Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My favorite story book

I'm groaning quietly in front of the PC. I have to write a report about "my favorite story book". I like reading. And I'm quick reader. I tend to read books randomly.So I'm not into a writer, or a book.
What should I write about???

Do you have any your favorite story books?
Do you answer it immediately if you are asked?

When I was a child, I used to read a series of Sherlock Holmes.
Did I like detective stories? I don't think so. I like to read Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women.

I don't remember what I read when I was a teen-ager, though I read a lot or I had to read a lot.
When I was in high school, I liked to pretend to be mature, so I used to read some ethic books like Nietzsche's works, and Kant's works. --- but I don't memorize anything.
Once I was into poems.

When I worked at a company, probably I had no time to read books  fun, I read various computer books and medical books to my work.
When I became a mother,  I read various "mother's books to become a good mother.

When my daughters were teen-agers, I used to read many books which were written how to deal with teen-agers.

And now I tend to read the books which were written about senior life plan,or the life itself. so I face to myself calmly.
Reading book always gives me the direction which way I would go.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tomomi's art

Yesterday my daughters, their friends and I went to a talk show in Utsunomiya. It means My daughters and their friends came here from Tokyo. And they dropped by this house for about an hour. My elder daughter Tomomi brought her recent work.

And this time they also a bottle of wine for hot-wine, and sweets.  The other day I bought cheap wine and made hot-wine. It was not so bad, but a little bit acrid. The wine she bought was not acrid.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas will have arrived.

Now it is the end of November, in America probably all of them must enjoy Thanks giving day.
And a month later it will be the end of this year, which makes me really surprised. Time flies like an arrow.
I'm finished to decorated some shelves with Christmas goods.
This year I bought this white wreath, which is made from pieces of wood.

I put some Christmas picture books in the living room. This year it is Sunday on Christmas day, so probably Yuki and I will enjoy much fancy feast. Anyway until Christmas I'm busy in doing Christmas lessons.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This is "the" blue papaya. It feels a little sticky like a yellow papaya, but it's hard. I slice a half of it with slicer and flied them with beef. I made salad a quarter of it. And I pickled the rest


 I made another pickles. It's celery's one. To make pickles, I consciously bought an inexpensive bottle of wine. Of course I don't use all of wine, so Yuki "consciously" drank rest (or most of all) of them.
Half of bunch of celery became pickled celery, and the lest of bunch of celery became celery-liquor.

Jan can you see this page, I miss your pickles. So please tell me the recipe of your pickles source.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's not sweets

We were enjoying hot-wine with home-made YUZU-honey. To tell more exactly, Yuki was drinking SYOCHU with blue cheese, and I was shipping hot-wine with blue cheese.

And I wanted some sweets. The other day I got a pretty box. I thought it would be cookies or chocolate, though I wondered why  a label of expiry date wasn't anywhere on it. And I opened it.

There were handy-towels inside.

Actually outside we see "ANNASUI", but I didn't know the bland name, it seemed to be popular among young people. Additionally I got it from a young mother.

 So I opened another sweets box. Yuki asked me "How many sweets box do you always keep?"
I answered "This is the last". It is true.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


To my delight, these days I met new or rear vegetables. The other day I met "NATA-beans". I decorate them on the shelf in the entrance hall.  Everybody who open the door is surprised to see them.

The other day I got enormous cauliflower. As you know there are only two members in this house. How do we eat all of them? First I thought I would boil the bunches and keep them as frozen ones.
But --- I made curry using all of them.

And yesterday I bought Blue-papaya. Have you eaten one?
I didn't  know how to cook, so I got recipe with it. It's easy we can eat it in any way, like uncooked or cooked, though I have to pill the thick skin.

Probably next morning I'll cook it. This evening I'll go out for dinner with Yuki.

Today it is Sunday.
Yuki has gone to play golf. I went to the library to read English picture books at a small room in the morning. Today about 20 people (kids and their parents) came to listen to us. And now while I'm waiting for YUKI, I'm playing on the computer like updating my blog.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

black bean brownies

On Wednesdays three adults come to take my lesson. So yesterday morning I made black bean brownies for them. I think taking lessons is fun and having sweets together is also fun.(or much more.)

In Japan, when we hear "black beans", it means "black soy beans". But in America and Europe, it seems to be different. I found  a can of "black turtle beans" at a imported food shop.

According to Jan's recipe it is not necessary to add sugar. It was actually OK, but I wanted to make it sweeter, so I added peach jam Jan made. It was completely perfect.

 I told about black beans to the students. They showed interests to the can. So one of topics on the day was "beans". And coincidentally, a student brought a curious kind of beans. Do you know it?
We call it NATA-beans. NATA means a froe. The longer bean is about 25 centimeters long. This kind of beans seem to be a model of the story "Jack and the beanstalk". According to a book, when they are young, it means they are about 10 centimeters long, we can eat them as usual beans. but when they get bigger like this, they are slightly poisonous, So when they get bigger, we use them as tea after we dry the beans. Do I do that? Of course "not". it's troublesome. I put it on the shelf to show. Everybody says "what big beans are they".

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Souvenir from Taiwan

Did you remember that our family went to Taiwan this summer?
It was really fun, all of them enjoyed the trip. So I recommend a fired to go there---

And she really went there last week. (She didn't tell me though we met before she went to TAIWAN.)

Suddenly she came, saying "Here you are, your favorite pineapple cake".

For her it was the first travel abroad. She could have traveled to Korea with her daughter this March. But because of this earthquake she couldn't. And this time she went to Taiwan instead of Korea.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Monday

Last week it was really warm. So On Saturday I went to wort out in the morning. Since I went to the gym last time, three weeks has passed. ( I skipped out on them, because I was afraid of feeling dizzy outside.) In the evening Rosaura who is from Costa Rica visited us. Yuki , Rosaura, and I talked with Japanese education at high school. (She is a high school teacher in Costa Rica, and now she is studying at Utsunomiya University on a scholarship. Her interest is Japanese education at high school.) She listened to Yuki's opinion as one of businessmen position, and to my opinion as one of mother's position.

And we went to a Jazz club to have dinner and listen to Yuki's live. (Yuki played the guitar there.)
This club is also popular with serving good cocktail. So Rosaura ordered "Autumn leaves" cocktail, which is made from ginger ale, whisky, and ??? ( I forgot) And I ordered coffee because I was a " chauffeur".

Today, at midday one of my friend visited me with a bag of souvenir. She went to TAIWAN. I recommended her to go there, and she went there last week. We talked about our memories at TAIWAN.

Talking with someone is fun. This week has started in a good mood.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Do you know how to cook ginkgo nuts?

Now the color  of leaves of ginkgo trees changed from green to yellow. My grand mother loved ginkgo nuts. When she visited us, she used to roast ginkgo nuts with pan. Unfortunately I didn' t like them because they were "too" bitter. Now I became an (old) adult, so I love the bitterness. But I didn't cook them because roasting was troublesome.

But ---microwave ovens are wonderful, aren't they?

First we prepare ginkgo nuts and a "paper" bag.

Next you put some nuts into the bag. 

And of course put it into the microwave oven, and heat them until you can hear the sound of "pon, pon" several times. (Not once it's too early.)

You take it out of the oven, and open the bag.
Here they are. Of course don't forget to take the shells out.

If you already know it, how clever you are!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lazy Mieko

This week is almost finished, isn't it?
This week I'm getting lazy. I don't get up as usual time, don't cook breakfast as usual, and even clean the rooms as usual, though I cook a little, I clean the rooms a little.

It is the last month for Japanese pear, so the final kind of Japanese pair is NIKKORI.
It's really big, isn't it? I sent some to my mother, and my mother in-law.
Halloween finished with fun. And I already got new costumes for next Halloween.
One is a present from Jan, and the other is that I bought on sale after Halloween.

Today I went to a farmer's market, and bought some YUZU. So I made YUZU-honey.

Now my lesson will start. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

A lectcure

Last night Yuki and I went  to see a a little bit famous actor who came from TOKYO speak. Actually not only the actor but also other three members did gave speech about FUKUSHIMA radioactivity.
This lecture was organized by a citizen group, and the MC was my friend.

Here Utsunomiya seems to be safe, it means the level of radioactivity is 0.054 micro Sv per hour (currently according to the Utsunomiya city hall announce) , which is less than TOKYO. And natural average level in the world is said to be 2.4 milli-Sv per year. So it has no problem. But We can't ignore the problem. It's a difficult thing to think what we can do, what we have to do. What we do now is to know the accurate information.

Some people came from FUKUSHIMA to Utsunomiya, or even some people move out UTSUNOMIYA to Hokkaidou or western Japan. On the other hand many people have to live in FUKUSHIMA. It's a difficult issue.

Anyway it was the first time for us to attend such a lecture organized by a citizen group. Since the day of the disaster something has changed.

Friday, November 04, 2011

My Thanks Giving

Today it's a warm day. I changed the decoration in the entrance hall.
Can you see a turkey? It's a really unusual bird in Japan. Last year Yuki found it in America. I love this toy bird. Its face is funny, isn't it.

And as soon as I finished this job, a friend came to my house with this year's harvest. The yellow things are "YUZU", kind of citrons. The smell are so good. I put them with the turkey.

Thanks giving day doesn't seem to be popular in Japan like Halloween , Christmas and Valentine's day. But Japanese people enjoy new rice. It is the harvest season everywhere in the northern hemisphere, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Long time no see you. Now it's November. Usually it's a cold season, but this year it's not so cold during the day. According to the weather report,the power of Pacific anticyclones is working.(sorry, I don't know the detail.)
But at night it's very cold. So for me it's difficult to adjust this weather.It's a usual thing but for me it's a tough season. (My doctors saw my medical record, and said "every this season you get out of shape." I suffer a slight autonomic imbalance, and of course I want control my symptom, but it seems to be difficult. (Jan, I know it's wrong to say it can't be helped.)

Anyway I'm getting better.
The other day Yuki got the third prise at a golf competition. So he came back with --"beef" instead of a trophy. Why beef? because the title of the competition was YONEZAWA-beef competition. YONEZAWA-beef is one of famous brand beef. Have you ever heard of KOUBE-beef?
Of course the beef is YONEZAWA-beef.

If our two daughters were here, we would have one piece of meat. But fortunately or unfortunately there are two members in this house. So we simple flied and ate one sheet of meet without hesitation.
 It was the beef with good quality. Because once we put a knife into, we could cut them smoothly.
Can you guess how we seasoned them? Do you see a yellow thing? It's a special steak sauce that is sold in a famous local restaurant. The base of sauce is onion.