Seven Herbs: Seven Days: Nanakusagayu

Seven days after the new year Japanese people eat okayu, a kind of rice porridge, flavoured with seven herbs. The dish is called nanakusagayu, or Seven Herbs Okayu. It’s not delicious. It’s traditional. It’s a way to count the progression of the year — one week has already passed. Like Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, onwards and forewords we travel through the year until we’re back where we started one year further on. Nanakusagayu. It’s that time again. To make okayu you’ll need a ratio of 1:5 rice:water, though some families add… Read More

Whoopie Pies!

I’m joining my first cooking challenge — I didn’t know these existed, if you know of any please, please, please pass along the information. The challenge is to make a Whoopie Pie. With so many recipes already online I’ve decided to create a savoury whoopie pie. My idea, so far, is to make the cake portion no sweeter than a hamburger bun and the filling with a flavoured béchamel or a savoury marshmallow. I have a project now! Time to break the Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose F50, Carrageenan, and egg whites. 🙂

The Quiche Epiphany

apple and quince pie

Today’s assignment is to describe the genesis of our blogs, so I need to tell you about my Quiche Epiphany. For very specific reasons I was cooking for myself in grade school. When I was about fourteen my father had a quadruple bypass. That visible impact of diet on health concurred with my health classes and long story short, I became a vegetarian and stayed so until about twenty. Being raised in Los Angeles health food was always a visible part of many lifestyles around me and felt, at the time, more… Read More

New Year’s Eve and soba

Though I’m from southern California, Japan is my home now. Since this blog starts just after the New Year I’ve been thinking to show you what a year in the life is like here through food. This is toshikoshi soba. Soba, a noodle made from buckwheat, is rolled very long and eaten in a simple soup just before midnight on new year’s eve to symbolise long life, luck and prosperity. There are lots of add-ins. (I like thinly sliced leeks and tempura.) This year we went with jumbo shrimp. Personally, I prefer… Read More

A New Year’s Promise, a new year goal

I have wanted to create a website about food for years. My friends have asked me, pushed me, threatened me but, always the bachelor, my instinct is to avoid getting tied down. This week my friend, Sen, posted a Facebook challenge to create something new each week, which I’ve taken as a opprotunity to start a blog about food and perhaps my life here in Japan. I’ll explain in an upcoming post, but my goal this year is to balance my Quiche Epiphany with my fitness goals. To do that I’ll be… Read More