Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes

Gee... I never thought there would be the day that Michael Jackson dies... Yeah, I'd heard that he was sick, and with all the operations and rumors about his health, maybe it was expected? But still it's hard to believe ...

Anyway, "Fried Green Tomatoes" is my all-time favorite movie and thus this dish is very special to me. It's a great privilege that now I can get green tomatoes anytime (in tomato season, of course) from our veggie garden for free. No more walking around at the Sunday market asking, "Do you happen to have green tomatoes?" :)

Next time I want to make them thicker and crispier.

I was lazy and just tossed the sliced tomatoes in the flour mixture without dipping them in egg or milk or anything. As a result, I ended up seeing far more cornmeal at the bottom of the skillet than on the tomatoes. :P

That's OK. We still have plenty of green tomatoes in the garden.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No More Fears...

First Harvest of My Zucchini

OK. Confession time. Be honest. When you read, "I thinned out the young zucchini plants and left only four of them" in my previous post, how many of you went, " 'Only four?' *chuckle* Well, you'll see..." in front of the display? Yeah, I learned a lesson. Definitely.

When I made a quick online search in May, I did find some sites that mentioned the bounty of the crop, but all the authors happened to be living outside Japan. The Japanese websites I read then said more things like, "Pollination may not be successful unless you do it manually" or "Male and female flowers tend not to bloom at the same time," bla bla bla... So I thought that maybe zucchini was difficult to grow in Japan because of the weather or something.

But I started feeling a bit scared as my zucchini plants reached for the sky like this ...

...and both male and female flowers opened one after another...

... and their offspring grew like long balloons being blown up one after another. My parents said that they had never seen anything like this before.

Darn me. No one else but I asked for this. And some of my zucchini grew twice as big as store-bought ones while I was busy with consuming other crops from the veggie garden AND yamamomo.

But finally yesterday, I told myself that it was time to face it.

First I went for "the must" recipe: zucchini bread. The recipe was my good old one, except that I added a pinch of salt this time. (I don't exactly remember why I omitted it when I wrote the above mentioned recipe... Maybe at that time I was using somewhat expensive, rather moist salt. I remember that the salt didn't melt well when sifted with other dry ingredients, and since the zucchini was rubbed with salt beforehand, the saltiness added up to make the bread too salty. So perhaps I wanted to be on the safe side.)

Zucchini Bread

OK. One zucchini disappeared from my sight. And I kept looking for a few more recipes to use a lot of this vegetable at one time, because there were several more that looked almost ready to be picked. Then I bumped into a recipe which turned out to be a lifesaver. It was -- I should copy and paste the name instead of typing -- Kolokithokeftedes!

To try out this Greek dish, I simplified the recipe quite a bit. I didn't use tomatoes or potatoes, and used grated cheese (popular Japanese brand) instead of feta cheese. But still, the "fake meatballs" really tasted like meat and it was AMAZING! :D So tasty!

Kolokithokeftedes Obachan's Version

I made about ten meatballs, or patties -- whatever you call them -- and managed to use up two big courgettes just like that. Oh, I'm soooooooooooo happy! Now I'm not scared any more. No more nightmares of this long, green vegetable chasing me with evil eyes and sharp claws. Hahaha...
(Nevertheless, I'm going to grow less than three plants next year ... or maybe just two.)

And I'm going to experiment some more to make a Japanized version of this dish without cheese so that dad can eat it. I wonder if using katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) would do... because I know a recipe that uses it to make "fake chicken nuggets." I'll post a recipe if I come up with a great invention.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Viva! Anthocyanin -2-

The second batch was a big success. Yay! :D

After the disastrous attempt on the previous day, I told my parents, "I don't wanna see yamamomo any more. I'm making no more jam with them, at least this year. I mean it!" They grinned and said nothing, and I knew what that meant. There's one more yamamomo tree in dad's orchard where it's relatively flat ...

And I was right. On the next day, they came home late in the evening with another 5 to 6 kilograms of that anthocyanin-rich berries, and said, "Oh, it was just the perfect timing!" with big smile on their faces. Yeah, the berries are nice'n ripe. They look juicy. But what are you going to do with them? I'm not making jam any more!!!! Seeing the look on my face, mom rushed to the fridge to make some space in there and stored the berries neatly in it. Dad gave away about 1 kg of them to a relative. And they made puppy-eyes at me...

At 10:30 AM next morning, I found myself in front of a few big enamel pots, bunch of granulated sugar, a lemon and loads of that juicy berries. Mom was there to help.

First we made juice out of them, thinking that it would be a safe choice. Even if the juice wouldn't turn out great, it can be used for jelly or mousse. A few online recipes I found looked very similar; they said 1 kg yamamomo, granulated sugar (apx. 30 % of the weight of the berries) and a half lemon (sliced). All you need to do was to wash the berries, put all ingredients in a pot, add water just to cover them, cook for 5 minutes, cool and strain with a cloth. No-brainer. :)

The pink color of this cloth faded in a few days.

The juice was not anything great, IMHO, but not bad if properly thinned with cold water or soda water.

After lunch, mom and I started making jam. Yeah, jam. AGAIN. But by that time, my motivation was pretty high -- I wanted to improve and do a better job so that I can save my self-esteem.

And things went much better this time. Pitting was much easier with mom's help. We had fun checking each other's work to make sure no seed was left in the mash, and our fingertips were colored pink when we finished. This time I knew better about when to stop cooking. Of course no pectin was added. Actually, maybe because the berries were a different (bigger) variety, the jam started thickening much faster this time. :D

Look how much we made! But no problem. The jam turned out good enough to be given to friends and relatives, so we are going to give away the smaller jars. I made the labels myself, BTW.

See? The color of the second batch was just fine. (The real color was a little darker than this photo, but definitely not as dark as Worcestershire sauce.) I was worried about the texture because the mash wasn't strained through a strainer -- just processed in the blender like the last time. But it was no problem.

Here's a note for the future:

Yamamomo Jam Obachan's Version
2 kgs -- yamamomo
1070 g -- granulated sugar
5 to 6 drops -- juice of lemon from dad's orchard

* Dad's lemon was not as sour as store-bought ones.

So, thank goodness, my trauma was healed. And now I'm willing to make yamamomo jam in the future-- BUT NOT THIS YEAR! :O

Oh, and even the super-dark, ultra-viscous first batch is being consumed little by little. Just adding a little boiling water solved all the problem when it was used for these creations.

Baked Cottage Cheese Cake with Yamamomo Jam on Top

Yamamomo Jam Swirl Cake

There's a good reason why I'm not showing inside of this cake, but you're not supposed to ask.

* I don't think fresh yamamomo can be shipped to other countries from Japan. It goes off so fast and so easily. In addition, often some tiny worms are hiding inside between the long... I don't know what they are called, sacs? fibers?... and the worms could multiply even under refrigeration.

But the fruit is said to be good for health, being rich in anthocyanin and flavonoid.

Yamamomo on FoodistaYamamomo

Friday, June 19, 2009

Viva! Anthocyanin -1-

Fresh Yamamomo (Japanese Bayberries)

Before I talk about my terrible two days with this anthocyanin-rich fruit, I think I should apologize. My "challenges" series may be quite misleading or unfair because they are digests of stressful incidents only and do not include positive aspects, such as what mom is perfectly capable of doing or what we enjoy doing together at this point.

Honestly, I started that series just to make my adjustment easier and to provide fun(?) reading for those who want to know what life in rural Japan is like. Nothing more. Having a little mental health training background, I would have been more fair and thorough in giving information IF my intention were to discuss mom's condition and treatment on this blog. But it wasn't, because this is basically a foodblog, after all, and I want to keep it that way.

Nevertheless, I'm adding a little more information here for those who are worried about my family because of my unfair input. Mom is not disoriented yet, and still capable of organizing and running a tea ceremony event. She lists up all the necessary equipments correctly (means matching the ranks and seasonal themes correctly), packs all of them, crossing out the listed items one by one and makes lottery to give participants thank-you gifts before they go home. Sometimes she collects necessary fee and distributes photos when necessary. She often does that all by herself, and so far never forgot to bring anything to the event. (Sometimes sorted the photos wrong, though. :p) Oh, and she has medical checkup every year.

Yes, here in Japan, ARICEPT is available, even for MCI patients (if the doctor thinks it's necessary), but IN BIG CITIES. In a very rural place, the issue is if there is any hospital at all in town. But it's possible to see Japanese diagnostic test for Alzheimer's disease online as well as the limitations and side effects of the drugs used for treatment. In fact I had an experience of taking a senior to a doctor for testing and being involved in her case conference at a facility years ago. It was amazing how the diagnosis... Well, it's a long story, so perhaps I'll write about this whole thing in more details somewhere else someday.

Anyway, let's go back to yamamomo. Dad and I harvested about 4 kilograms of them in dad's orchard on day 1, which filled this big basket in the top photo and a big plastic bag. We really had to work hard, and it was hilarious. Why? Because the yamamomo tree was planted in a VERY inconvenient location. Dad's orange orchard is terraced on the hillside, and the flat parts are obviously meant for the orange trees only. OK. I'll reveal my artistic talent (Ahem!) to show you where the yamamomo tree was and how we harvested the berries.

Don't laugh. My family has been harvesting berries from this tree in this way from two generations ago. The berries are high up in the tree and the tree is weak, so we tie a net like this and one person climbs up a nearby, bigger tree and shakes off the berries. What was hilarious this time was that the net was not in the right angle, though we spent hours to set it, and nearly all the berries bounced on it and jumped over my head to fall on the ground! LOL

But that was not the hardest part. When we got home, dad said that yamamomo goes bad so fast so they must be kept in the fridge, and if no space in there, the berries should be eaten or cooked right away. Of course there was very little space in the fridge, so I had to start making jam with them right after dinner, alone, though I was already exhausted...

It was the most traumatizing jam-making experience in my life, honestly. I picked a recipe on a Japanese website, which called for 5 kilograms of yamamomo and said that the berries should be washed carefully and thoroughly. Give me a break. It's already 8 pm. I measured only 2.5 kgs of them, but my back started hurting when I finished washing them. Then I boiled the berries until soft, and seeded them by pushing against a coarse strainer with a wooden spatula. The instruction said that the mash should be strained through a strainer, but it was too fiber-rich that I gave up real soon. Instead, I processed it in an electric blender for 15 to 30 seconds.

Then cooking. The recipe said, "Don't cook it too long over low heat, or the color would turn dirty." Fine. But no matter how long I cooked, the jam didn't thicken at all. The wooden spatula and dishcloth were colored red. When it was past 10 pm, I saved half of the runny mixture as "yamamomo sauce," and threw in a bunch of pectin into the rest in order to put an end to this agony and go to bed. Yeah, the jam was set -- finally, and overly...

Next morning, the jam was too thick that it almost broke the spoon inserted in it, and the color was as dark as Worcestershire sauce. And it gave me a headache after I ate it. It was overwhelmingly sweet, with a hint of sourness of wild berries. AHHHHHHHHHHH....

So, dear readers, be ready for another jam pound cake post coming soon.

... to be cont'd ...

Monday, June 15, 2009

And the Challenges Go On.. Part 4

Mom didn't come to dinner tonight. This time it was dad who triggered it. Yep, mom's 6th(?) hunger strike since I moved in.

Wait, I shouldn't call it hunger strike any more, because the other day I found out that she had bunch of food in her own small fridge in the annex, in addition to some instant ramen noodles on the shelf. She even set a toaster oven on the shelf so that she could have light meals there without coming to the kitchen. So these days, when she is mad at either me or dad, she seems to be eating something in her room or coming to the kitchen to eat alone between regular meal times. That's much better than starving herself, isn't it? So I'm feeling more at ease these days.

It was the day before yesterday that mom's bad mood started. Her friend gave her about 30 to 40 young shiso (perilla) plants. Both dad and I helped with spading the soil and mom planted all of them. Then yesterday, mom came home in the evening with some bigger shiso plants from the same friend, and insisted that what was planted on the previous day must be pulled out and replaced with the big ones immediately. There was enough space for the additional big ones, too, so we couldn't understand why all the smaller ones had to be pulled out. Dad told her so, then she didn't come to dinner and did all the replacement by herself until it was completely dark.

And today, she skipped breakfast and ate something in the kitchen when no one was there. And in the afternoon, according to dad, she started telling him what to do about another crop in the veggie garden, repeating the same thing over and over, until he finally yelled at her.

Looks like she cannot stand it when other people do not approve of her idea or plan or way of doing a certain thing, and cannot let it go until she gets even by ordering around. Or by not eating, at least with the person(s) who upset her. Or by doing something bad for her health so that she can say, when someone worries about her health, that she doesn't care because her family doesn't treat her right and she doesn't want to live long or something along that line. You know, that old game.

Of course she didn't eat dinner with us today. But I heard her going into the kitchen a while ago and she hasn't come out yet, so I guess now she's eating something there. It's good. As far as she's eating, I'm not too worried. ;P

And her obsession with buying frozen food still continues. When I moved in about one and a half month ago, the freezer of the big fridge was jam-packed with frozen food, including 8 packs of ready-made sweet and sour pork. Then in May, her obsession seems to have been directed towards frozen gyoza (potstickers), and she started ordering them every week. Soon the freezer of my fridge was filled up, and when a huge box of frozen gyoza from food co-op was delivered, I told mom that all the freezers in the house were full. Then she went into a hunger strike. And she added an order of another value pack of frozen gyoza after I checked the order sheet, which I found out on the following week.

A few days later, at the supermarket, she grabbed two packages of frozen gyoza, so I asked her to return them because we had plenty of them in the freezer. Then, as I wrote in my lemon sorbet post, a big bag of frozen gyoza was delivered and I asked mom not to buy any more frozen food, which triggered another hunger strike. And the day after, I found that she brought some more frozen food after she went to see her aunt, skipping lunch and dinner, and shoved them into the freezer in the kitchen. It was too full to be closed completely.

And you know what? She almost never eats any of the frozen food she buys. She doesn't like ready-made sweet 'n sour pork or gyoza.

But other than that, recently she really tries to flatter me after she gets out of her hunger strike. She eagerly tries the result of my culinary experiment and compliments it. She does the dishes the same way as I do. She even hands me the order sheet of food co-op every Tuesday night so that I can add my orders before the delivery guy picks it up on Wednesday. Of course I check the order and erase some of them. These days she is into ordering value packs of Popsicle, as it is getting hot and humid now, and storing them in her own freezer. Actually the order sheet for tomorrow is right in front of me now and I see check marks on two different kinds of Popsicle...
... AND a value pack of FROZEN GYOZA...   orz

BTW, the top photo is a fallen yamamomo (myrica rubra or Japanese bayberry?) on the ground. Yesterday I harvested a big basketful of them with dad, which was really a hard work. And making jam out of them last night was even more challenging. :O But I'd rather write about it as a separate post in a few days.

Oh, I almost forgot. Sad news. Jonathan is gone. He's been gone for weeks now. The last time he was seen was when the ocean was stormy like this:

According to a granny in the neighborhood, he was walking slowly by the road perhaps because the beach was being washed by rough waves. And since then, no one has seen him on the beach or anywhere around.

I hope he was not attacked by stray dog or something. Now I feel so lonely when I walk on the beach in the morning.

Maybe he hitchhiked and ventured into a new place where he might find a girlfriend? Oh I really hope so.

One more thing:
There's an old relative who is so into making gomokuzushi. She makes a whole bunch of it like every other week, and gives so much to my aunt. Making the sushi could be her life work and it's nice that she has something to keep her busy and make her feel useful. The only thing is that her gomokuzushi is ... uh... the opposite of delicious. Uh... the opposite of tasty. You know what I mean. My aunt can never refuse it, and gives most of it to us. Imagine having like ten servings of opposite-of-delicious gomokuzushi in the middle of a flood of fresh food into our kitchen and mom's hunger strike... :O

Friday, June 12, 2009

TLA #1 - Not Bad For The First Try -

Stuffed and Deep-Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Fried Fish Fillet

Oh yeah, I hear you guys saying, "Wow! Obachan, you did it!" Yep, I did it. I sacrificed the first two zucchini blossoms and made this dish for lunch today.

The flowers were pretty big and both were female. I didn't hesitate to pick them because the male flowers seemed to have needed more time to bloom, so pollination was not possible anyway.

Zucchini Blossoms I picked today

I made the stuffing based on the several recipes I found on the Internet. If possible, I wanted to try the simple ricotta cheese stuffing, but of course such a thing is not available in a rural place like this. So I used cottage cheese instead, and out of curiosity, I also minced onion, zucchini and shrimp and mixed with the cheese to make the stuffing.

The combination was good. I L-O-V-E-D the taste of the flowers with the stuffing. But the fried flowers were not crisp at all and I definitely want to improve that next time.

BTW, are you wondering why the title of this post starts with TLA? Well, as long-term readers of my previous foodblog probably know, it was a series of posts on my "Obachcan's Kitchen & Balcony Garden" and TLA stands for "Tough Luck Angler." Yes, the posts were about my fishing adventures.
Yes, I started going fishing again! :D And the fried fish fillet in the top photo was my first catch here (not including the fishing experience in my childhood).

Wrasse and Largescale blackfish

These are tasty fish. But the ones I cautht were just -- small. (Again!) Let's say, primary-schooler size, if not babies? My family usually simmers or deep-fries small fish like these, and I chose deep-frying this time so that I can use the same oil after frying the zucchini flowers.

So, after all, my first fishing here, as well as my first zucchini flower dish, turned out alright, I think.
And I'm looking forward to the next try. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lemon Sorbet

Lemon sorbet (June 8, '09)

FYI, mom has her own small fridge in the annex(?). The other day something urged her to move the eight overripe lemons (which had been sitting in her fridge for months) to the main fridge in the kitchen. The veggie section of the main fridge was almost full and she asked me if I could make something with the lemons.

My parents make juice with goya (bitter gourd or bitter melon) and fruits almost every day, thus there's no need (and no space in the fridge) for lemonade. Other than lemonade, I couldn't think of anything else but lemon curd and lemon sorbet for using several lemons at one time. So I made lemon curd first. As I had expected, it was obviously too Western and too weird to my parents, and it's still kept in a small Tupperware in my own fridge.

Fine. It was expected. Maybe lemon sorbet would be a better choice that all three of us can eat.

So I decided to go for the sorbet, but unfortunately, on the previous day, all three freezers in this house became completely full with the last delivery of the frozen food mom had ordered without my knowledge. (She must have added the order after I checked the order sheet of the food co-op.) I asked her not to buy any more frozen food like that, which triggered another hunger strike. :( I'll tell you the details in my next post about the challenges, but anyway, it resulted in making some space in my own small freezer and I was able to make this sorbet.

I used the recipe on this Japanese site. The ingredients are simple: granulated sugar, water, rind of half a lemon and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I did put the first three ingredients in a saucepan and brought to a boil, cooled it and added lemon juice, as the recipe said, but I was too lazy to strain the juice mixture with a cloth. :P

Still the sorbet turned out pretty good, and even mom liked it when she tried it after getting out her 3rd (4th?) hunger strike since I moved in. So I guess I can call it a success. It was extremely good and refreshing after the deep-fried dish last night.

Deity and Cucumber

Last Sunday there was a traditional religious celebration held at the local shrine. It was a small gathering of one small community in the town only. There was no performances like traditional dance, music or parade or anything. It was just a prayer by Shinto priest followed by a festival feast, I heard.

I didn't go but my mom needed to be there to cook festival food with several other women in the neighborhood. Now, as I once wrote on my previous blog to disillusion the readers, cooking at this type of traditional community event is usually much more stressful than successful. :P Especially at a small event like this, no budget is allocated for the feast, and local housewives always spend some time beforehand deciding who would bring in what ingredients, or who would cook what dish at home to bring in.

My parents' house is close to the shrine, so mom always chooses to cook at home. Of course, it's easier and much less stressful than cooking at somewhere else under the supervision of some grannies who have to season every dish strictly their way. Haha...

So last Sunday, mom got up at 3:30 AM to make some traditional salad, deep-fried dishes and somen noodles. (For the record: It was ME who actually spent a couple of hours in front of the electric deep fryer in our kitchen.) She had to go back and force between our kitchen and the shrine several times, and got really tired at the end of the day.

BTW, here in this community, when celebrating the deity called Gion-sama, we are not supposed to use cucumbers in the feast. According to the priest here, the symbol of the deity at our community shrine is related to cucumber. Well, I didn't hear it directly from the priest but through my dad, so it could be dad's version of the story. But later I googled and found the same custom in other areas in Japan, too. There they say that the cross-section of a cucumber looks similar to the crest of Gion deity, so the ancient people banned eating cucumbers during the celebration of the said deity.

In the evening, mom came back with a big plate full of leftover food from the feast. At the dinner, my family enjoyed the food -- more precisely, ciricizing the food made by others, and I bet the families of all the participants did the same that night. Hahaha... And the good thing was that mom totally forgot about her hunger strike.

Mom said that there was a visitor from abroad that day. She came to visit a group doing some research on sea turtles here, and someone in the group invited her to experience a traditional community event in a rural Japan. Mom said that she was having a hard time trying to eat somen noodles with chopsticks. Too bad I wasn't there. She must have felt more at ease to see a Japanese who cannot use chopsticks properly.

Actually there ARE some ocean-related, possibly international(?) researches going on in this part of the prefecture. Other than the sea-turtle research I mentioned above, a couple of dolphins are providing animal therapy in a fishing port, not too far from here, and the big rocks on the coast have been found academically important for the research of ancient crustal movement. It feels good to live in a place like this. You know, this rural town may not be rich at all, but by no means "unimportant."

Saturday, June 06, 2009

From Our Veggie Garden (2)

Some morning photos from our family veggie gardens:
My zucchini -- Look!! Are these ...?!

Wow! You know what this means? It means that the start of my very first "fried zucchini flowers" project is drawing near. :D Gee. I wonder how many flowers I'm going to get! About two weeks ago, I thinned out the young zucchini plants and left only four of them. Now they are all looking good.

Here straw mulching is popularly used to keep the soil moist and suppress the growth of weeds.

And other vegetables are looking good, too.




Kabocha Pumpkin

Snap beans? French beans?

I don't know what this is called in English. Dad said it's a vineless variety.

In addition, leaf vegetables like spinach, lettuce, mizuna and daikon are growing like crazy.

Imagine all these vegetables becoming ready to eat one after another and being brought into our kitchen every day... When mom is on a hunger strike..! We already ate so much of the cucumbers and leafy vegetables, but it was just the beginning, I guess.

Please don't blame me for feeling a bit scared than happy.

It's going to be a nice day today.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Photogenic And...

Strawberry Tart which turned out satisfactory (finally!)

Maybe some of the long-term readers of my previous blog remember my strawberry tart post from 2008? Looking back, it seems that I never had a great success with strawberry tart, to tell you the truth. Sometimes it was the strawberries, and sometimes the tart shell or the cream that lead to a disappointing result. Well, but more than anything, it was ME. The result must have been better if I had tasted the berries beforehand, or if I had followed the recipe precisely. Hahaha...

But you know what? Even this obachan is making a progress. :)

Despite the disappointments in the past years, I didn't want to give up the pursuit of non-dairy tart recipe for my family, because it's a great way to consume loads of fruits we harvest almost throughout the year. Of course we can make jam and marmalade, but my parents don't eat much of them and I would get tired of them, too. To me tarts are a wonderful way to enjoy the freshness of the fruit with a different touch, like sweetness of the cream and crunchiness of the shell.

So I kept looking for recipes and experimenting with non-dairy substitutions, and finally got a satisfactory result this time. The strawberries were, again, the tangy ones from mom's garden. And the cream and the shell needed to be as light as possible to suit my parents' taste and preferably dairy-free due to my parents' health concerns. I definitely had to go through some trials and errors.

The first attempt after I moved in here was no good... The tart shell didn't come out from my small tart tins. LOL On the second attempt, the color of the beet sugar made the cream brown, so I used it for ampan and crepes. This was my third attempt. I substituted the sugar in this custard cream recipe (Japanese) with increased amount of beet granulated sugar, milk with soy milk, omitted rum and added a pinch of salt. For the crust, I chose this recipe (Japanese), did the same with the sugar (but did not change the amount), substituted the butter with margarine and again, added a pinch of salt.

I was soooooooo happy that the tart shells came out from the tins so easily! :D The custard cream was actually a little too light for me, so I might work some more on this recipe. But with this custard cream hiding beneath the whipping cream in the photo above, the tangy strawberries tasted much better. Even mom admitted that this tart was the best among all the things I made with strawberries after I moved in: jam, mousse and chocolate cake with strawberry cream. Yes, this time I can call this tart "Photogenic AND tasty." (Too bad the photo is not too good. It's raining now and I can't take great shots on rainy days...)

With this tart recipe, I can feel more at ease to face the upcoming fig season this year. YES!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Crepes with Three Different Fillings

Well, the idea was not bad... I think. Yesterday I made a test batch of Japanese style bread (ampan) with sweetened kabocha pumpkin paste and custard cream. The bread wasn't soft enough but the combination of the fillings was proven to be very good. I was happy for the rest of the day.

But I needed to do something with the leftover fillings today. The pumpkin paste could have been frozen, but not the custard cream. (Right?) So I thought this crepe idea could take care of several leftovers at once: ampan bread fillings from yesterday, loquat compote made about ten days ago, tangy strawberry jam made this morning but didn't taste good on toasted bread, and the whipping cream which had been sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Yes, the idea itself wasn't bad... But the thing is, none of these three kinds of crepes turned out great or anything. They were just OK.

Well, I'm going shopping now, and if I would have some energy left when I come back, I might try making mille crepes cake (which looks like this) with the leftover crepes, whipping cream and loquat compote. Maybe I could chop up the compote and mix with the cream...


I did. :D

Mille Crepes??

It was "just OK," again.


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