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Everything posted by helenjp

  1. Darienne, I think it's not just lack of "producer" side knowledge. People who are no longer used to eating home-made jams and jellies are not alert to signs of mold or fermentation. Living in Japan, with our super-humid and warm monsoon season followed by hotter and hotter summers, I no longer feel confident that I can preserve jam or jelly well enough to last a year.
  2. helenjp

    Breakfast 2019

    I wasn't expecting to see onigarazu in this thread! Made a rice ball the other day with salted cod roe-flavored processed cheese as a filling. Much humbler than Anna's offering, cheese and rice balls definitely have form.
  3. Chamoe melon. There are a few Asian fruits that are not all that sweet - they can be very nice mixed with other fruit as a change of pace - try layering them with slices of something sweeter or stronger, or with a handful of sweet, dark grapes?
  4. Son gave his rice cooker to his girlfriend - he's currently using the smaller pressure cooker (2.5 liter) of a Fissler 2-pot pressure-cooker set. No soaking, bring up to high pressure, cook for 50-60 seconds, turn off, leave until pressure drops. Recipes often say 3 to 5 minutes, but with modern pressure cookers and small amounts of rice, some people just turn the pressure cooker off as soon as it comes to pressure, and generally 50 seconds at pressure is enough. As sons and nephews move in and out of Japan, we've tried microwave rice cookers (OK, not necessarily speedier), pot on stove
  5. Dessert - had popcorn in reserve, but it wasn't needed. "Summer Santa" visited with a bag of ice-creams from a local chains.
  6. So...I forgot to take even ONE photo - just too busy. We made: Cucumber agua fresca as an intro to cooking terminology in English. Gazpacho without bread (planned to make watermelon gazpacho, but watermelon appeared in a separate event earlier in the day) Tacos with option of fish and crosscut blade steak. Bottle of sweet chili Thai sauce for the not very adventurous Japanese palate! Mayo on offer, but the hot weather made it an unattractive choice. Tomato mango salsa - just a composite recipe Huge bowl of cabbage slaw with yogurt/mayo/lime juice & zest dressing,
  7. helenjp


    Egulleteer's Kasia has a recipe for white bean and fresh fig salad that I just had a bunch of students make at a summer camp. They were a bit heavy-handed with the parsley, which was a pity, but also with the blueberries, which work very well in this salad! We served it on a bed of small salad greens.
  8. Yes, it's triple-strength concentrate. To dip, add 2- parts water. To make a noodle soup, add 5-6 parts water.
  9. Nice to see all those cucumber pickles! I usually pickle mine in 3% brine for "a few days" - but it's been so hot I'm using 5% brine and even so, the little ones were ready in 24 hours. I couldn't get my camera far enough down my husband's throat to photograph them, sorry.
  10. Lots of great ideas! I make gazpacho often, and also like watermelon gazpacho...eat half fresh and make half into gazpacho for the next day. You can add a tomato or not, both ways are good. Rice cookers, break makers, slow cookers...bring 'em on, if they are well insulated, they keep the kitchen cooler. Especially in a small Japanese house with a waist-height oven...no way that is getting switched on until November! Making curd rice early in the day and eating it at lunch or dinner is good too. Love my pressure cooker in summer - tonight's dinner is a Filipino style chicken adobo - i
  11. Agree, George is a future Swallowtail butterfly. He or she will eat parsley, dill, carrot, and other umbelliferae, but I have never heard that they eat tomato leaves.
  12. No harm in being selective though! Swallowtails only lay eggs on parsley in my garden, and there is enough of that and to spare...or rather, by the time it starts going to seed (doesn't take long in my very dry garden), the caterpillars are the only ones who fancy it, so as long as I get enough good seed for next year, they're welcome.
  13. helenjp

    Filming Dinner

    Thanks for all the photos! Some things I've never seen before, others I haven't seen since I worked in a Chinese grocery many decades ago!
  14. A week after our monsoon season ended and temperatures rocketed up past 30C (into the 90sF), I am seeing buds on my snake beans ...cool and rainy today, tough, so not sure if they will set fruit or not. I love snake beans, because pests rarely bother them enough to actually destroy a plant or its harvest. Several of my bitter gourds are almost big enough to harvest, and even in the Deepest Darkest Shade where my vege planters are, a few enterprising tomatoes have actually managed to ripen. Zucchini are just lolling round wasting space, meanwhile... With high temps, life is getting ha
  15. Just went to a soy sauce factory a few weeks back...they had "sniff pots" for various stages of the fermentation process. It smelt like miso, and also a bit like fermenting malt beer at first. So definitely more bread, beer, booze and less like feet...
  16. Excellent ideas thank you! And the fish tacos also reminds me of South American rolls filled with vegetables and fried fish.
  17. Your brilliant ideas wanted! I agreed to meet somebody to talk about the possibility of running a one-off "cook and eat your dinner" class in early August. Apparently that was tantamount to signing on the dotted line... So far, I am thinking of starting with a watermelon gazpacho that we all make together as we review kitchen & food safety basics, and then adding the fresh-made batch to a pre-chilled (some elements frozen?) batch so that we can serve it out straight away and get people into a relaxed mood...the more so because there won't be any alcohol (drinking age is 20 here).
  18. You can use it to carry a raw egg and then remove it from the case to cook lunch for enterprising cyclist . But in that case, the ordinary kind of fully-enclosed egg case seems like a better choice!
  19. The fact that you can boil them in the cases is just a handy extra - the selling point is that you put the egg in the case, boil it, and then you can put it straight in your lunchbox, where the case stops the shell from getting crushed in transit (those commuter trains...). I can't find any claim that boiling the eggs in cases makes it any easier to boil eggs, but you never know. P.S. There is a separate kind of case for microwaving eggs!
  20. NO no no no! Those "cases" are to hold PEELED hardboiled eggs for your lunchbox! I mean! What else could they be for?!!!! I was wrong about the "peeled" part - you are supposed to just carry the HB egg in its shell in the case (double packaging???).
  21. If I were just eating it and not cooking it, I think Fucha Ryouri (Fucha Buddhist Temple Cooking) is always interesting - so much care given to mouthfeel. But possibly too rich for every day. Generally, I think it is the techniques as much as the individual recipes that inspire: the combination of nuts/seeds with bitter greens; the use of thickeners to allow delicate flavors to linger; the physical layering of flavors in mildly fermented pickles; the use of agar gels with sauces to separate interesting flavors... I really hope this thread continues, because I think it will have a slo
  22. There's a reason why it's popular - my mother got keen on Malaysian and Indonesian cooking long ago, but rendang was the one she was still making a decade later, partly because it is the perfect dish for a crowd. Rich, a bit sour, aromatic... If you want to use desiccated coconut, take a hard look at the quality - it often seems old, dry, and tasteless in western supermarkets.
  23. Stampot! When spring greens start to appear in the stores but the weather is still chilly, it's a wonderful combination of mashed potato (sometimes with onion or turnip added, maybe some flecks of carrot) mashed together with the usual seasonings and a generous amount of strong-flavored greens like turnip tops, parsley etc. My potato box had fewer potatoes in it than I thought, so we had a weekend dinner of stampot served with mashed taro (the small Japanese sato-imo type). Most of the greens plus some crispy bits of friend pork and onions went into the taro mash, while the potato mash h
  24. Love the springlike greens with white! Since it was raining, I did what should only be done in fine weather - made rakugan (Japanese "dry" sweets - mixture of sugar and any of a variety of cooked flours, with just enough moisture to hold together in a small mold). Powdered sugar + kanbaiko (sticky rice cakes baked at low temp and made into flour) + powdered dried salted cherry blossom = wonderful flavor but too sweet Trad fine brown sugar (not quite wasanbon but close) + kanbaiko + kinako (toasted soybean flour) = really hard to manage because of the fat content of the soybean fl
  25. Rooibos! Because it's good hot, and just as good when it gets cold.
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