


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