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eG Foodblog: torakris - Pocky and the geisha

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#1 torakris

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 03:38 PM

Now you are probably wondering about the title.... :biggrin:

My past two blogs covered big events here in Japan

New Year's blog

Undokai (sports day festivities) blog

Currently there is no major event going on in Japan so I have decided to focus this blog on modern and traditional Japan and how they are combined in daily life.

There are a couple things going on this week.
Today (April 5) is the first day of school, the Japanese school year runs April- March) so in about 15 minutes I will go outside with my daughters to send them off to school. (yeah :biggrin: ) Mia is going into the 4th grade and Julia the 2nd. My son Hide will go back to preschool on Thursday.
This time of year is one of the most beautiful in Japan, it is cherry blossom (sakura) season and the trees will all be in bloom by the time my blog is over. I will take tons of pictures of these trees as the area I live in has them lining all of the streets. it is just gorgeous.

oh yeah and we will talk about food too! :biggrin:

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#2 petite tête de chou

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 03:46 PM

I'm so glad, happy, estatic that you are blogging Kristen. :smile:

Are we too late or early to see pictures of Japan's lovely cherry blossoms?
Shelley: Would you like some pie?
Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

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#3 Safran

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 03:51 PM

Torakris, so looking forward to your blog and your pictures!

#4 torakris

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:13 PM

The trees in my area are about 20% in bloom as of yesterday. Today is going to be quite warm, 20 C ( almost 70 F) and tomorrow even warmer so they should be in full bloom in a couple days. Today I am going to a hanami (sakura blossom viewing) party with friends and a nearby park famous for their blossoms, unfortunately they aren't going to be at their best yet....

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#5 torakris

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:22 PM

Why Pocky?

First of all Pocky is pronounced poe-key (there is your daily nihongo for the day! :biggrin: )


There are a couple reasons why I picked Pocky to focus on:

--This is probably one of the most well known foods to come of Japan in modern times.

--It just tastes good.

--I just recently learned that SobaAddict70 has never eaten it!

So Soba this blog is for you! :biggrin:


and why geisha?

I just liked the sound of it......
and no, you will not see pictures of me in a kimono!

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#6 torakris

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:30 PM

Every day I will discuss a different kind of Pocky. We will start with the original Pocky that started it all.

Posted Image

This was breakfast, I had 6 sticks and a large glass of iced coffee.
I am not a breakfast person. I start every day (no matter what time of year) with an iced coffee then I sort of pick at various foods until lunch.
The kids all had toast. Mia with cinnamon-sugar and Julia and Hide had peanut butter.
I make a breafast onigiri (rice ball) and a bento lunch for my husband 6 days a week, both of these are eaten at work. This morning's onigiri was made with wasabi furikake and lunch was fried rice made with leftover pork and bean sprouts from last night as well as eggs and scallions.

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#7 torakris

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:37 PM

the kids on their way to school

Posted Image

from the left:
Hide (age 4), Julia (age 7) and Mia (age 9), on the right is is their friend Natsuki who lives upstairs.
In our school district all children are assigned to a han (a small neighborhood group) of about 10 kids, these groups meet every morning at an assigned area and an assigned time and walk to school together. Our group consists of 11 kids this year and I am the chikurenraku-in, which is basically the mother leader of the group, this year. This job has various duties and you will here more about them as the week goes on as I have a couple meetings to be attending tis week.


my washing machine just started singing, time to hang out the laundry.....

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#8 little ms foodie

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:56 PM

Kris, I really enjoyed your last blog. thank you for doing this again. It will be fun and interesting.....I'll add my list to the 'never have eaten pokey' people. But by the time your done blogging I promise to have eaten some!

#9 Daddy-A

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:59 PM

Every day I will discuss a different kind of Pocky. We will start with the original Pocky that started it all.

Posted Image

This was breakfast, I had 6 sticks and a large glass of iced coffee.


Awesome idea! Pokey & iced coffee for breakfast! I knew there was a way to work Pokey into that one remaining meal. I'll try to follow along at home with your daily flavour.

Really looking forward to this Kristin.

A.

#10 helenjp

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:00 PM

Your kids are growing up!!!

You're very brave to start blogging on the first day of the school year.

For a while it looked as if Pocky were going to slowly disappear...on the one hand, the same nationalistic fervor that saved Apollo chocolates probably helped, on the other hand, they've certainly changed the face of Pocky as we used to know them!

How popular do you think the original Pocky are? And am I just imagining it, or do Pocky definitely have a "girl" image? ("Men's Pocky" notwithstanding!).

#11 Chris Amirault

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:06 PM

Kristin, I'm very much looking forward to reading your blog. But I wrote to say that your children are absolutely adorable!
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#12 torakris

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:12 PM

How popular do you think the original Pocky are? And am I just imagining it, or do Pocky definitely have a "girl" image? ("Men's Pocky" notwithstanding!).

View Post



Good questions.
I have to admit when I bought that package of original Pocky yesterday it was probably the first time in over 10 years!! Most of the Pocky I buy nowadays is usually the different flavored one.
It definitely has a girl image, can't explain how or why though.... I wonder if that is why they created the men's Pocky?

For all of you who have never tried it, this is your chance! :biggrin:

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#13 SobaAddict70

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:19 PM

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Pocky, click here to find out.

I haven't seen this in New York. Guess I have to go find out where now.

Soba

#14 CaliPoutine

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:36 PM

I've never tried it either, but I have seen it here in London, ON.

Im curious, your kids have American names, or are those the Japanese translations?

#15 torakris

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:41 PM

I've never tried it either, but I have seen it here in London, ON.

Im curious, your kids have American names, or are those the Japanese translations?

View Post



Those are their names, there are written with kanji (Chinese characters) in Japan though

Mia 未衣杏 Katherine
Julia 珠理杏 Rose
Hideyasu 秀康 Robert

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#16 bloviatrix

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 06:37 PM

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Pocky, click here to find out.

I haven't seen this in New York.  Guess I have to go find out where now.

Soba

View Post


There's a place on the the south side W. 56th between 5th and 6th aves that has it. Otherwise, try Katigiri.
"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

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#17 Jake

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 06:49 PM

Kris, so glad you're blogging again. I admit to being a pocky addict (I can always sneak one of those when I can't sneak a cig!) and I have introduced my SO to the joys of pocky as well. Of course, he often insists we buy the "Mens pocky". I'm not sure if it's because he likes it better, or if it's just the name. You 'd think by 40 they'd get over that! :biggrin:

Your kids are still beautiful, although I can see how much they've grown since I last saw a photo. Really looking forward to the blog.

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#18 Jason Perlow

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 06:53 PM

Chocolate Pocky -- the original and the classic. An apt way to start off a Pocky blog.
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#19 docsconz

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 06:53 PM

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Pocky, click here to find out.

I haven't seen this in New York.  Guess I have to go find out where now.

Soba

View Post


They can be had at Han Ah Rheum in N.J.

They are good, but the ones I had (Men's Pocky, of course :laugh: ) were basically chocolate coated wafer cookies - not terribly unlike many others of that ilk. Nevertheless, somewhat addictive.

Edited by docsconz, 04 April 2005 - 06:55 PM.

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#20 torakris

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 07:10 PM

I am about to run out the door to our hanami on this beautiful day but wnat to show our bento lunch before it gets eaten.

Posted Image

on the top is a bag of frozen (pre-boiled and pre-salted edamame) I use this as an ice pack
on the right is a pack of cookies made with adzuki beans
and the bento futomaki (fat rolls) with sausages and cherry tomatoes (for color).

This is a good example of modern Japan meeting traditional.
The bento has been around for ages but the sausages, and you will be hard pressed to find too many homemade bentos with out them, are a very modern addition.

the futomaki before rolling
Posted Image



and just a bit ago my Tuesday co-op delivery arrived
Posted Image

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#21 Pumpkin Lover

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 07:39 PM

YESSSSS! Go Kristin!

#22 Pan

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 08:04 PM

Kristin, one of the things I like best about your blogs is we get to see adorable pictures of your children. :wub:

Soba, it's my impression that all big Chinese supermarkets in Manhattan's Chinatown and Flushing sell some flavors of Pocky. Try Hong Kong Supermarket, for example. I'm almost 100% positive they have several flavors. A&C Supermarket in Flushing has a bunch of flavors.

#23 AmyDaniel

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 10:00 PM

Kristin, one of the things I like best about your blogs is we get to see adorable pictures of your children. :wub:

Soba, it's my impression that all big Chinese supermarkets in Manhattan's Chinatown and Flushing sell some flavors of Pocky. Try Hong Kong Supermarket, for example. I'm almost 100% positive they have several flavors. A&C Supermarket in Flushing has a bunch of flavors.

View Post


As well as some stores in Pan's neighborhood - JAS Mart on St. Mark's between 3rd and 2nd Aves., Sunrise Mart right off of 3rd Ave. around 9th St. (hopefully Pan can give a more specific address!), and M2M on 3rd. Ave. aaaand...I want to say 10th or 11th Sts.? (not quite sure)

And also a JAS Mart on Broadway between 111th and 110th Sts. :biggrin:

Kristin, I love your blogs!

#24 Pan

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 10:10 PM

Courtesy of www.superpages.com:

JAS Mart
133 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003
(212) 420-6370

JAS Mart LLC
2847 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
(212) 866-4780

Sunrise Mart
29 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10003
(212) 598-3040

M 2M Mart Corporation
200 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-2698

M 2M Mart Corporation
2935 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
(212) 280-4600

M 2M Mart Corporation
25 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001
(212) 947-3760

I know only the 11th St. location of M2M, not the other two locations. But I guess this is probably just about enough of New York in Kristin's blog.

[newscaster voice]Back to Kristin in Yokohama.[/newscaster voice] :biggrin:

Edited by Pan, 04 April 2005 - 10:10 PM.


#25 torakris

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 02:33 AM

well it is 6:30 pm and I should be making dinner.....

We had a really great day today we had about 8 women and 20+ kids show to our gathering today, unfortunately the cherry blossoms weren't quite ready yet. Of course that didn' t stop us from enjoying ourselves. :biggrin:
the view
Posted Image
all the trees with a pink tinge are cherry blossoms and when in full bloom are just breathtaking.

a zoom in on one of the trees
Posted Image
you can see that just a small amount are in full bloom

Hide with ice cream
Posted Image

Julia rolling down a hill
Posted Image

Mia with a friend
Posted Image

For lunch we had the bento and snacks I had prepared as well as about 5 bought drinks and the kids all had ice cream cones.
My belated breakfast was all the end pieces of the futo maki rolls.

Dinner to come soon, my husband just walked in the door.....

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#26 Pan

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 03:15 AM

You may not have full cherry blossoms, but those white blossoms are very nice. You seem to get blooming trees before we do here.

#27 torakris

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 04:09 AM

On Tuesday evenings I teach an English class form 4:30 to 6:00, the class consists of three brothers (ages 7 to 11) who have an American father and a Japanese mother. I teach them along with my two girls reading and writing. Today we were discussing Ninjas....
Tuesday nights are always a simple dinner as I have no time to prepare. My husband arrives home most nights about 6:30 and we are eating by 7:00.
Today was a pretty traditional meal prepared in the modern way, with lots of packaged foods. :biggrin:
some prep
Posted Image
the entire meal was thrown together in the time it took to grill the fish (about 15 minutes).

the fish,
Posted Image
In English it is called Atka Mackeral, in Japanese it is hokke and a speciality of Hokkaido. The fish is salted and then partly dried, I buy it in the frozen form so I can grill it at any time. I like it because it has a thick flesh that is quite sweet and very few small bones so it is easy for the children to eat. I cook it in the broiler like function on my oven. It is also one of the cheapest fish.... :biggrin:

rest of dinner
Posted Image
fu (wheat gluten) and mizuna tamago-toji
tamago are eggs and tamago-toji is simply a dish that is bound together at the end by a very gentle cooking of eggs. The wheat gluten are rehydrated in water and then simmered in dashi, soy, and mirin for a couple minutes. Then the whisked egg is poured on top and then covered with a lid and cooked until your liking, I like them a bit on the runny side.

Posted Image
hakusai (Chinese cabbage) pickles and a salad made with wakame (seaweed) lettuce and cherry tomato, the dressing is a prepared sesame and yuzu flavored one that I love.
We also had the daikon pickles (yellow slivers in the prep picture), these were leftover from the futomaki I made for lunch.
We also ate white rice, but that is sort of a given here......

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#28 torakris

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 04:34 AM

I was feeling the need for something sweet after dinner so I pulled out the two boxes of Fran that I got earlier today in my co-op order.

Posted Image


Fran is a Pocky wannabe.... :huh:

These two flavors, blueberry yogurt and matcha with chocolate, were ok but I wouldn't bother getting them again.

It is 8:30pm and normally my children are asleep by now but they are still up and busy chattering about the new school year. Julia is very happy because the boy that she has been in love with since the age of 4 is in her class again.
i was asking Mia if her new male teacher was young or old, her answer? I don't know Mom but he looks just like Austin Powers....in Goldmember..... :wacko:
Now you know what kind of tv my kids watch.....

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#29 bleudauvergne

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 04:54 AM

Everything looks really scrumtious, Kirstin! How many pocky flavors exist?

Just a question - what does hanami mean? Does it mean park, or is some kind of meeting (with the 8 women)? :smile:

#30 helenjp

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 06:00 AM

Fran is a Pocky wannabe....


Ha ha :laugh: but in our house, it looks like they are a Pretz wannabe...I tested out the Pocky=girlz theory on son2 today, asking him at the supermarket if he wanted some Pocky for a snack tomorrow.

"No, Pretz", he told me, and reached past the Pocky AND the Pretz to get those blueberry Frans...

Pretz are a savory version of Pocky.





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