When you’re not 100%…

… have a bowl of Zōsui.

Zōsui is rice porridge cooked in broth. I mixed in a bit of miso paste to taste. It’s very light and easy to digest, which I needed desperately today.

Beside me my husband was eating bread for lunch (we both work from home). In our household, it is quite common to eat completely different types of food at the same time, especially for lunch. Perhaps it is one of the most important, unspoken rules we have at home in our international marriage – leave each other alone when eating your comfort food.

New addition to the family

Came across these beautiful plates yesterday at @utsuwakaede made by @muraidaiske. I’d been looking for a set of small plates for ages but couldn’t find the one that clicked with me. When I saw them displayed at the gallery I fell in love with them instantly, and knew I was making the right choice.

Can’t wait to use them.

Dinner for two

When my husband is out for dinner, I always cook something easy & quick but healthy for the two of us. Today, it was:

Pan fried sea bream (rose wine & balsamico sauce) & asparagus with steamed pumpkin as a main course

Tomato/cucumber/okra salad

Edamame

Freshly cooked rice

Cooking time: approximately 20 minutes.

Itadakimasu!

This week’s weekday dinners

Monday: Can’t remember

Tuesday: Hamburg steak with vegetables

Wednesday: Tomato & aubergine pasta, sautéed chicken with asparagus

Thursday: Ginger pork, Hijiki, Hiyayakko (fresh tofu)

Friday: Hijiki rice & Tempura

Now ready to rest. Have a good weekend!

Morning surprise

My alarm went off at 7:00am sharp this morning, and with it, I heard some banging noise from our kitchen.

Our daughter was already dressed for the day, and for whatever reason without any advance notice, she started preparing our breakfast. Swinging her messy hair, she was running back and forth between the kitchen and dining table, with a huge smile on her face.

Still in our pajamas with our droopy eyes, my husband & I looked at each other in amusement. Peeking from the side of her eyes, she knew we were looking. I could tell she was enjoying our attention. Diligently putting plates & cutlery (as well as Dutch appelstroop & cheese) on the dining table, she pretended she hadn’t noticed our presence.

After a while, with a little help from me, she even made our coffee using the Italian mocha maker with frothy warm milk (microwaved, but still).

At the age of 6, our daughter has proudly mastered the Dutch style breakfast in style.

Takenoko (Bamboo Shoot) 8/May/19

During this year’s so-called Golden Week holiday, we visited my family and relatives in Gunma prefecture, 150km north of Tokyo. Growing up, all I wanted was to get out of the suburban city where we lived, but going back there with the new perspective through my daughter’s eyes, everything looks different. Thanks to her, I’ve rediscovered what I had missed and failed to see all these years ago.

For the past few years in every May, we visit my aunt & uncle who live in the mountains for Takenoko diggings. After climbing up the ladder on their retaining wall to get to the bamboo grove behind their beautiful wooden house, we avidly started searching for the little shoots peeking out of the fertile soil. It is my daughter’s third time this year, and she appeared to be confident and know exactly what to do with the large spade.

We dug more than 20 of them and brought all of them home, many of which we shared with our neighbors back in Tokyo. I cooked a few of them (need to boil them for an hour as a preparation), from Takenoko rice, Takenoko curry and the most popular Takenoko Tempura (fritter). I served the tempura on the bamboo plate handmade by my auntie, as a side dish to the Udon noodles also from my hometown of Gunma.

Off, she went (Tuesday 9/Apr/19)

Our daughter’s elementary school started on Monday, and it was her first day today to go to school without us (this is the norm in Japan). There is a group of children in our neighborhood walking together to school, so technically she is not totally alone.

She didn’t even look back. Even insisted on coming home alone. I find myself totally at a loss of my daughter’s independent set of mind, and realised that I am the one who need to get used to the new phase of her life.

Off you go, my little girl.