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eG Foodblog: torakris/snowangel - When Pocky meets pad thai....


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Click here for the first Tag Team Foodblog: A Tale of Two Kitchens.

This is the second of a series of recurring threads and a special feature of the eGullet Foodblog. As with the first Tag Team, two Society members will be blogging and will be coordinating menus throughout this week. Out of seven days, they will commit to a set number of matched meals, in this case five. (The number of meals may change in future installments, depending on the participants, their schedules and other factors.) The execution doesn't have to be the same, or even the recipe, but the overall meals have to be essentially similar.

Snowangel previously appeared in Midwestern Thai. Torakris was previously featured in New Year's Festivities in Japan, A Week of Fun in Japan, and Pocky and the Geisha.

Susan and Kristin will post later today, but in the meantime, here are a few highlights during the upcoming week:

Tuesday, 4 October: based on trips to the farmer's market, or Kris's coop basket. This could be interesting....This will really be a "wing it" night, and suggestions from members will be solicited.

Wednesday, 5 October: dinner on the run. Susan will be doing a soup from her husband's new cookbook, which will be featured in a separate topic.

Thursday, 6 October: Recipes from RecipeGullet. Advice and feedback from members would be greatly appreciated. Some of this may be predicated by trips to the market.

Friday, 7 October: Three recipes from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet. As with Thursday's dinner, this will depend on what is available at the market.

Saturday, 8 October: Kristin is going to a festival with her family. Susan's family will celebrate a birthday, and she will smoke brisket, in addition to baking a cake.

Sunday, 9 October: BBQ. Kris and her family are going to friend's for a BBQ, and Susan's family will have a neighbor get-together.

Monday, 10 October: Homemade pasta. Wish our bloggers luck!

As before, we've started the thread a day early so that everyone can orient themselves and get their bearings. In addition to all of the above, they will be blogging their daily eating.

Let the games begin! :biggrin:


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Oh, boy! This is going to be fun! I've enjoyed the posts and blogs of both of you (I started to write 'both of your posts' and knew that wouldn't look right :wink: ) and this is going to be a wonderful tag team. Furthermore, I'm glad to see Kris is willing to take the pasta plunge again. :wink:

Blog on, ladies!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Well it is Tuesday morning in Japan. I went to go take pictures of my breakfast and my digital camera battereies died. :angry: I pulled some out of the remote control for the dvd and that should last us for a little bit.

It is good to be blogging again. :biggrin:

Just a bit of background for those who have no idea who I am.

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, one of 8 kids of a first generation Italian mother and a father of German descent. My mother is a very good cook (as is her entire family) and I grew up on up a mix of modern American and traditional Italian with a spattering of German dishes mixed in.

10 years ago I married my my Japanese husband and moved to Yokohama, Japan. This was not the first international marriage in our family and I am definitely not the last. I have an uncle from Mexico, and aunt from Martinique, last year my sister married her French boyfriend and my little brother's (very serious) girlfriend is from Portugal. This all makes for very delicious family get togethers.

Here in Japan, I keep busy with my 3 children: Mia age 9, Julia, age 7 an Hide age 4. I also work part-time teaching English and holding cooking classes in my home.

Now to see if the pictures actually came out...

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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I'm looking forward to this week as well.

We have two future Tag Teams in the works. One will be called "BBQ and All That Jazz" (working title) and another will be "The Modern Norman Conquest". :biggrin:

Those are a ways away though.... :wink:


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Breakfast for Tuesday morning consisted of a large glass of iced coffee (Toddy method cold brew) and a slice of walnut raisin bread.


as you can tell from the photo, the loaf is from the bread machine, a wonderful piece of kitchen equipment I am not ashamed to admit to using. :biggrin:

This is currently one of my favorite breads and the best thing about it is that all 3 kids like it as well. It is very difficult to run across foods that all 3 like...

a not very good close-up


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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Monday, 10 October:  Homemade pasta. Wish our bloggers luck!

from the Fresh/Stuffed Pasta & Gnocchi--Cook-Off thread:


I hate every single one of you for making this sound easy!! :angry:

I don't know if dinner will ever get made and it will take days to clean my house.....

back to my struggle with the pasta machine :angry:

which eventually led to …

these pictures are driving me crazy...

I must give this another shot!

I am so looking forward to "Battle Pasta"! :laugh:

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Although I will not start blogging officially until tomorrow am, I want to introduce myself. Susan, living in a northern suburb of the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Born in Floriday, early childhood spent moving around -- Lincoln, NE; E. Lansing, MI; Nigeria; and College Station, TX before moving to Thailand in 1966. I left Thailand in 1980 to go to St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

Married almost 25 years to Paul. Three kids. Diana (15), Heidi (11) and Peter (9). Heidi presents the biggest challenges in terms of food, as she is disabled, so I often appease her with a different meal. The other two kids are hearty and adventurous eaters, and Diana is a most capable sous chef (or chef with me as the sous). Peter is learning to cook.

Yes, all good wishes to both of us on pasta.

And best wishes to both of us with cameras. It's rather intimidating to follow the food born of Percy and Susan!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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And best wishes to both of us with cameras.  It's rather intimidating to follow the food born of Percy and Susan!

I have been following these two foodlblogs as well and the photography is stunning, I will warn everyone now:


You will however, become fluent in "Kristin Language" which is a special language we speak in our house, though it sounds like English the meanings are a little different. For example, if I refer to 'plating' something, it means to actually use a plate/dish/bowl instead of the more common papertowels or in the case of fancier occasions a paper plates.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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er...I mean...um...this sounds awesome, you guys!!! :blink:


Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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Tuesday morning I receive a delivery from my co-op. I place the order one week before from a weekly catalogue. This week's delivery


The frozen stuff started to defrost as I was running around looking for batteries for the camera, the camera doesn't seem to like any of them...

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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I fogot to mention I had a large glass of water with the chestnuts. Except for my iced coffee in the morning and an occasional coffee or tea in the afternoon, you can assume I am drinking water...

not very exciting I know... :hmmm:

Except for weekends, Weds, and the days I go out, I make very simple lunches at home for myself. Usually leftovers.

My three kids all eat at school (except on Weds Hide only has a half day and we eat at home together) and I make a lunch for my husband every day.

Tuesday lunch:

ramen :biggrin:

The Japanese may have created instant ramen but in my opinion the Koreans have perfected it. I eat mostly Korean instant ramens.


I add to it whatever is in the house, today I sliced up some cabbage and some garlic chives, I also added a raw egg. The final dish:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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So, please tell us what you got from the coop!

Edited to add:  And, what you will do with these things.

well that is no fun! :raz:

You are supposed to quess what it is...

I should be using all of it during this blog.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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I pick Hide up from pre-school at 2:00pm. today he was a little bit more exuberant than usual. It took me a couple of minutes to notice the special yellow patch pinned to his suspenders.


this patch with a picture of a rabbit means that tomorrow is his turn for usagi-toban (essentially "rabbit duty"). This means I have to make lunch for the rabbits tomorrow...luckily they are not very picky some cabbage and carrots will suffice.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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3 o'clock has come and it is time for the afterschool snack.

today I pulled out another gift brought back from China, I have no idea what this is but it sort of tastes like a butterfinger... (without the chocolate)


I have also had quite a bit more water since I last wrote.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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I loved "Pocky and the Geisha"! :smile:

And Susan, as the sister of an Olaf alum, I have to ask, what the heck does Um Ya Ya really mean? :wink: Does it have anything to do with food?

Looks like a week of exciting foods is coming up from you both!

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The prep for Tuesday's dinner with local foods. Considering the size of Japan almost anything grown in Japan could be considered local. :biggrin:

Yokohama is in Kanagawa Prefecture which isn't really known for its farming and I had a hard time finding really local products in the co-op catalogue this week. So I went with some foods that were as close as I could get but that are also in season.

It is salmon season in Japan, most of the year we get frozen farmed salmon from places like Chile but now we can get Japanese wild salmon so I chose salmon for dinner tonight. Along with some nice fall spinach we have the makings of a nice (and easy) meal. Cream stew!


I like to eat my stew with bread, though the rest of my family likes it with rice. I was craving caraway seeds and didn't feel like working with a yeasted bread so I made an Irish soda bread.

I must admit I have never eaten an Irish soda bread other than the ones I have made so I actually have no idea what they are supposed to taste like. I use the recipe from The Best Recipe (Cook's Illustrated's book) that an Irish friend recommended. I really like their oatmeal and walnut version but today I wanted the caraway one. The recipe actually is for both raisins and caraway but my husband will not eat raisins so I leave them out. I also don't have buttermilk so I used sour milk and I was short on butter so I added some Crisco. As I shaped it and placed it on a baking sheet I gave the recipe one last glance and realized I had forgotten to add the cream of tartar. Oops... oh well.

It came out ok. :biggrin:


The final dish:

cream stew with salmon, onions, potato and spinach


EDITED to fix the pictures.... :hmmm:

Edited by torakris (log)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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I have to admit I really don't know where cream stew (also called white stew in Japan) comes from, my mother never made it and the first time I ever ate it was in Japan.

In Japan it is made with a purchased roux, that looks like this


sort of looks like white chocolate, doesn't it? :biggrin:

The vegetables are sauteed, then water is added and they are simmered until tender. The heat is turned off and the cubes of roux are added and mixed well, it is then brought back to a gentle simmer and after a bit milk is added. I add the salmon and spinach at the very end just before serving.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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I'm fascinated to see Irish soda bread making the cut in Japan and pleased to see that you have liberated it from the standard "white" and "brown" recipes. Your bread looks great... leaving out the cream of tartar is fine if you have another acid (buttermilk or sour milk).

I'm really looking forward to your blog. I adore Japanese foods and have been a few times (years back), but never to Yokohama.

Edited by Corinna Dunne (log)
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