When Life looks like a random romp through Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights; and foggy feelings arise like mist on English moors, what do you do? I reach for poetry. Japanese haiku poets I find are the most poignant. There’s an acceptance that joy and grief are intertwined.
The Japanese cherry blossom is a pretty popular topic in poetry. (Sakura – the Japanese word for cherry blossom – is also more frequently seen than “love” in Japanese song lyrics.) No wonder. As the cherry blossom blooms, there is an awareness that its demise is around the corner.
With the passing of my father, many questions have arisen. My ideas about Love are shifting. Gentleness with myself seems to work best. The 3 mighty masters of the Japanese haiku brigade - Basho, Buson and Issa – bring Light to my struggles.
You could be on your way to Orlando, Florida! A step or two away from Disney World, the 2017 Food and Wine Conference (#FWCon) is taking place May 19 to 21. The revered food writing guru and author Dianne Jacob is scheduled to speak. Other speakers will address important issues such as time management, social media and marketing. Presenters and participants can also hob-nob whilst sampling scrumptious food and wine. Sounds fantabulous, right?
The Florida Dairy Farmers are picking up the tab for one person to attend the 2017 Food and Wine Conference. All you need are a couple cups of milk and your go-to kitchen tools. A blessing of creativity from your Fairy Godmother could help, too. Click here for the #MakeItWithMilk #FWCon contest. All you need is one winning recipe using dairy products. Even if you don’t win admission, the Florida Dairy Farmers are handing out iPad Minis and Visa gift cards. First, second and third place winners will all be featured on FloridaMilk.com.
Is it a sweet or savory that brings you back to your childhood supper table? Who was there? What makes your memory extra special?
Japanese food and language were all I knew until age 5. Tokyo was my hometown until age 18. I still read, write and speak Japanese. Tamagoyaki, Japanese egg omelet, a childhood go-to also remains a favorite. Thanks to my nanny and surrogate mother, Kawaji-san. (I regret she wasn’t in my life longer.)
Generous Japanese friends have taught me their secrets to tamagoyaki making. I am grateful. So is my husband. But with Iron Chef Morimoto’s tamagoyaki-making technique – from his newest cookbook, Japanese Home Cooking – I’m super excited to report a replication of sushi restaurant style Japanese egg omelet.
Of course, tamagoyaki atop Japanese white sticky rice is scrumptious. But as summer weather approaches...
Since samurai times Boy’s Day (now Japanese Children’s Day) is celebrated on May 5 in Japan. After vanquishing the French in 1862, Mexican warriors started the tradition of a great big party on May 5, Cinco de Mayo. Although the reasons for the festivities are different, both holidays honor courage. The French word for heart is coeur. All great warriors know that to engage in battle takes great heart. Festivals are fun. But whilst nibbling, oh, say on an Oreo Taco Cookie and staring at a samurai accouterment, it’s nice to remember why the May 5 holidays began.
So, I’m glad that parades still take place in Puebla, Mexico where the battle victory over the French occurred. I’m grateful too that in Japan, remnants of the samurai rituals of initiation remain. Kabuto, the crowning helmet of battle armor is displayed in many homes. Koi, carp flags flutter everywhere, symbolizing the brave fish that swim upstream.
Japanese Children’s Day is also about praying for the health of our kidlets...
The truth about Japanese animal cafés depends on your philosophy about life. The well being of café critters is a debatable subject. (Employees’ love of their birds, cats, dogs and hedgehogs, however, is uncontested.) Your perception of a café will probably depend on your sensitivity to seeing caged bunnies and clipped-wings birds.
Another truth about Japanese animal cafés: If you’re teaching English out in the countryside, you’ll need to catch a train to Tokyo. Or Osaka. Most if not all the cafés are in cosmopolitan areas.
Café may also be a misleading word in some cases. In some animal cafés vending machines are the source of the coffee or tea. Other places are bonafide afternoon tea spots. (Scroll down to see links to a menagerie of popular animal cafés in Tokyo.)
It’s true that a visit to a Japanese animal café is easier if you know a few words.
Let’s start with the animals.
“Life is meant to be sweet,” says The Sprinkles Baking Book author, Candace Nelson. With her coast-to-coast Sprinkles cupcakes franchise, Candace has sweetened the lives of countless customers. Including Disney fans who are familiar with the Sprinkles Cupcakes sold at The Happiest Place on Earth.
Sprinkles Cupcakes opened its doors for the first time in 2005 in Beverly Hills, CA. Sprinkles Ice Cream came along in 2012. Both stores sell delectable cookies. A frequent visitor to the Beverly Hills store, a decision of which cupcake to buy never gets easier. Intensifying the situation is Sprinkle’s chocolate chip cookie. (Peanut butter and oatmeal cookies are also options.)
The fantabulous recipe for the store’s chocolate chip cookie is revealed in The Sprinkles Baking Book. Sprinkles has mastered the art of the soft cookie. I attempted to replicate the deep chocolately chip cookie. The perfection
Fate has a funny way of dancing us in directions unimagined in childhood. Hiroyuki Igarashi, owner of the popular Manhattan Beach RICE, is an avid baseball fan. From childhood through college he played baseball. A career in sports seemed to be in the cards. However, adult realities and responsibilities appeared during his college years. In both Tokyo and LA, when he was not studying or on the baseball field, Hiroyuki-san worked at Japanese restaurants. In LA, his passion for serving traditional Japanese dishes was sparked. Inspired by mentors like celebrity sushi chef, Uechi Katsuya...
CourseHorse has galloped into LA! Click on the site. Look up almost any subject and CourseHorse will connect you to a class. It’s a great way to lean into a dream. Say you want to switch careers. Maybe visions of creating masterpiece cakes keep appearing while analyzing data. Wouldn’t it be nice to throw on an apron over pajamas instead of a 3-piece suit? Still, you suspect stenciling on fondant should be mastered before ditching the secure 401k. CourseHorse to the rescue.
CourseHorse has over 2,000 cooking classes in Los Angeles. Whether it’s better baking skills or producing patisserie store beauties, CourseHorse is a great source. A search for baking on CourseHorse brought up Cakes & Cupcakes offered by the Santa Monica Gourmandise School. Curious, I signed up. Sooo glad I did. Clémence Gossett (a co-owner) and instructor extraordinaire presented...
When Japanese TV weather reporters start their cherry blossom forecasts, you know it’s spring. Due to the diversity of temperatures in Japan, the pretty pink petals are spotted at different times. Follow the Parade of Cherry Blossom Festivals and Parties, you’ll see picnics! Who wouldn’t want to enjoy yummy treats under branches laden with pink? Truly it is like fairyland. Parks in Japan turn into magical places.
You want to rush out and enjoy the delights of spring. Tuna and tomato bento boxes are the perfect solution. This Japanese bento is easy to prepare and super-nutritious. Tuna is good for the heart. Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids. Tomatoes are packed with vitamins A, B6, C and K. The best part of tuna and tomato bentos are the deliciousness. Tucked into Japanese rice, the tuna, tomato and a dash of soy sauce tickle the tongue with salty and sweet.
Even if you live in Antarctica, tuna and tomato bento are...