Tag Archives: sausage

Sports Day

Last Saturday, our daughter’s primary school held “Undōkai” at their school ground, which is an annual Sports event organized by the school and students. The entire school (1st to 6th graders) are divided into two teams, White and Red, and compete. It is quite serious and formal – in a way it looks like a mini Olympic, with a proper opening ceremony with speeches & singing of the national anthem, followed by numerous games including cute dance performances and the exciting relay race, and completed with an impressive award ceremony.

It was the first time for our little girl as well as for her Dutch father to participate in the Japanese Undōkai. She just took it as it was, but my husband seemed to have gotten a little taken aback, describing it as a “military inspired parade”. I think he was exaggerating a bit, but maybe it could be a bit overwhelming if you’d never seen it before as an adult.

Anyway, at Undokai, traditionally everyone eats (usually homemade) bento for lunch on a picnic mat. I didn’t make anything special for the occasion but simple onigiri and some leftover side dishes. Still, we all enjoyed it together with all our friends.

To our surprise, our daughter ended up last in her group for the 40m dash. We always thought she was very athletic, but this proved us to be super biased about our own child. Instead, she performed superbly for the dance performances, showing us all the sweetest dance moves. Perhaps she could be a future performing artist…? … I know, I know, I shouldn’t pressure her into anything…

Win or lose, it was a great, memorable Undōkai, and we are very proud of her.

Dutch Christmas holiday 2017

Over the past Christmas holiday, we visited my husband’s family and relatives in the Netherlands. After about 18 hours since the departure, we safely arrived at my husband’s mother’s place in the south of the Netherlands, two days before Christmas, where the year-end chaos back in Tokyo felt like distant past. I love the quiet, serene, family focused and heartwarming atmosphere of European Christmas, which is quite different from what we have in Japan (more commercialised with strong attention to romantic setting, in some cases involving expensive jewelry and an overnight stay at a luxury hotel). The following day on Christmas eve, we were ready to kickstart the festive season to begin, only to find out our poor girl got some tummy bug somewhere along the way and had to give a miss to all the Christmas celebrations. Luckily, a few days later she was fully recovered, and all of us resumed to enjoy our time-off.

After our rather miserable Christmas, the three of us were invited by the mother of my husband’s Dutch friend, who lives in the small village close to the city called Tilburg. The farm house where she lived was filled with holiday atmosphere with handmade Christmas decorations all over the place. Our daughter’s eyes widened with excitement as she walked into the front door. The house was warm, kind, and sparkly, just like an old house you’d see in a fairly tale. In her lovely kitchen there was a large pot heated in the gas stove, and whatever inside it gave an amazing and appetizing aroma of winter dish along with the heaping steam coming out of it. The candles were lit, the dinner table was perfectly set, we were all seated, and it was time for the dinner to be served… And I was dumbstruck when the lid was opened – I just didn’t expect how it would look like, and I couldn’t resist myself taking a photo. Voila, this is as hardcore Dutch as it can be – the famous Dutch “Stamppot.”

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This was followed by delicious vegan Rhubarb Crumble, which apparently was not necessarily a traditional Dutch dessert. Nevertheless, it was absolutely divine. I wish I didn’t eat the second potion of the gigantic sausage so that I could eat more of this amazing dessert.

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Talking about the traditional Dutch delicacy, they have this pudding like, or maybe more like custard type of dessert called Vla. To me, it’s like eating vanilla (or cocoa) cream that usually comes with spongy cake, but any Dutch people I’ve met strongly insist Vla is not cream nor pudding, but is Vla. OK then, it is Vla. Well, our half-Dutch daughter loves it, especially when mixing vanilla & chocolate Vla before eating. During this holiday, she’s had it numerous times, including her last cup of Vla 10 minutes before leaving her Oma’s place back to Tokyo.

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Kindergarten bento – Getting cheeky (4/Oct/17)

Our daughter doesn’t like sausages. As a parent, maybe I should rather be grateful, but sausages are handy for bento, since it’s so easy to prepare (either just boil, lightly fry or microwave it). 

She is turning 5 next month, and is getting cleverer and cleverer each day. Today, she claims she “accidentally” dropped the sausage in her bento, and didn’t have to eat it as a result.

I just can’t wait for her to turn to be a teenager.

Menu: Lightly fried sausage, Nira (garlic chives) omelet, Boiled okra, Grilled cod marinated in saikyo-miso, Steamed carrot slices, Rice
Apple bunnies for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Getting cheeky (4/Oct/17)

Our daughter doesn’t like sausages. As a parent, maybe I should rather be grateful, but sausages are handy for bento, since it’s so easy to prepare (either just boil, lightly fry or microwave it). 

She is turning 5 next month, and is getting cleverer and cleverer each day. Today, she claims she “accidentally” dropped the sausage in her bento, and didn’t have to eat it as a result.

I just can’t wait for her to turn to be a teenager.

Menu: Lightly fried sausage, Nira (garlic chives) omelet, Boiled okra, Grilled cod marinated in saikyo-miso, Steamed carrot slices, Rice
Apple bunnies for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Unfinished (3/Oct/17)

Menu: Dried jako baby sardine, boiled spinach (chopped) & sesame sprinkle mixed in rice, Lightly fried sausage, Boiled okra, Boiled egg, Cherry tomato

Japanese Nashi pear for dessert

My daughter didn’t finish her bento today. It is a little disappointing to see one third of rice and a sausage, as well as the entire dessert untouched. Her teacher told me she didn’t stop chatting over the lunch table. While it’s heartwarming to picture the scene, I’ll need to do something about our little miss chatterbox!

Kindergarten bento – ‘Summer Day’ bento (29/Aug/17)

After a long month and a half, there are only a few more days left with our daughter’s school summer holiday. Today, her school opened up prior to the new semester for so called ‘Summer Day’ service. Basically, they start the day an hour later than usual, so that the kids (& parents) could gradually adjust themselves back to their normal school routine, including their favorite lunch time.

As such, my bento making routine started a few days earlier as well.

Menu:

Grilled salmon flakes mixed in rice, Fried mini sausages, Asparagus omelet, Cucumber sticks, Cherry tomato

Japanese Nashi pear for dessert