Saturday, May 29, 2010

Penang-born BBQ King in the making...

Not to say that you can get to yaya (show off) how 'terror' your friends are...
While yours truly is hiding away, keeping a somewhat low profile as a small time academician in a small time university here in Japan, an old buddy of mine is, yes, practically creating waves over the other side of the pacific... and he says he is just having some fun doing it as a weekend hobby...
Harry Soo, or 'aSua' to us 'goondoos' in the inner circle, hails from Penang.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

First try at oatmeal cookies

Today is such a rainy day... and such strong winds...
There was no way I could go out into my field to work.
So, I spent the day streamlining my blogs... housekeeping, so to say.
In between breaks, I asked my missus to teach me how to make oatmeal cookies.
I love those cookies... especially when they are homemade... no white sugar, no unnecessary additives...

The ingredients are, roughly...
oatmeal 50 grams
brown sugar 60 grams
vegetable oil 30 grams
wheat flour 100 grams
baking soda 1 small spoonful
milk 30 grams

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Outdoor toilet... masterpiece number two

We enjoy having friends coming over for potluck lunch parties.
Initially, we had them inside the house but I did not want to burden my missus with too much cleaning after the event.
So, I moved the event outdoors, onto the spacious dead-end part of the road just in front of our house.
I picked up a wooden table from the university, which was disposed off as rubbish, and it is just perfect for such events .
The table is probably 30 to 40 years of age and still very solid.
Problem was the toilet...
When we renovated the second floor, I kept the toilet bowl, knowing that one day it would come in handy.
From a stone wholesaler nearby, I picked up some wood which was used to hold the stones together during transportation.
From the tall reeds which I cut when clearing the field, I constructed the walls...
And hoola, my 'masterpiece' number two (see masterpiece number one here).
All from materials recycled, and 'free' of charge...

I sited the toilet at the furthermost south-eastern point of our potager.
The pond beyond is called Sasao Pond, and it makes a beautiful backdrop for the toilet, doesn't it?

In early May, we invited a bunch of friends over and put the toilet out for a test.
The ladies who used the toilet were quite thrilled (or too polite with their comments?)... said they, ' it was like a trip back to the olden days...
how nice it is, to answer the call of nature while enjoying the open sky and the green'...

'Call of nature' here refers strictly to only the 'small' one... I shall be making further improvements to this 'masterpiece'.... care for a test?   

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A walk in the hills in May

After breakfast on weekends, I normally take a walk in the hills with my missus. 
The air is super-fresh, and there are almost no cars around.
The views of the Japan Inland Sea is very pretty, even when it is foggy.
It was as if there were ghost ships sailing about, horns blaring as far as one can hear...

One of the joys of walking in the hills is that we get to pick wild mountain vegetables.
These 'mountain asparagus', their skin has to be peeled before cooking.
My missus do not mind the cooking and it has become my duty to do the peeling and slicing.
They taste a little tangy when cooked.

The other pleasure is that we get to collect dry leaves.
I normally bring a gunny sack with me for the purpose.
Once back home, into my vegetable garden they go, mulching.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Garden party during the golden week

Had a long, long weekend due to the so-called 'Golden Week' holidays here in Japan. 
So, invited some friends over for a potluck lunch out in the garden. 
Been doing this for the last 4 or 5 years.
Must have gained a kilo or two due to too much eating that day... burp...
It does not look that nice in pictures, but the tempura tea leaves and tempura bamboo shoots are quite tasty.
As in previous years, each and everyone of my guests brought along their own 'specialty'.
This particular guest always brought freshly harvested ingredients, and always insisted on tempura-ing right at my place so that we can all eat them the minute they are cooked.
Another always brought these... katsuo tataki and hamachi sashimi...

A lady friend who attended for the first time provided us with these delicious onigiri (rice balls).
Urrrmmm... consumed with those pickles at the center, absolutely delicious...
And, the final dish of the day... roast chicken in the dutch oven...
The seasoning was done by my missus and the cooking, by me.
Really tasty it was... I must say...