Saturday, August 23, 2008

the past couple of days

After seeing Kirk's post on Chicago style hot dogs on Tuesday morning, I went out to find something close to it for lunch, but came up empty.

I did find a Hiroshima style okonomiyaki (550 yen about US$5.50), though. This was filling, lots of cabbage and yakisoba in the middle, but I was disappointed with the outside. Usually, Hiroshima style okonomiyaki has a thin crepe-like outside, this one was really eggy and thick. (Osaka style okonomiyaki has cabbage and other goodies mixed into the batter, so it usually turns out to be a thick fritter of sorts.)

Next to the Hiroshima style okonomiyaki were these taiyaki (120 yen about US$1.20). Taiyaki are baked in these tai (sea bream) molds and filled with an (sweet bean paste). This was disappointing too, the outside was really thick...more outside than bean filling.

Oh well...

On Tuesday night, I made the pancakes from the set that Satoshi received, for our breakfast on Wednesday. I also added a couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries into the batter.

I don't think the maple syrup in the set was 100%, it had a coffee flavor and was kind of watery, not the thick syrup that I was thinking of.

I also wanted to make candied bacon, but couldn't find the brand of bacon I liked at the store, so I just served it with some ham and the Darjeeling tea that came in the set...delish!

Thursday's breakfast was the leftover pancakes (from the mix I made 6, the bag said 4), ham, asian pear, leftover succotash & herb tea. This was the other tea that was in the set. The most outstanding flavor was mint, though the label said blue mallow, citrus peel and hibiscus (I think the label was wrong). It was still a good tea and breakfast.

After breakfast, Satoshi left for Tokyo and I had a lesson. After my lesson, I wandered around Takarazuka's Hankyu Department store. This store isn't as big as the main one in Umeda but they do have a food area.

I picked up this bento for my dinner at Yonehachi--750 yen (about US$7.50). I like this place because their rice is okowa and you can choose which ones you want. Just pick out the bento and tell them what okowa to fill the empty areas with. Some bento have 3 empty spaces, some 2. They had 4 choices of okowa and I chose the chestnut okowa and the shiso chirimen (perilla & whitebait) okowa. The main dish was a tofu "hamburger" (though it had no meat in it)...very filling.

Friday morning, I had another lesson, so I had my breakfast at Starbucks. Cranberry pancakes (the last time Starbucks had blueberry).

Lunch was at my favorite cafe, Per Caffe Bianco, as I was interested in seeing what kind of art would come with the iced cappuccino. There was no art, but they still make you feel special by putting it into this champagne glass.

Satoshi came home late last night and brought home these ningyoyaki (literally baked dolls) Like the taiyaki, it is baked in tiny molds the difference is that the outside is castella (an eggy sponge cake) and filled with an (sweet bean paste), the taiyaki outside is more like a waffle...delicious.I liked the packaging very festive. I think this is a picture of a matsuri (festival) in Asakusa. The house like thing that the people are carrying are called mikoshi. Mikoshi are tiny shrines. Different parts of Japan have different types of mikoshi. If I'm not mistaken, carrying the mikoshi gives you good luck and helps your wishes come true. Many men do this to wish for their wives health and households safety and children do this to wish for good grades and good health.

Remember the tomato that I threw into a pot?....looks like we'll have tomatoes soon! (hopefully before autumn rolls around)

It is Saturday, the candidates for our city council and mayoral election are out in full force, it is raining and gloomy and Satoshi is off to work.


Deb in Hawaii said...

Sorry some of your food was disapointing but good to try. I still can't get over the pancakes at Starbucks. I love the little pitcher (simple syrup I guess?) they give you with the iced cappuccino--its so cute.

K and S said...

Hi Deb,

Guess you can't have good food all the time, right? Anyway, yes that was the simple syrup, I didn't use any of it because I drink my coffees black, but it was good to show the size of the glass.

Take care.

Phoebe said...

Lovely yaki!! Most of your pictures are fabulous! The tomato plant is indeed beautiful. The photos looked professional.

K and S said...

Thanks Phoebe!

Take care.

KirkK said...

HI Kat - I'm bummed that you never found any Chicago Dogs.....the bento did look good though.

K and S said...

It's okay Kirkk, it just inspires me to try to re-create it on my own :) will definitely post about it when I do!

Take care.

ila said...

mmm,i love ningyoyaki! actually, i love fine anko in any bready casing.
hear hear, on the okonomiyaki. i'm actually half hiroshima-nese, so i am quite picky about it... it's hard to fine one that's done right!

K and S said...

I guess you can't get real Hiroshima style unless you go to Hiroshima, Ila :)

Take care.

Anonymous said...

I really like Hiroshima okonomiyaki...and taiyaki. Sad that they weren't that good.

Your tomato plant looks great!! I didn't realize you could just plant a tomato and it would start growing so quickly! Did you use fertilizer?

K and S said...

Just smashed the tomato and put it into the pot, Lori. You should try it.

Take care.