It’s been a busy and productive week. I taught another class on Tuesday night. There were two people in the class, my friend and her husband. It was just as much fun as my first class and it’s really gratifying when you make a connection and they get what you are trying to do. A terrific compliment came in the form of my friend’s husband signing up for some more classes as he had really enjoyed it. Thank you and I hope I can continue to deliver. I have new dates up for the next round (hint, hint) if anyone is interested. I am planning to add one off classes to what’s already up. I also added a sign up feature so I can stop sending out mass e mails to all my friends soon I hope.
I went to Southfields yesterday to order a cake. It may seem like a long way to travel since I don’t live anywhere near there. But my son is graduating this year and I thought it would be fun to have a cake at Speech Day lunch which is the last time the boys will all be together until the last day of school. This was the shop that made the cake at my daughter’s graduation and that’s where I got the idea. I was very impressed with the shop and the owner, who left banking to do what she loves. I’m really excited with the cake we came up with, I’ll try and remember to take a photo to put up here before we eat it.
I ended my day by hearing Lynne Franks speak. She is one of the pioneers of PR in this country and has balanced out her business life with a spiritual one. She was very inspirational and it is funny how everything she was talking about resonated with me. Of course I bought the book, something I never do, and even had her sign it. What’s even more astounding, I’ve started reading it.
Well, back to the translating. One more episode to do for this week, then to finalise the class for next week.
It was a mixed bag, weather wise this weekend, but the temperature was mild and everything is in full bloom as my eyes and nose can attest.
We achieved a monumental task on Saturday, we bought a sofabed. Now for one reason or another, I have been shopping for a sofa bed on and off for about 3 years. I’ve been close a couple of times especially around Christmas last year, but couldn’t commit. I had fallen in love with a sofa bed (if such a thing is possible) at Habitat last year. It was a big velvet affair that just enveloped you as you sat down. But it was over budget and so I had to lust after it from afar, until this weekend when for some bizarre reason, hubby got a friends and family discount coupon in the post. This put it within range and so off we went. Well velvet on a gorgeous April day is just not the same as velvet on a cold October day and once again, I was stumped. Especially when right across from it was a sleek (for us) modern sofa that would have fit in with the feel of the flat. We must have sat there for 30 minutes, debating one over the other and finally gave up and came home. There, tape measure in hand, we tried to visualize what the two would look like in the space we had. In the end, we decided on the velvet monster which visually may not be the best thing for the flat, but made me happy. But then, what colour? Well, we had forgotten to ask for swatches so back we went where we finally committed and paid for it. Hooray!! Now of course, we have to wait for them to make it, so sometime before they close the factory for the summer, I am hoping they get to our sofa.
This weekend was labelled King’s Cross Reveal and there were meant to be all kinds of events occurring around Kings Cross to highlight the history and the changes taking place. For obvious reasons, we didn’t do a thing yesterday so today, we tried to go to two photo exhibitions. Well, they were both closed. Unbelievable. We only had to walk to get there, I wonder how many people went to some trouble and expense to get there. Since we were out anyway, we walked along the canal to come home. There is one stretch of the canal right near us where it is very green and looks quite rural unless you look at what’s behind it. Here are some photos of our walk.
I managed to finish my translations which is good, I am now starting my annual hunt for a place to stay this summer, which I usually start in February so I am very late. I also hope to put up a schedule for my next round of lessons, so a very productive and fun weekend comes to an end.
Well, not quite. We went out this evening for yet another attempt to see the King’s Cross Reveal. This time, though we were rewarded for our perseverance. They lit up a part of the canal and it was really eerie and cool. Here are two more photos.
And now my day is truly done, good night.
What a fabulous night. I taught my first class to two lovely friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to my new adventure. The evening was relaxed and fun, they asked lots of questions so there weren’t any awkward silences. Here’s what was on the menu last night.
The two onigiri on the left were made for me by my students, they were very tasty. The evening concluded by sharing the meal and a bit of socialising. Thank you M and C, for making my first attempt such a success. I’m going to stop here because I am sounding very big headed.
Taking the day off today, getting together with a new friend, it looks like another lovely day.
I knew that flights were grounded because of the volcano in Iceland last week. I never thought it would affect my life in anyway since none of my family is flying. But it turns out there are plenty of other people, mostly friends whose lives were affected.. Being grounded has not all been bad as I got to see a friend and his kids. I have not seen him in 15 years, I had never even met his daughter. They had been in Scotland for a week and got diverted to London when flights were grounded so a reunion ensued. Friends for life do not make you feel the passage of time and if the very grown kids hadn’t been there, it could have been 1986. We had fun catching up and hope to see the whole family the next time.
Then last night, my other friend who was grounded came over with his wife. We were supposed to go out for dinner, but I ended up waiting for a delivery so I cooked. The kitchen worked really well and I got to socialise while finishing the cooking. I tried out a new beef recipe which worked really well. Might have to buy bigger tongs as it is hard manipulating a hunk of beef with small tongs. My delivery arrived, the stools for the kitchen counter. The boys unpacked and we all tried them out after dinner.
First cooking class this evening, wish me luck.
A gorgeous weekend in London, I did get to enjoy it some, but not the usual lazy weekend. Yesterday, a trip to Japan Centre for yet more rice and other stock items. It is truly scary the rate at which we blow through rice. Hubby came along to help so we got the 10kg bag of rice. That was my only contact with the outside if you don’t count windows being open. I puttered around in the afternoon and gradually made some sushi. Here is the end result.
The family were certainly enthusiastic about it so I think it was a good result. I didn’t have a set kind that I was making so it turned into many different fillings, a bit of a grab bag especially after it was all cut up.
Anyway, it never rains but it pours, or something to that effect. This week I am finally starting my cooking classes, which is a big deal for me since I’ve never done anything like this before. So what happens? On Friday, I get asked to do subtitles for an anime. I’ve been talking to this agency since November about doing some work and it finally came together. The timing couldn’t be worse. I did one episode and really enjoyed it so I hope it is something I can do more of in the future. It was a challenge translating colloquial Japanese into subtitles. I took a few liberties to get the point across, we’ll see how it goes over.
Today, Sunday was another glorious day in London and I was determined not to miss it. Hubby and I took a very long walk to Marylebone from our flat only to discover my destination was closed! Well, it was a nice walk anyway, and the allergies not tooo horrendous.
Maybe time for a snack, or actually it is dinner time.
Hello, I had a friend over for lunch today and made some more food. We had grilled mackerel, steeped green soy beans, string beans and aubergine dry stew, rice and miso soup. Here’s the photo.
I really enjoy entertaining friends at home, it is so much more mellow. You get to catch up in a quiet environment and while it is nice to have someone serve and clear, it really isn’t that big a deal.
The other day, I taught my son how to make onigiri. It was a fun thing for the two of us to do. He did very well, producing 3 different shapes. We had a lot of fun eating them afterwards and chatting about things. He wants to learn to cook, something I promised I would teach him during his gap year. Being able to feed oneself is an important skill I think. I am looking to put together a class for young people on quick Japanese food you can make at uni, a friend’s daughter in interested.
I got my business cards today for my cooking class, hooray. They came out pretty well, can’t wait to give them out.
I volunteer at Dress for Success once a week. Since I stopped eating wheat, getting a sandwich from the sandwich lady became out of the question. So I’ve started taking my lunch. Sometimes it’s leftovers, sometimes I run into Pret for a salad, but I bought myself a bento box when I was home and was eager to try it out. So, I made lunch today to bring, and here it is;
On the menu today, pork slices in ginger sauce, Japanese omelette, sauteed asparagus and rice. Now I don’t think I will go to this much trouble every week, but if I plan it right, I will have leftovers from the night before as my main dish with some veggies and things around it. Ideally, I would have had a bit of red in there, but I was out of tomatoes.
Have to go get ready, so that’s all for now.
We had some very good friends over for dinner last night. It was only firmed up Friday early afternoon so I had to find something to make out of what was in the fridge. Fortunately, my fridge is pretty well stocked at the moment so I managed to produce a nice dinner if I do say so myself. And of course as is the case with every other meal I have made for company, I failed to take photos. But here is the menu; tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet), miso soup, rice and an avocado and cucumber side dish. The avocado and cucumber is a dish that can be served tapas style with drinks or as a hashi yasume, literally chopstick rest, a dish to pick at during your dinner. It is traditionally served cold and is most often pickles, but I thought, why not, try it with this. Ultra quick and simple to make, here’s the recipe.
Avocado and cucmber salty namuru (adapted from Organic Recipe Notebook by Tomoko Shoji)
1 cucumber (you want to end up with about the same amount of avocado and cucumber so pick accordingly)
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sale
1 1/2 Tbp rice vinegar
1 clove garlic grated
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 sheet nori
Hit the cucumber with a rolling pin and break into bite size pieces with your hands. If you use a long european cucmber, it is better to remove the seeds. Cut the avocado into cubes
Combine the seasonings from sesame oil to sesame seeds and mix with the cucumber and avocado.
Crumple the nori into the mix, stir and refrigerate.
As I am writing this recipe, I realize I had totally forgotten to add nori last night. Oops, sorry R and M, but it was still very tasty, don’t you think?
Oh and by the way, the nuts I was roasting the other day? It turned out really well, and it is definitely something I will be doing again.
Now that I have a date to start my cooking class, I have been cooking like mad, well for me anyway. I made rice in a pot yesterday, I usually just use a rice cooker but thought it would be good thing to test out to make sure the method works. It did but the problem with rice cooked in a pot is that it doesn’t stay hot. So I ended up making onigiri(rice balls). Somehow, onigiri is fine eaten room temperature whereas the exact same quantity of rice in a rice bowl simply isn’t appetising. It may have to do with the connotations of onigiri, which is usually a portable lunch, so it brings back memories of outings and school trips. You will see from the photo that it is “naked”. I couldn’t find the open bag of nori, I know I put it away, but where, I couldn’t tell you. I did find a bunch of other things I forgot I owned, but I digress. In keeping with the outing theme, the rolled cooked egg is another staple. So after I made the onigiri, of course I had to make the egg. The salmon in the fridge needed eating so it became teriyaki. Then I did a mushroom in batter thing which turned out to be incredibly good and so simple. Anyway, here is the photo, I ate way too much and think I need to recruit more people to eat my food, especially meat eaters. Any volunteers?
Haven’t posted anything new in over a week, busy travelling and launching my other blog page for my cooking class.
We went to my in laws for Passover, a holiday that has a lot of tradition and a lot of great food. Unfortunately, now that I am off wheat, the food bit wasn’t nearly as fun. When you don’t eat Matzoh, it eliminates a lot of food that used to be favourites that would only appear at Passover. But it was great to see family and marvel at what wonderful people the nieces and nephews are becoming. The weather turned gorgeous after the first couple of days, by the time we left, the cherry trees were in full bloom as were the magnolias and dogwoods.
I saw my friend E during our trip, I think the last time we saw each other was probably 1996 or 97, so it’s been awhile. We have been friends since college and we picked right up and it was as if we had seen each other yesterday. We did a lot of talking and feel like we’ve caught up on each other’s lives. Hopefully it will not be another 12 years before we see each other again. So great to have friends you have history with.
My cooking classes are finally organised, check it out at www.hiromiscookingclass.blogspot.com. Many friends have kindly forwarded on the information to their friends and so I have had some interest and people signing up. It is very exciting but also a bit scary, I hope I can do a good job.
So, I spent most of last week eating macaroons ignoring the fact that I am off white sugar and so am trying hard to get back to my usual eating patterns. I discovered an amazing food at Trader Joe’s, LarabarsThey are basically a date based bar with no added sugar or oil and taste just amazing. I don’t think they sell them in the UK but if they do, please tell me, they are my new favourite snack food. There is no getting around the exercise, I am going back to the gym. It’s been a month, so it won’t be fun, but so worth it. I just roasted some nuts with kombu soy sauce and tabasco. I can’t really tell what they taste like until they cool off, will let you know if it’s any good.