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Everything posted by Sencha

  1. How, with "j" as in "joy"? "N" as in "no"? When I was in North Carolina (or should I say "Noth Carolahnuh"?) at Eastern Music Festival, fellow students from the Carolinas and I suppose Georgia would ask me to "Say dahg." So I said "dawg," to their continual amusement. "He said doo-w'g!", they claimed. "No, I didn't say 'doo-w'g,' I said 'dawg.'" More laughter ensued. And this from folks who pronounced the name Ted "Tay-y'd." Not that I mind the two-syllable treatment of that name, mind you, it's just that you might think that would make them more tolerant of what they misheard as a two-syllable pronunciation of other words, but nope. They were nice kids and pretty friendly, but that routine got tiresome for me really fast. The upshot? If you're from Oregon, you can tell us that it's wrong to pronounce the state "Ahregahn," as I used to until I heard a native of that state pronounce its name, but you can't tell us it's wrong to call an orange an "ahrinj." That's just our accent. Laugh at a distance, if you must, but not when you're here as our guest. We speak English just as well as you do, it's just that you do it your way and we do it our way. Once again, proof that we English speakers are all divided by a common language... ← I don't think I've ever heard anyone pronounce the "J" as in "joy", unless they were just saying it that way for fun. The issue is mainly with...the rest of the word. It tends to be the wrong "N" sound and/or the use of a long "E". Other times, I hear people say "hala-PAIN-yow". I certainly didn't mean any personal insult to you when I spoke of the pronunciation of "orange", but I was simply stating something I believe to be a mispronunciation. Accent or not, it is a mispronunciation by standard American English. That is not to say that it is wrong for people to have accents, and indeed language is more complex than correct standard language entails, but it does not necessarily make it right by said standards. There are plenty of people who use colloquialisms, such as "y'all" and "ain't", but despite widespread usage of such, it is not considered correct. Accents, however, are one the reasons for a myriad of mispronunciations, which, in turn, are passed down to the next generation, and so on. The people who learn these accents (usually from childhood, however, others from exposure) often don't even think about it, considering their pronunciation correct, and, ever so simply, it is correct within their accent, but not so by standard language. Accent, of course, has no impact upon a person's understanding and command of a language, so I was by no means trying to insinuate a lack of knowledge based on any particular accent. As for laughing...... I did some of that when I lived in the northeast. I should make it clear, however, that I, unlike those you described in North Carolina, did not try to force people to say certain words in order to get a laugh. I merely went through my day, just as everyone else did, trying not to pay attention to such matters, but, on occasion, certain words really stuck out. It takes all sorts of people.
  2. Food really is something in which I've heard people endlessly butcher words. I certainly don't claim to be a linguist, capable of pronouncing words from every language on this planet perfectly, but it's amusing to listen to people at times. -Jalapeño Yes, as common as they are in many areas of the US (although, plenty of people never use them), I hear people mispronouncing this word. -Orange Many people can pronounce this perfectly fine, but some people in the northeastern area of the US pronounce the "or" part as "ahr". Somehow, the humor I found in such never got old. -Panko I constantly hear it pronounced with a long "A", but it's really a short "A". -Canned food (well, not all of it, but rather what is probably a majority) I always hear people calling it "food". Such a silly mispronunciation! It's pronounced "garbage" or "trash"! I just really can't stand most canned food...
  3. I, for one, have never had much luck with really cheap knives. Like someone upthread, I have to say I really don't prefer Chicago Cutlery either. I have used some of their knives (in someone else's kitchen), and to say the least, was far from impressed. I think it's better to just go out and buy a decent knife. Even a Wusthof or Henckels is better than a lot of the other cheaper knives. Anything better is likely going to reflect in price. Besides, usually, most people don't treat knives as a disposable item, like plastic-ware or paper plates. A knife should last a bit of time (although, how long depends on various factors). Most people shouldn't need to replace it for some time. Of course, everyone must go with their own personal preferences when it comes to picking a knife, and just because one person will recommend one thing doesn't necessarily mean everyone else will like it too. This also applies to the types of knives people prefer to keep around for normal use in the kitchen. For example, some people use a paring knife to peel vegetables. I, on the other hand, don't care for paring knives, unless it's for small decorative cuts (and even then, I may not use it), instead, opting to use whichever normal size knife (7-10in?) I have in hand. Why? It's just comfortable for me. Each person must decide based on what is best for them. Some people love to use a 10 inch blade, but others find it cumbersome. Some prefer a thick blade to a thin one. Others like particular shapes (for example: santoku vs. 8in. chef knife). And then there are those who are knife nuts (which, actually, isn't a bad thing at all ), and will spend more money to get exactly what they want, but that probably doesn't belong in the "cheap knife" thread.
  4. I, in contrast, rather like wooden chopsticks, and am not usually hungry enough to resort to attempting to chew and eat my chopsticks. Haven't there been talks for some time about the disposable chopstick issue? I wonder if anything will finally come of it now...
  5. Before I comment, bear in mind that I am not a big soda drinker. So much so that a 12-pack is a year supply of soda to me. I enjoy drinking a soda from time to time, but I really don't prefer to have such highly sweetened drinks with many meals. Sure, I'll go ahead and have a soda with the occasional fast food, but for anything higher (and better) than fast food, I prefer another type of beverage. Soda tends to have too artificial of a flavor in many situations to please my tastes with a meal.
  6. Sencha


    I have a package of MSG-free dashinomoto around, surprisingly. I rarely use it though. I tend to only use it when I need such a small amount of dashi (few tablespoons?) that I don't feel like making a normal amount, and just when the taste won't be that noticable. Still, I like the idea of the mutenka type in those situations.
  7. Today, just some simple chasoba. I had been so hungry through the day (I shouldn't have skipped meals), so when I got the chance to get home and eat, I went for chasoba! Simple and tasty!
  8. Concerning the dark meat vs. white meat issue, at least for those of us who prefer dark meat, dark meat can be much cheaper (affordable). I say, let those who prefer white meat pay the extra cost, while we dark meat lovers can get a good deal and pay less for the better product!
  9. Perhaps it has to do with how before many people became vegetarians, they ate meat. Some people become vegetarians based on moral grounds, so although they may drop meat from their diet, they remember what meat was like, and may even crave certain things they used to have. Those mock meat dishes may help to fill that gap, since their beliefs don't allow them to eat the real thing. I've been facinated by this style of cooking for some time. I'd like to try it someday, although I'm not a vegetarian.
  10. I hope I will never again... touch my hands to my face while or directly after working with peppers. It's very rare that I make that mistake, actually, but it's certainly not pleasant. Oh! Another! I will never again stand directly over a pan while cooking with many hot peppers and pastes made of peppers. I've only done that twice before, but each time was a good lesson.
  11. Sencha


    Ah...Hiroyuki already said kinpira. Well, that is one of the few things I make with only or mainly carrots, but I just like to toss them in with all sorts of things. They are really a great vegetable to put into stuffed items (fukuro-ni comes to mind at the moment), or rice dishes (from takikomi gohan, to rice pilaf dishes).
  12. Wow! He must really like ramen! Sounds good! I should try some of it out sometime, but I really don't have enough people to help me eat it at the moment, and I really don't like living off ramen for a week.
  13. This looks incredibly good! I've never made wontons before, so maybe it's about time I do so. Great pictorial, as usual!
  14. Well, honestly, many Americans aren't even exposed to the idea of beans used in a dessert. If you were to walk up to nearly any non-Asian person in the US, and ask about beans being used in a dessert, they would likely have never heard of such a thing, and give a disgusted look. For many (but not all) of those that actually try it, it is just too different from what they're used to to enjoy it. Many people just have such horrendous eating habits. I have known people, much to my disgust, who will put ketchup on nearly everything, or won't even season something while they cook. Some people simply have low standards, or aren't willing to try anything new. I've known some people who are so afraid to try anything new that they would not even think of eating a roast duck. I had once roasted a couple ducks (for a social event) and found a couple people in the party who wouldn't try it, because they had never tried it before Of course, I'm not trying to generalize the entire American population. These are just some behaviors one sees at times. As for therese's question: "how many different combinations of mochi, macha, beans (red, lima, whatever), wheat cake, and chestnut can a person eat?" My answer, for me, is as many as possible! This isn't really that big of a deal though. Western sweets often tend to do the same thing, using a rather small group of ingredients or flavors over and over again. And I really wouldn't say Japanese cuisine is bland either. It has flavor. The issue is that what many Americans have is "condiment taste", in which they have to season/cover things too much with condiments to the point that the flavor of the main ingredients are overpowered, and no longer clear. I know people whose idea of eating fish is dipping it in a heavy batter with seasoned salt, deep frying it, and dipping it in a combination of strongly flavored condiments and lemon. When I see them doing that, I have to ask, "what was the point of having fish if you can't even taste the fish?" These same people will pour tons of shouyu over rice without a thought, and complain when something doesn't have enough spice, even though not everything needs a handful of hot peppers in it! ( I've had to cook for some very annoying people at times) Japanese cuisine tends to focus on the actual taste of the ingredients used, instead of covering them up.
  15. I think some of the basics are obvious, while others you may not know much about yet. rice (obviously) shouyu (soy sauce) miso (if you haven't tried it yet, do so as soon as you can. It's bursting with flavor) sake mirin konbu tofu dried shiitake ginger wakame hijiki sesame seeds sesame oil noodles (udon, soba, etc) rice vinegar There are all sorts of vegetables, but some which are easy to use are: carrots gobou (burdock root) spinach daikon eggplant hakusai (I think it's usually called Napa or Chinese cabbage) renkon (lotus root) onions I mean, really, the list of produce can go on...Some of it will be very easy to find in some areas, while other places (such as some areas in the US) will not likely have certain ingredients. Of course, there are plenty of other ingredients to use too, but this is a relatively basic list. Best of luck in your cooking!
  16. Amusing link! I'm still trying to grasp the idea of coffee ramen. It's not sinking in yet! I guess I'd be willing to try it (if someone else were to buy it , that is) just to see what it's like, but I think I'd rather stick with more standard styles of ramen.
  17. Sencha

    tea newbie

    I applaud your decision to switch from bag to loose! The world needs more like you! I'm a bit passionate about the subject of tea, and hear too many people complain about all the trouble it is to prepare loose tea, choosing to go with grocery store bag teas instead. As you seem to be concerned with cost, you don't need to spend great amounts of money for a tea for everyday use. Maeda-en sencha isn't a bad choice, as long as you make sure to keep in mind the proper water temperature, as sencha can become bitter if too hot of water is used. Quite likely, you have chosen a normal quality sencha, since you have not specified anything else the package may say about it. I believe both Maeda-en and Yamamotoyama (two companies whose Japanese tea can be found in the US, if that is where you are) sell a type of tea I like to buy from time to time called fukamushi-cha (深蒸し茶). It's a type of sencha which is steamed a bit longer in the production process than normal sencha. The ending result is a rather smooth tea with a wonderful green color liquid. The infusing time is typically slightly less than that of normal sencha as well. Of course, other companies sell fukamushi-cha too, but I'm just mentioning those two companies, since they are good brands one may find in the right store. As with all sencha, fukamushi-cha has higher grades as well, and prices will reflect that. As for white tea, an affordable white tea I enjoy at times is shou mei. However, shou mei is a lower grade of white tea (although, that does not necessarily mean bad). Some people may complain about the the delicate flavor of a higher grade white tea (as in lacking depth), but shou mei has more depth, so may appeal to some people. Of course, if you prefer higher grade whites, go for something other than shou mei. I was just trying to keep cost in mind. Well, those are just a couple suggestions for some everday teas...
  18. I have really enjoyed this recipe for mapo tofu! I have prepared it about five times since you posted it! Thank you!
  19. I don't have an entire ice cream flavor planned, but some flavors I enjoy are lychee, coffee, persimmon, azuki, tea, sweet potato, banana, almond, (toasted) pine nut, and ginger. Obviously, I wouldn't want all of those mixed together, but maybe some could be mixed well.
  20. Oh, I think of heard about this of practice. It's to avoid contamination in the sake, isn't it?
  21. Oh! There is a picture upthread! I feel silly for not checking first! Well, if you get the chance, you should try to make them! They're really rather easy to make, and ever so tasty!
  22. I happened to catch that show last night too! It was rather interesting to see him give nothing but praise to Japanese cuisine, rather than complain, as I had seen him do a couple times with some other countries (I've only seen his show a few times, and he was rather blunt about things before). To get back onto the subject of takoyaki though, you're mistaken about the pan they had. The pan, called a takoyaki-ki, is of special design, which has round cup indentations in it, which along with turning the batter when it's cooked enough, forms the balls of takoyaki. It's not surprising to make that mistake, considering how much batter was all over the pan though! A quick google search came up with the following web page, which has some pics of it being made! Note the pan. http://www.okinawajoho.net/cooking/pages/kids_takoyaki.html Watching that last night really gave me a craving for some takoyaki!
  23. This is a rather amusing argument. I have to admit, I agree with sanrensho. I respect the authentic style of pizza, but people will change foods to better suit their tastes. Things are often borrowed from one cuisine and used by another. I mean....how would Italian food be if Italians hadn't adopted the tomato (which is from the Americas) into their cuisine? Surely, not everyone took to it right away, but now, most people couldn't picture Italian cuisine without it (although, tomato use varies from region to region). I'm not saying to abandon tradition, but rather, realistically accept that many people will eat so-called "bastardized" versions, and don't really care whether it's traditional or not. They're simply looking for something that appeals to them. Even sushi has undergone changes throughout the years. I'm sure some are glad they're not stuck with narezushi (an older form of sushi, which is quite different from modern sushi).
  24. Gyuudon! Ah! I haven't had that in a while! Your gyuudon looks good! You used ribeye for gyuudon though!? That seems a little extravagant for gyuudon, but then again, I've done that when beef prices were low enough!
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