Why is it okay to discriminate against women?

We can chose to color our ideas any way we wish.

I teach at an international high school in Japan. This term I’m in charge of an elective on contemporary events as seen through media studies and literary theory. I’ve opened the term by exploring stereotypes. I want to share with you what they’ve been teaching me, starting with the fact that it is natural and good to discriminate against women. A few weeks ago I assigned two readings, one on ultra orthodox Jews who have been refusing to sit next to women on International flights and another on women who are snubbed… Read More

Hug your local graphic designer

roasted peppers

I’ve been learning InDesign. If every anyone told you Photoshop had a learning curve, InDesign has been more of a sheer wall of rock in the rain. I’m not complaining. By using InDesign I can see just how much of our world is preplanned. Fonts are a great example. How many of you ever stop to notice what font you’re reading, it’s color, placement on a surface, its spacing? Do you want to gleam the forethought that goes into our modern world — InDesign is a great tool to show you. After… Read More

Idli

idli and sambar

  Idli is not originally an Indian dish, but an import to India — I’m full of trivia. 🙂 When I was at CII idli was not on the menu, so to speak. A fermented mixture of beans and rice, steamed, then served with chutney or sambar, idli is a home cooked dish which you can sometime find out. Idli batter follows the same steps as dosa, but idli is steamed rather than cooked on a hot griddle. There is what’s called an idli steamer you can purchase to make the standard… Read More

sarson ka saag (recipe)

sarson ka saag

I came across a recipe online many years ago for a curry of mustard greens. By chance mustard greens were in season and I bought them not for onigiri, as the Japanese use them, but for Sarson Ka Saag. Since then I’ve sampled dozens of recipes, which don’t vary much. Mustard greens aren’t popular here, so when they come into season I buy them in bulk to freeze. I stem them and blanch the stemmed leaves from the stems separately. I prepare the dish with the tender parts of the leaves for guests… Read More

Cellphoneography: Typhoon hits, and misses

IMG_5595

I have yet to see one day of sunshine this trip. I left late on Friday. As I walked to my hotel in Okayama drizzle fell which built up in intensity (as typhoons approached but never made landfall) culminating in a new kind of weather event in Japan. There is no translation. They are bands of heavy rain which dump inches in minutes causing mudslides and flash floods. That was Thursday and it was surreal. I was touring a castle in Nagasaki-ken when a city wide siren announced it was coming. Within… Read More

Idli and sambar: White-boy-does-Indian

I have wanted to write a post on idli and sambar since I started this blog. I tried to finish one before I left but I didn’t have a chance to organize the photos before I left. So I’ll leave you with a photo of my breakfast, which is just as satisfying as lunch or dinner and suggest that if you’d like to learn how to make this go to the Reasder and in the tags section put in Idli or Sanbar. There are many, many, talented cooks on WordPress. I’ll post… Read More

Can anyone help me work out how to enable my comments? They’re up for the moment.

I finally worked out why my comments are disabled. (explained below) The ‘Happiness Engineers’ are on holiday, so I’ve disabled the part of the new theme which had deactivated the comment section.  If anyone knows the answer to my question, you can comment — for the time being. 🙂      (sent to the help desk)   I wanted to separate my existing posts into a visual template which visitors could click to be taken to that page. Here’s what I did: Customize –> Theme –> Team Template Category and Portfolio Template… Read More

Stock, generic recipe (with sous vide pictures)

stock sous vide (1 of 1)-2

Warm your home during the cooler days, or fill a pot with the bight, crisp flavors of summer by making homemade stocks. Anything you make from it will be enhanced.  Myself, I enjoy the day long process of tending a near boiling pot, of skimming, of straining and adding then straining again; but the Modernists have popularized two other methods for producing stock faster with less effort: Those made with a pressure cooker and Those made sealed in a plastic bag then cooked in a hot water bath (sous vide). Whatever the… Read More

Play with your food! Savory Cauliflower Bites

savory cauliflower truffles

(recipe follows) I was going to call them truffles. It just sounds better, doesn’t it? When someone asks what you had for lunch Cauliflower Balls doesn’t have the same panache. Looking for middle ground, I decided Cauliflower Bites captures what these are nicely. I got the idea from here from Molecular Recipes. Chef Digilio’s idea involves making a truffle from cream and garlic and coating them in bread crumbs. I tried it and the texture was wonderful — they melt in your mouth, unexpected for something savory. I rolled half of hs garlic… Read More

Vegetable Curry, a book and recipe

vegetable curry

(recipe follows) Several years ago the love of my life, Hiro, gave me an unexpected birthday present: A curry cookbook written in both Japanese and English. Until then I had never made Indian food — curry had just never occurred to me. He didn’t know me that well at the time but mine is the personality that when I do something, I devote myself to it and so I bought every single ingredient in the index from Asafoetida to Yogurt and went to work page by page, which created some friction in our… Read More

Chocolate Rye Crackers

DSCN1129

I came across a blog awhile back that featured rye crackers. I have stoneground whole rye in the pantry and got it into my head to make crackers with it. While I respect his recipe, I wanted something different. I went online to foodpairing.com and did some research on what pairs well with rye flour. I made a list of the ingredients I wanted to use — cocoa nibs, apples, brown sugar, caraway, black olives, lard, mustard, olive oil — and went to work. I went with three flavor pairings, the best… Read More

Candied Pumpkin Pie

You can candy most anything with slight adjustments for the fruit or vegetable. It all starts with an idea of what you’d like to do with the finished product. Here we have candied kabochya, a Japanese pumpkin, much denser than the American varieties. Here, I simply sliced the pumpkin and put it in a plastic ziplock bag with leftover orange syrup for two weeks. I did this to show you how hands free candying can be. During that two weeks, twice I poured the syrup into a pot and boiled it for… Read More