Sunday, December 23, 2007

meri kurisumasu

"Meri Kurisumasu" as the Japanese say. If you are in Japan during Christmas, it may be a holiday in the States, but it isn't here. In fact, all the excitement takes place before the "Big Day".

Couples have dinner together on the Eve. Satoshi and I have done this a couple of times since moving to Japan, but there is zero ambience, especially if you go to a restaurant which is popular with the younger crowds, not to mention, the food is very overpriced.

There was one Christmas Eve dinner where Satoshi was sitting right across from me and we couldn't hear what the other was saying because of all the chatter.

Another thing that is overpriced during Christmas are the cakes. Outrageous prices for 6-inch or 8-inch cakes made by well-known pastry chefs!

So anyway, here is our Christmas tree. A gajumaru (banyan), I picked this up at the 100 yen store, maybe a year or so ago. And when I bought it, it was less than half the size, I even cut it once to see if it would stay small....look how big its gotten.

Since Christmas falls on a weekday this year, and Satoshi doesn't get the day off. We decided to have our Christmas dinner tonight.

I made some barbecue shrimp from a recipe that Nate gave me. (Thanks Nate!)

Barbecue Shrimp adapted from Ruth Chris' Steak House Waikiki Beach
10 shrimp peeled, deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sake
juice of one sudachi (lime)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
several shakes of Tabasco
several shakes of cayenne pepper
several shakes of paprika
10g butter

1. Wash shrimp, peel, discard shells.
2. Heat pan, add oil, cook shrimp until just done.
3. Remove shrimp, add sake, reduce volume by 1/2.
4. When sake is reduced by 1/2, worcestershire, tabasco, cayenne pepper & paprika.
5. Shake pan well, cook 1 min., reduce heat to low.
6. Add butter to pan.
7. Add shrimp back, toss well to coat w/ butter & heat.

The shrimp was delicious, very tasty with a little kick from the chilies and went nicely with our tender, wagyu steak. I also tried making a matcha (green tea) yule log cake but that didn't work out, so it turned into trifle. Still, we had a nice dinner and I have lots of dishes to wash....

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! Tomorrow is a holiday...the observance of the Emperor's birthday.
(photo taken at Herbis Ent in Umeda)


lina said...

Merry Christmas to you!

Rinshinomori said...

Merry Christmas to you and Satoshi. I really enjoy reading about Japan (my birth place). My husband and I are planning on purchasing a studio type of apartment (vacation home) in Tokyo or thereabouts in 2 - 2 1/2 years so that we can stay longer when we are there.

Christmas in Japan has gotten so much more commercialized didn't it?


OkiHwn said...

The BBQ shrimp and wagyu steak look great! But no garlic?

Merry Chistmas!

Anonymous said...

Mele Kalikimaka, Kat! I love your tree.

K and S said...

Thanks T.

Ran out of garlic, Nate :( Next time, I'll put for sure.

Very commercialized, Nona.

Merry Christmas, Lina.

Merry Christmas everyone, take care.

KirkK said...

Merry Xmas Kat! That's a wonderful tree.

2kamuela47 said...

Mele Kailikimaka a me Hauoli Makahiki Hou! Take care and give my aloha to Satoshi.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Kathy!!!
Your christmas dinner looks very Yammy!!
We are going to have Christmas dinner tonight in our house but ours are...TENUKI!!!

Have a wonderful Christmas!!!

K and S said...

Thanks Kirkk!

Same to you Laura!

Have a wonderful Christmas, Aya!

Take care everyone.

Kathy YL Chan said...

Mele Kalikimaka Kat!! =)

K and S said...

Same to you Kathy!

Take care.

Jenny said...

That looks delicious! You make so much things I want to eat! I made matcha cookies today for a tea party and people weren't such big fans. :( I guess green tea is an acquired taste...but they are so pretty! I must adjust the recipe I found to fit everyone's tastes! :)

And merry christmas!

K and S said...

Thanks Jenny! That is too bad about your cookies, maybe you have to make them sweeter?? Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Hey hon, I hope you and Satoshi have a wonderful holiday season! :)

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

K and S said...

thanks Ellie!

Merry Christmas.

Jann said...

Your dinner looked perfect...and how nice to be able to eat where it was peaceful-and, do not feel bad about that dessert. It looked like that was the way it was supposed to were making a trifle, right? right..........

K and S said...

Thanks Jann...I was making trifle *wink wink...

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas. Thank you for sharing a bit of Japan at Christmas with us.

Japan is definitely on my list of places I want to visit. I'm always trying to learn all I can about the culture.

Stay inspired in the new year!

K and S said...

Thanks Ray, I hope you get to visit Japan soon :)

Take care and Merry Christmas!