Saturday, 6 February 2010

sweet, sugary... spring

February is the fag-end of winter? Nope. That’s the coldest in Japan although according to our Chinese calendar, 4 February marks “Risshun”, the beginning part of spring. The following months are, of course, getting milder and milder in temperature, but it still snows occasionally in March, in Tokyo.

I am beyond bearing today: sooo freezing, windy and almost snowing (again). Quivering!! Nothing can soothe me... but this sugary resort of French Canàsuc.

Here’s edible spring to share with you all!

Monday, 1 February 2010

10 things I fairly dislike in culinary delights

I feel like revealing my culinary weakness in one Sunday afternoon. This is my personal voice, but maybe, something to share with 9 out of 10 Japanese folks. Have a look.

* Alphabetically listed.

1. Bulky, photoless cookbook
Japanese cookbooks are slim and light in body, yet full of cookery photographs; easy to keep and easy to follow. I have discomfort on some aspects of “foreign” cookbooks, so let me ask you here... politely:

- How can you choose your fave dish from the encyclopaedic volume of recipes?
- Without cookery photos, how do you reconstruct a dish you’ve never tried?
- How do you keep a space for the bulky book opened on the kitchen table while cooking?
- How do you keep your cookbooks clean? Soy is all around my books!
- If you carelessly drop the book from the kitchen table, your foot will get a bruise, right?
- Is your kitchen shelf durable enough for a pile of the books?

PS. This is serious.

2. Elderflower cordial
Resistible for no other reasons but perfumy. This is an ultra-minor drink in Japan and we rarely have a chance to taste. Thus, no fuss.

PS. I love jasmine..... to drink.

3. Ginger biscuit
Recently, something gingery has been booming in Japan because it’s cheap, handy plus healthy when cash is tight in winter. Although ginger candy is the revival of Japanese retro sweets, our palate traditionally prefers the spice as a condiment for savoury dishes. See the fact that gingerbread man, ginger muffin, Lebkuchen and any other gingery or allspicy sweets are totally unpopular to taste. Boo?

To conclude, a marriage between spice and sugar will end up by a divorce in Japan. The current trend is... an illusion.

4. Liquorice candy
In Japanese, liquorice is called “kanzo”, better known as one of herbs concocted in Chinese medicine rather than flavouring confectionery. The taste is bitterly medicinal for us! While Haribos are attracting Japanese teens and ladies, their “Schnecken” is almost an invisible item in shops despite its awful colour and shape.

If I have an unsavoury boss, why not harass him or her by offering liquorice-flavoured “Drop Mentos” as their pick-me-up? That’s penalty sweets!!

PS. As long as Drop Mentos isn’t available in Japan, my small rebellion will be attempted.....

5. Lavender cupcake
Lavender sachet – dreaming
Lavender soap - refreshing
Lavender shampoo - calming
Lavender bath foam - heavenly relaxing
Lavender cupcake -- no thanks please!!

I fancy the velvety colour with a little sprig of lavender on top, but my brain circuit never recognises the flower-scented icing is “soap-free”. Meanwhile I’m always welcome to receive authentic lavender recipes from Provence.

... To be continued.
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