Friday, December 19, 2008


I've been "reading" this Japanese book on tea time in Europe. The author visited several European countries over 10 years and talks about her observations as well as the different tableware and food items for each of the countries that she visited. The thing I love about this book is that the photos are beautifully taken and there isn't too much narrative....why?

One thing when I "read" Japanese books is that I usually need to look up kanji (Chinese characters) that I'm not familiar with (and that is usually a LOT). I usually take out my kanji dictionary, a Japanese-English dictionary and I also write down the kanji that I don't know into a notebook. (I have had this kanji dictionary as well as the Japanese-English dictionary since college.) If I don't have a lot to look up, I usually write the kanji and meaning in the margin of the book.

By writing down the kanji in a notebook, as I am "reading", I can look back at the words I have looked up and it usually helps me "read" the rest of the book a little more easily. As you can tell, since it takes so much effort, I don't usually "read" a lot of Japanese books.

So, I was reading the chapter on Holland and the author talked about warming caramel waffles (stroopwafel) on top of her mug. (Man, I wish I knew about this when Satoshi and I were visiting Amsterdam in 2000). Of course after reading about it, I needed to try it for myself.

Since I was near my favorite gourmet supermarket on Tuesday, I picked up some stroopwafels as well as two new teas.

Pukka had a black spiced chai tea & BOH had an earl grey with tangerine. (Pukka also has a herbal chai and a green chai, the green chai uses green tea.) I usually make my chai with black tea and fresh spices, but was interested in seeing how a teabag type would taste.

I immediately brewed a cup of coffee when I got home, and put the first waffle on top. I don't think I waited long enough because the caramel didn't get gooey.

After finishing my cup of coffee and the waffle, I surfed around on the net then had dinner. Then for dessert, I brewed a cup of chai using the Pukka tea, while I was waiting for the tea to steep, I placed my other waffle on top.

The waffle got so soft, it almost fell into the cup! The chai was delicious, though I think I should have steeped it for longer.

I've read some blogs that Starbucks has a caramel waffle, I will have to check if ours does.

p.s. I also tried the BOH earl grey, it was very citrusy and fragrant and delicious with a splash of milk.


shar said...

What a delish inspiration !
got me craving some.


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That waffle looks delicious! :)

Sounds like me with learning to read music. I have all these charts and notes and song books spread out all over when I am studying! Too funny!

K and S said...

Hope you get some soon, Shar :)

I hope it gets easier for you, JennDZ.

Take care you two.

Phoebe said...

wow!!! look at that! From the steam & evaporation, did the waffle absorb a little bit of flavour from the teas? or just the aroma?

Anonymous said...

代替 だいがりX だいがえ◎
州都 しゆつとX しゅうと◎


K and S said...

No Phoebe, the waffle just absorbed the heat no flavors or aromas.

Thanks Anon!

Take care you two.

genkitummy said...

Those waffle cookies look fun!
And great job with the kanji! Based on your notebook, I bet you're a really organized person!
My hiragana in high school probably wasn't that nice.

Aoi said...

I have learned English words just like you!:D
It helps me to remember easier^^

-mzfresh- said...

i love reading ur stuff ..

it really inspires me to try new things ... =]]]

K and S said...

Thanks Genki, I'm organized for certain things, in other areas I am not :)

I think it is a great way to learn English, Aoi :)

Thanks MZFresh :)

Take care everyone.

Lori said...

Great study system with that notebook, I've never seen one laid out like that. And that looks like a yummy snack to go along with your reading and net surfing!

Debinhawaii said...

Great post (I am so behind in my visits--I have to read the whole week now I think!). Love the tea and am a big fan of the stroopwafel. They are so yummy. Starbucks has carried them off and on for years. i don't know what the current status is and it would depend on the market of course. I think Japan actually had them when the market was opened in '96.

I am so impressed with your kanji and your notebook! You are one smart person!

K and S said...

Thanks Lori, it is actually a notebook to study foreign languages, the first column is for the foreign word, the next one is for the pronounciation and the last one is the Japanese word, I just reversed the order in the notebook :)

Thanks Deb, I looked on the Starbucks Japan site but I didn't see any, so I think they discontinued it :(

Take care you two.

Tamakikat said...

Caramel waffles, tea and a good book. It all sounds wonderful Kat.

I wonder what recipe you use for chai...


K and S said...

This is the recipe I use, Tamakikat :) Hope you like it.

Take care.

Fuji Mama said...

What a great idea! It takes me FOREVER (probably way longer than you) to read anything in Japanese for the same reason. I do the same thing, and have notebooks filled with notes. Mr. Fuji does the same thing, but his notebooks don't fill up as fast. Drives me crazy--I don't know how he keeps everything in his head so much easier than I do! No fair!

K and S said...

Mr Fuji is probably the same type of student that doesn't take many notes and passes the test with an "a" I right, Fuji Mama??

Take care.

2kamuela47 said...

Those waffles look good! Hope all is well.

K and S said...

Thanks Laura, I hope you are well also.

Take care.

manju said...

Just had to say that your notebook system of keeping track of kanji is impressive, but not as impressive as the fact that you have done this so consistently over the years. Brava! (I stopped Japanese after the 2d semester in college)

K and S said...

Thanks Manju :)

Take care!

gaga said...

Mmmm, that looks sooo good! What a wonderful idea!

K and S said...

Thanks Gaga, I hope you try this too :)

Take care.