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torakris

eG Foodblog: torakris - a week of fun in Japan

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torakris   

Hello everyone!

My turn again. :biggrin:

In case you may have missed my first blog, I took everyone through the New Years festivities in Japan about a year ago:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=34074&hl=

A short intro for those who might not know me......

My name is Kristin, I spent the first 18 years of life in Cleveland, Ohio in a large family of 8 kids, I then spent the next 6 in Athens, Ohio at Ohio University working on various degrees. The past 10 now I have been in Yokohama, Japan with my (Japanese husband) Tora (hence the name torakris) raising our 3 children Mia (soon to be 9), Julia (soon to be 7) and Hide (soon to be 4).

The math should have been easy enough to figure out, I am currently 34 years old. :biggrin:

I come from a family that loves food, even with 10 people to feed on a very strict budget my mother always put out great meals. Family get togethers are always filled with incredible food, my mother's parents came over from Italy between wars, but in the years since then our family has grown to include a number of nationalities. I have one uncle from Mexico and an aunt from the island of Martinque, this past June my sister married her French boyfriend who is from Strausburg and loves to cook. So now we all get proper Alsatian dishes.

It is 7:00am (10/5) Japan time and it has has been raining straight for the past two and a half days and is forecast to rain all day today as well..... :angry: yuck!

I am drinking an iced coffee (my drink of choice) made with the Toddy cold brew method, if I remember to I may eat something for breakfast a little later.

My kids have eaten, the girls had maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal and my son had a peanut butter sandwich. My whole family wakes up around 5:30am and I make a lunch and pack an onigiri (rice ball) for my husband to eat at work for lunch and breakfast respectively, he leaves the house around 6:00.

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You can't imagine how much I've been looking forward to your blog redux, Kristin.

Blog on! :raz::biggrin::wub:

Soba

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torakris   

I picked this week because it will make it seem like I actually have an exciting life! :biggrin:

Tuesday through Friday are just my boring regular days, I teach two English classes on Tues and one on Weds, this Thursday I have a cooking class (I teach these twice a month). Saturday is the biggest event of the school year, the undokai or sports day, these are a lot of fun and I will discuss it more as the day approaches. Then on monday we have our Tokyo egullet trip to Kappabashi also known as "cook's papradise".

Don't worry I will include lots of pictures of everything!

I am still drinking my iced coffee ad since I wrote the first post I have eaten about 4 mouthfuls of oatmeal, Julia's leftovers...

Mia went for a second bowl, this time apple-cinnamon, and all three kids ate a dinner roll a piece.

I spent yesterday at Costco, you will be seeing a lot of Costco foods this week....

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torakris   

A little bit about Costco.

Once a month a group of friends (all Japanese women who live in the same apartment or very close by) and I make a trip to Costco. The closest one (there are now 5 in Japan) is a 30- 40 minute drive away. As I am the only member, and also drive a large car, I take two different people with me every time as only two guests are allowed. We make up a list, we had 14 people place orders this current time, then spend about 3 hours finding everything, eat lunch and come home and spend another 2 to 3 hours dividing up the food.

yesterday we spent 118,000 yen (over $1,000) and purchased 130 items, this is what my living room and dining room looked like after unpacking the car.

gallery_6134_184_1096931282.jpg

gallery_6134_184_1096931306.jpg

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I had no idea they had Costco in Japan! Excellent, that covers my "learns something new everyday!"

Looking forward to reading your blog Kristin!

p.s. was at costco yesterday too! haha! what a small world we live in

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This looks like it's going to be fun! :biggrin:

Looking at the Costco purchases, I'm just struck by how "American" it all looks...not what I would have expected...maybe it's just me :hmmm:

Although, the load of candy on the table reminds me that I need to get my Halloween shopping done! :raz: Is Halloween celebrated in Japan?

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reesek   

kristin,

i can't wait to see what you've got in store for us this time...i just spent some time with your last blog...the korean pancake is still making my mouth water. i highly recommend that those who haven't read kristin's blog from last year take a look...it's amazingly satisfying.

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Wow, Costco in Japan seems to be exactly the same, down to the "Take and Bake" pizzas. :blink:

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torakris   

Although, the load of candy on the table reminds me that I need to get my Halloween shopping done!  :raz:  Is Halloween celebrated in Japan?

halloween isn't really celebrated in Japan, though it seems to be getting a litlte more and more popular every year. Some stores will put out some decorations, mostly small (tiny actually) pumpkins with little faces drawn on them.

therisn't any trick or treating really done in Japan, though I do know a couple neighborhoods that do it very small scale. For the past couple years I have taken my kids to an area of Yokohama that is mostly populated by ex-pats and does an American version of trick or treat. However te last two years has seen probably close to quadruple the number of attendees and less and less houses offering candy. So this year I decided to do our own with the children who live in our apartment building and some other close neighbors (everyone is Japanese). We bought all of the candy together and the kids will go "trick or treating" to the houses in our apartment building, it is small with only 12 families, and then afterwards we will have a Halloween party complete with lots of games.

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torakris   

Two malls by my house have started halloween events in the past couple years.

Grandberry Mall, an American style outlet mall, is offering the following:

http://www.grandberrymall.com/index02.html (Japanese only)

on the first three weekends in October, though not actually on Halloween day... :blink: they have

1. a parade of witches and monsters and if you say trick or treat to them they will give you candy

2. there will be games using pumpkins or Japanese kabocha squash, I am not sure which theya re referring to

3. there will be various monster costumes for kids to take turns dressing up in and the parents can take pictures

the other mall, Mosaic Mall is offering:

http://www.mosaicmall.co.jp/event/event.html (again Japanese only)

on the last two weekends of the moth there is a stamp rally, the kids go around and collect stamps from various areas then when they fill their card they get candy. The filled card also gets the kids a free ride on the ferris wheel that is on te top of the mall. They are also having a Halloween Carnival Bazaar with games, face painting, etc. There will also be a halloween show and picture taking with "real" witches.

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torakris   
Wow, Costco in Japan seems to be exactly the same, down to the "Take and Bake" pizzas.  :blink:

I really didn't think these would be popular as you can only cook 1/4 of it at a time in a Japanese oven......

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I really didn't think these would be popular as you can only cook 1/4 of it at a time in a Japanese oven......

It's going to be a great week around here

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torakris   

Still haven't eaten anything beside the oatmeal and coffee and am not really hungry. I am off to the store to buy milk and know I will be tempted by the candy aisle.....

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Do they only carry "american" products at costco or do they carry japanese products as well?

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torakris   

I would estimate it at about 60% Japanese and 40% American.

Some of the Japanese things that were purchased were things like dried tofu, nori sheets, various seaweeds, etc. Most of the products like flours, sugars, milks, eggs, etc are all from Japanese companies.

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Dejah   

Just spent some time reading your New Years blog.

It was great, especially seeing you and your family. :smile:

Very much looking forward to this week!

I have a Japanese student in my EAP (university ESL) class. He doesn't seem to know much about preparing his own food, and his homestay mom is not helping much at the moment. To date, I have only seen him bring butterless rye bread to school for lunch!

I have been making extra food when I cook supper, mostly Chinese stuff. He seems to like it.

Takayuki is 19 years old. What can I feed him without taking a whole course on Japanese cooking?

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torakris   

I have been making extra food when I cook supper, mostly Chinese stuff. He seems to like it.

Takayuki is 19 years old. What can I feed him without taking a whole course on Japanese cooking?

He is probably very happy with Chinese food as it is very popluar in Japan, to make him VERY happy mae a pot of curry rice!!

the curry rice thread for ideas:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=15137&st=0

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Kris, I am happy to see you are doing another blog. I wasn't following eG's food blogs as much when you did it before, and I looked over your previous one a few months ago. I will read it more thoroughly now, and then follow this one with great interest.

I used to love to read your posts on the Dinner! thread, and miss them since you haven't been posting there for a while. This week will be fun.

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Pan   

My face really lit up when I saw that you're blogging again! Your first blog was awesome! I look forward to this one.

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Kristen, how do the Costco prices in Japan compare to those in the U. S.? (Assuming that you made a trip to Costo on your last jaunt to Cleveland.)

Edited to add: Of that bounty, what was yours?


Edited by snowangel (log)

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jschyun   

I drooled over your New Year's blog. So beautiful...I was in pain.

I like how you serve things on your cutting board. I intend on doing that very same thing on the remote chance that I ever have kids. Also, I love how you neatly use up things that are in the house.

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torakris   

just as I predicted I was tempted at the drug store and I succumbed....

gallery_6134_184_1096948062.jpg

gallery_6134_184_1096948083.jpg

a "weiner-curry donut" this is a deep fried bread filled with a long sausage and some curry, it was actually quite good! :cool:

I swear, I really don't eat like this every day.....

By the way I shop at the local drug store to buy my milk because it is the cheapest place to buy it. I pay 118 yen (just over $1) for 1L (1qt) there at the supermarket it will cost around 200 yen (just under $2). I aslo picked up some bread and 2 cartons of apple juice for my neighbor who doesn't have a car.

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torakris   
 

I like how you serve things on your cutting board.  I intend on doing that very same thing on the remote chance that I ever have kids.  Also, I love how you neatly use up things that are in the house.

This is called lazy and poor! :biggrin:

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Oh my god, they combined curry bread with the hot dog roll? Here in the states, Curry Bread and Hot Dog Rolls are seperate things, at places like Sunmerry.

Now I must quest to find one here. It sounds like the ultimate in stoner cuisine.

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