Really Hot Summer!

It’s already really hot in the end of June. The temperature races up to 32 degrees in Celsius (84F) this morning.  We need to conserve the energy because of the electricity shortage in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.  So, as much as possible, we need to cool down naturally.
Something cold? I love to! I made a vitamin-rich-anti-oxidant drink with red and orange paprika and a grapefruit.  Just cook chopped paprika pieces in water with a dash of salt and a teaspoonful of sugar until soft, process them in a blender, add freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice and honey with some touch of lemon juice for a tangy reviving  flavor.

Here is lavender-lemon Perrier.

I squeezed a lemon for its juice and add a half teaspoonful of lavender. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds.  Add some honey, stir well, and pour ice-cold Perrier in the glass. This is really tantalizing!

Blueberries and raspberries are in season now. But in Japan, it’s hard to find domestic raspberries; almost all raspberries are imported mainly from the US. But there is a thriving raspberry bush in our shop garden which is yielding lots of berries.


I made some summer gelée using these berries, wild strawberries, and rhubarbs with Umeshu (Japanese plum liqueur) . This is such a treat in this heat!

It’s hard to bake but I have to because of the nature of my business. This is a tart which I love at the moment. It’s filled with pistachio cream and pêche de vigne. Wow, it’s unbearably hot now! I can’t even think any words… gosh.

All natural even in colors.

Lunch today?  Maybe ice-cold Soba & Udon noodles topped with veggies and clams. And don’t forget the sauce!  It’s clam-juice based with Japanese soy sauce dressing and freshly-grated Wasabi.

Now we are going out in the heat for pleasure or torture!? maybe, it’s a bit suicidal!


A la Rose

When I feel a bit tired of my hectic life, I would like to drop a line here. Today is my lazy day; do nothing! Even though I’m tired of my real life, I feel hungry. This is a good sign; if I completely lose my appetite, then it means very seriousJ  To nurse my healthy appetite, I made a pain pérdu á la banane.  I want to put up the recipe soon… it was yummy!
Our 1st year in Japan has passed so quickly. It has been a hefty roller coaster ride but we made it through ok. What a blessing! We were baptized by many new things with a lot of difficulties and surprises. Amidst of fiascos, we’ve opened our little shop and restaurant, and then my first book was recently published as well.  So, I can say we must have been doing something pretty well???  We still have a long way to go… to establish our roots here.

May is a month of roses in the northern hemisphere. I had an opportunity to receive fragrant Damask roses from an organic nursery in Tokyo. They wanted me to use their organic roses to make something sweet, so here I’ve started.
Pyramid á la rose. It’s an Entremet with 3 layers inside. The layers were consisted of Dacquoise Pistache (pistachio dacquoise), strawberry and lychee mousse and strawberry rose gelée. The outside was topped with organic Rosé and rose-infused gelée and bottomed with fromage blanc and rose mousse with a hint of coriander and pine-scented Madagascar pepper.  There is an almond Dacquoise at the base. It was such a beauty to peek  inside with layers of white, pink, ruby, clear rose  and green.   

Also I made a rose Blanc Manger with fruity Rosé and rose-infused gelée. It was such a treat!

Roses own a special charm; it’s perfect to look at, smell, and eat, too! Eating a rose is something special, n’est ce pas?

A rose garden nearby our shop in Tsukuba is an ideal place to stroll in the morning or at dusk. Enjoying  a quiet moment there is a good idea.

And have something sweet in life.

Take time to smell the roses…


Visit to Iwate from Ichinoseki to Rikuzen Takada

This is a picture of Kamaishi, Iwate about 3 months later from the March 11th earthquake and Tsunami.

We had an occasion to visit in Iwate which had a huge impact of Tsunami. The inner area of the prefecture is untouched by it, so it remains green and beautiful.

Even we noticed the change of air which is clear and clean once we reached Iwate. I wonder why!? Maybe it is because the abundant amount of chlorophylls the greens produce??? 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take beautiful inland scenery pictures due to a limited time we had. The reason why we headed for Iwate is to take some goodies to children who attend 3 kinder gardens in two cities. It was our mission to get there this time. But if there is another opportunity, we definitely want to visit there! There are many hot springs to enjoy.

After finishing delivering the goodies to the children, we had a quick time to see the coastal area of Iwate. We traveled down there to go back home.
What a contrast it makes between the coastal and the inner areas!
The coastal area showed the brutal scars of Tsunami.

But in Ohfunato, I found a hope. The green shrub is coming back from the attack of deadly Tsunami.

Though the branches are bent down, the root remains strong and healthy. Its leaves are reviving in green!

A shot of a peaceful inland. The stand sells horse manures.

We never forget the March 11th, but all the Tohoku area shall remain strong and bounce back no matter how long it takes!
I do hope so.