Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Morning! -4-

The weather has been strange this summer. Up until the end of August, the morning was either

... cloudy

or misty from wave splash

or foggy.
Seaweed on the beach

But perseverance prevails. The early bird catches the worm. And obachan finally shot a couple of photos that may make a few amateur photographers jealous (not because of my skills but because of the luck).

Omega Sunrise @5:32 AM August 25, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

So I Gave It Another Try...

Fig Compote

This was alright. Perhaps ice cream or soft cheese would be nice to eat with it. But I don't think I want to make tarts with my fig compote.

I might seriously consider buying a fruit dehydrator. It would take care of not only figs but cherry tomatoes, too, which would make my life a lot easier next summer.
(But before that, I need to find a job to save some extra money.)

(Added August 24, 2009)

Here's one more fig dessert. Baked figs with sliced cheese on top.
I know. More cheese. Definitely more cheese is necessary. This dessert doesn't taste good unless enough amount of cheese is used. But this was the last slice left in the fridge and I didn't want to drive all the way to the supermarket just for this...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Mom's Fig Jam on Yogurt

Help us. Our figs are ripening. So many of them, one after another... after another...

Mom is hyper now. Having recovered from burnout real quickly, now she makes fig jam EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every day she comes back from the garden being so mad, because her enemy, masked palm civet has been enjoying the ripe figs before we pick them. Several nights, she put some pieces of our not-very-good watermelon under the fig tree, hoping that the animal would eat the watermelon first, get satisfied and go home, forgetting about the figs. Nice try, but too bad, mom. Obviously he climbed up the tree first for the main dish, then came down and took a small bite of the dessert watermelon on his way home. He could be feeling more welcomed now, since he is given a dessert, too.

These are just part of mom's creations.

I don't hate fig jam, but it's just too much and I still have other kinds of jams to consume: ume plum jam, yamamomo jam and tomato jam. Dad doesn't eat any kind of jam very much anyway, so mom is practically the only one who is eating the fig jam every day. I'm sure she is going to give some jars to her friends. She'd better.

Fig jam pound cake

This is my contribution in consuming the jam. Yeah, pound cake. AGAIN! I'm sick of it.

If I could buy red wine tomorrow, I might give fig compote another try and make small tarts or something with it.
(Added Sep. 18, 2009)

I found the misplaced recipe yesterday, so I'm adding it here:

FIG JAM POUND CAKE Obachan's Version

100 g cake flour
1/2 teasp. baking powder
90 g butter or margarine (room temperature)
70 g sugar (I used beet granulated sugar)
2 eggs, beaten
70 g fig jam

Sift flour and BP together. Preheat oven to 180 C.
Cream butter (or margarine). Add sugar and beat until white and fluffy. Add beaten egg in 2 or 3 times, mixing well after each addition. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix with spatula. Add jam and swirl it with spatula. Bake at 180 C for about 40 minutes or the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

* Adjust the amount of jam and sugar depending on how sweet the jam is. (My mom's is very sweet.) I came up with this recipe by adjusting a popular pound cake recipe and using "maximum tolerable" amount of fig jam, since consuming mom's jam as much as possible was the main purpose of this pound cake project.


Monday, August 17, 2009

The Hectic Week Is Over...

My younger sister, her husband and kids left last Saturday. My parents and I were so happy to see them, and so relieved when they were gone. LOL Well, family reunion. You know what it's like, especially when kids are small. ;)

It was a stormy day when they arrived. But the weather got better soon and we were able to do most of the things we had planned to do: baking, fishing (two days in a row), BBQ in the backyard, BBQ on the beach and fireworks...

These are the only photos I was able to take during the hectic week. My aunt bought us the crabs in the top photo. We pre-boiled them at home and barbecued them on the beach. Also, as you can see in the second photo, we cooked rice and ate with retort-pouch curry. Ah, nothing beats the joy of eating on the beach on a summer evening. Cool wind, calming sound of the waves, a couple of fish jumping out of the water... When everyone is full, kids start counting stars above the dusking horizon...

We missed the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, but on the next night, my sister, niece and I spent hours outside, looking up at the star-filled sky.

So, that was our family reunion in summer, 2009. Right now my parents and I are suffering from mild burnout. It would take a few days to recover from this. The good thing is that they are calling for sunny weather for the rest of this week. We can wash and dry the sheets and covers used by the guests.

Monday, August 10, 2009

So Sick of the Humidity

Mushrooms on the straw mulch for my zucchini
(photo taken end of July, 2009)

My younger sister and her kids are coming today to spend the week with us. But what a luck. There are two typhoons, Morakot and Etau, one of which coming close to Japan to spoil our week. Heavy rainfalls have been reported, and the dancers at this big dance festival will have a hell of the time. (I can't be there to shoot photos this year, so I'm kinda happy about the weather being nasty. :P) Well, this is the year that a total eclipse of the sun happened. The weather must be somewhat unusual throughout the year, I suppose.

There were a couple of summer days like this last week...

... but it didn't last long, and today, it's soooooooo humid again that mushrooms could grow on my shoulders. :(

Well, we'll try to have as much fun as possible. Hope I can take some photos to share with you guys.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Fruit Salad for Salvaging Bland Fruits

Roasted Fruit Salad (Figs, peaches and blueberries)

My first encounter with a foodblog dates back to 2004. It was this lovely blog that totally charmed me and inspired me to start my own foodblog several months later. Yes, she who eats. That was the one. It was (and still is) a dream blog to me, and after reading the posts there, I felt like making everything she made and posted about.

One of the things that I definitely wanted to try out was this roasted fruit salad, because it looked so tasty and, at the same time, awfully easy to make. But in 2004, I didn't have a casserole dish, and couldn't buy much fruit except some real popular ones like apples, bananas and tangerines.

Now it's summer, 2009. I have this Pyrex thing, and more than necessary figs from mom's fig tree and loads of peaches. I tell you -- peaches are terrible this year here in Japan. Maybe because of the lack of sunshine? The ones we got from a relative as a summer gift were so firm and bland; they were almost like raw potatoes! My family didn't know what to do with the peaches, and when I was brainstorming, the memory of chika's roasted fruit salad came back to me. Yeah, some butter and brown sugar might do a magic...

The result: Bland peaches were still bland even after roasting, BUT the butter and brown sugar really helped. I cannot say that this was a great success, but it was not bad -- and definitely far better than eating the peaches fresh. (Figs tasted better when fresh, I would say.)

Maybe peach cobbler is worth a try to salvage the rest of the peaches.

* I noticed the linkwithin widget on "she who eats" and just added it to this blog.
;) How do you like this?


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