Monday, January 30, 2012

It's the last week in January, and the first week in February.

I finished today's chores. How was your weekend? I had a big event, and now I'm really happy to finish the event without troubles.

Last week, I sometimes had lunch at a cafe. ( My lessons are usually from 4 to 10, except Wednesdays. On Wednesdays in the day time I have two adults lessons.)
At lunch I always drank coffee and I was really surprised the difference of the " cost" of the coffee. Of course the taste was different. But I didn't think the difference of the quality.

Last Tuesday, I went to a cafe & hall with my friend. Because my friends and I are thinking to hold a concert this year there. They have a grand piano. So I went to check the piano.

It was a nice hall and cafe. We had lunch there. The lunch set was 1000 yen including  a dessert.( Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the lunch because I was into talking with my friend.)

Last Friday, I had a job at a nursery school in the morning, and in the afternoon I went to a friend's house. So I had a lunch at a doughnut's shop alone, which is becoming really popular in Utsunimoya these days.
The catch-phrase of the shop is "Our doughnuts are gentle to your body".

The doughnuts  were really nice, and I bought some  for my friends. Of course they seemed to like them. But the coffee is a little bit expensive. It cost 500 yen. (The coffee at Starbucks is 350 yen, and the coffee at McDonald is 120 yen.)

Last Sunday I had a job all the day, so I had lunch at a cafe alone, too.
The coffee was served with pot, and another kind of coffee was also served as a sample, because it's coffee shop. The lunch set was 780 yen.

Return to Saturday. I had a lunch at a Japanese cafe with a friend. Here they served special Japanese tea (not a green tea), it cost 500 yen. But the owner has pride of his Japanese tea. So I can accept the price.

Sometimes I have lunch outside, but last week I think I did too much. I have to save money. In February my daughters will come in turn.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Have you ever eaten "lebkuchen"?

Around Christmas in last year, Yuki got "chocolate cookies " (I had thought they would have been chocolate cookies) from a German man. He seemed to say  "they are special in Germany". At that time we had enough sweets, and the expiration date of the cookies is March. So I put it aside in the pantry.

Today I served for adult students, saying " these cookies seem to be popular in Germany". They were spicy and sweet, three of them seemed to like them. And all of them said "these cookies are different from usual ones. Why the back is white?"

I check the sign on the back of the bag. The sign was "Nuremberg  Marzipan Gingerbread (Lebkuchen)".

Nuremberg is one of city in Germany, and it seems to be famous for lebkuchen.
And lebkuchen is a kind of cookie or bread with honey and lots of spices. They are specially eaten on Christmas. So the German must have take them the Christmas season.
I found an interesting account on lebkuchen.

Monday, January 23, 2012

debut in a cocktail bar

Yuki and I play Jazz, so sometimes we go to a Jazz club. We like to eat out, so sometimes we go out for dinner at a casual restaurant.
 Did I tell you? This winter we gave ourselves up to hot wine (It is called mulled wine in English, isn't it?) Though usually we have hot SAKE in winter, this winter we prefer to drink hot wine.

Coincidentally I got an information about a bar where they serve hot cocktail. At the Jazz club, they serve various alchhole including cocktails, but mostly they are cold. So I showed a big interest in the bar. The name of the bar is Harcourt, which is named after one of Baccarat glasses. (The owner of the bar loves Baccarat glasses, so all glasses which they use are Baccarat glasses.)

We went there Sunday night.
We wondered whether they would accept first-timers such us. But the masters and two bartenders welcomed  us with  a good smiling.

I drank hot wine, and hot connection, Yuki drank  Belgian beer, and hot rhum with butter.

To tell the truth for us they were little bit expensive , however we had a really luxurious time.

The bar was near the station, so we went there by bus. We came back to home by taxi. (We tried to come back by bus again, but it was too cold to wait for coming bus. At that time we had to wait a bus coming for at least 30 minutes.) In Japan it is prohibted stricktly for people who drink alcohol to drive cars, even have a slight amount of beer.

At the bar I asked how they made hot wine. A bartender answered "we use port wine, orange juice and orange liqueur". Cocktails are really beautiful. I wish I could drink cold cocktails or hot cocktails more. Once I drink cold alcohol including beer, I get a headache immediately. So I usually "sip" hot-Sake. Actually at that time, I ordered two glasses of cocktails, and  when I started to drink the second one, I felt headache, so Yuki drank it instead of me. After drinking at the bar I drank hot coffee at a hamburger's shop.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's snowing slightly.

Since yesterday it has been snowing. Fortunately the snow doesn't pile up, as soon as it snows, the snow melts.
Wednesday's topic of this week was about party. These days I seldom attend any formal party.Though New Year's days are a sort of family reunion and we held a party, it's  really casual. When I was a child, I used to wear KIMONO.  In my case it's usual that I don't have chances to attend a party because I work at home. However even Yuki, he doesn't have attend "formal" parties, these days. Probably it's because of this depression.
While my student and I were talking about parties, I remembered a thing about a knife and fork. When my mother and I went to a traditional hotel and had sweets, she said " Long time passed since I ate cake with a knife and fork."
When I was a child, I was told it was a traditional way to eat rice with  a knife and fork when we were at a French restaurant.  I'm not sure whether rice is served in France, but anyway in Japan, if rice is served instead of bread, we seem to have eaten it with a knife and fork.(we put some rice on the back of the fork.) These days I seldom seen such a scene. When I wen to a formal French restaurant in Tokyo, chopsticks were on the table with a knife and fork, so I ate rice with chopsticks.

Today I went for an annual checkup in the morning. Now I vacuumed the rooms. So today's chore I had to do was done. I'll enjoy my reading (Japanese books) .

Monday, January 16, 2012


Though I didn't or couldn't go for a workout during New Year's vacation, I went there three times last week, and even today I went there. What a good woman I am! This Saturday I have to go for a checkup, so I want to keep my condition "healthy", and when I'm asked "do you do something good for you?" I'll immediately say "yes" to the doctor.

Now KINKAN (Kumquat) and lemons are in the season, on the other hand the season of YUZU has gone. My honeyed-YUZU has also gone. I baked cake mixing my honeyed-YUZU with the "rice cooker". I made dough of pancake, and put it into the rice cooker, and set a timer for early morning. So I had the cake for breakfast. Instead of honeyed-Yuzu, I put sliced lemons and Kinkan into a jar of honey.

My English classes have started again. All students seemed to spend a good vacation without troubles. Some students brought souvenirs. So we shared them in our class. Tow of them are souvenirs from Tokyo Disney Land & Sea.

Some students will graduate from my class this March. It's wonderful and sad. Anyway I started advertising my English class. I'm not sure whether new students will come or not, though my adult students seem to want more classmates.

February is just around the corner. I changed the decoration of the entrance hall.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Today it was the first lesson for adults in 2012. The topic in the morning was "chores". Before lesson I served them. They are not books, they are chocolates.

What chores do you hate doing? Her answer was ironing. Me neither.  However she is a good wife, at least she ironed her husband shirts once a week. I seldom do that. Let me tell the excuse. My husband usually wears polo-shirt, So I don't often need to iron things.

How have chores since your parents' time? I think washing clothes is easier. Even though they had the washing machines, the procedure was more complicated than now. On the other hand, now we are surrounded by many home appliances, such as a fridge, a microwave, a toaster oven, an electronic kettle, etc. So we often dust or wipe them out.

Well, what kind of stove do you use? Do you use electronic stove or gas stove? I use gas stove. So I often not only wipe out the stove top, but also wash stove burner grates. How do you wash them? I sometimes wash them with baking soda. Do you use baking soda not only to bake cookies?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In Tokyo with my mother

Yesterday I went to Tokyo again to see Japanese dance at National Theater. My friend danced at a small hall there. I thought my mother would enjoy it, so I went there with my mother. She sometimes sees KABUGKI (traditional drama performed by male actors), but it seemed to passed several decades since she saw Japanese dance. It means it was the first time to see it after I performed Japanese dance when I was five. (I took lessons of Japanese dance for three years long time ago.)

Before seeing it, we needed to eat lunch.
There, it is National Theater, they serve good foods for senior. Her choice was ODEN. I chose sandwiches.

Many performers who are from 5-year-old boy to 86-year-old lady danced very hard. The dance of 5\-year-old boy was 5 years old boy was exciting and vigorous. Young boys and girls who are in their 10's danced dynamically. My friend danced lithely. I thought we (my mother and I) would fall into a sleep because we are not familiar with the world of Japanese dance. There was nothing to worry about. In fact we were caught by their performance. Seeing various performance, hearing live Japanese music by Japanese instruments made us calm. We had a good time.

After that we dropped by New Otani Hotel, which is one of historical hotels in Japan.  We had sweets.

My friend gave snack sect to all visitors.  They were sweets and SUSHI.  When I came back to UTSUNOMIYA, I ate it for dinner. I didn't need to cook. It was a clever gift.

Sorry I wanted to show her performance. It was prohibited to take photos. Every performance was wonderful.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Thanks for presents.

This is an antique bowl. It doesn't have the sign of Japan or NIPPON. It means it's very old. I showed it to the Master of KARAKU where I play the piano once a month. The Master is familiar with Japanese china. He said "it was probably made around 1885. It looks a little rough but it was painted by hand."
I'm thinking how I use it. These days I started to collect old stamps as a a fund-raising campaign. So it might be good to put old stamps in it.

The sign says "Massage Cushion". It looks like a thick hard cushion. When the cover is open, we see massage device. And the device has a function to make itself warm. It's fun, isn't it?

Thanks everybody. From now I'll go out for dinner with YUKI. Today he comes back earlier than usual. I have a good birthday.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

We're in Utsunomiya

Happy new year.
Yuki and I came back here from Tokyo. In the morning I put all FUTON away, and washed all bedclothes my mother and my daughters used. After we had lunch at home, we went out to visit FUTAARA-shrine. It was the first visit to shrine in this year, which is called HATUSMOUDE. The shrine was really crowded. We prayed for our health.

We dropped by a tea room near the shire. They serve various tea. Yuki drank coffee&tea blend.
I drank spicy tea which is named Jazz flavor tea. Can you guess which is which?

When we went back home and had simple dinner. Today we had a calm day.