Welcome to my blog.

After a few random posts I've decided to dedicate this blog to my life long project of Japanese food
and culture (and my life in general, especially my travels).

Since my first taste of sushi back in 1997 I've been interested in, and frequently been making
Japanese food.
My interest in the country and culture started long before and continues to evolve.
I was lucky to finally visit Japan in October 2008 and hope to be back soon.
In July 2012 I visited Japantown in San Fransisco, the next best thing!
I was lucky to be back in 2015, 2016 and 2017 thanks to the fact that we now have family living in California.
Both small and big adventures will from now on, as time permits, be shared with you.

I will post other recipes and pictures too, mainly cooking projects, plants and art projects
(including my new love - making kumihimo braided objects).

I hope you'll find it interesting, and feel free to leave a comment or ask questions!

I write mainly in English, but there will be some Norwegian too, especially posts about things
that mainly have Norwegian interest. Tutorials are bi-lingual.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Russian pirogi *non-Japanese food*

Yes, we do eat other stuff than Japanese food! Especially lately, I've been trying to mix it up a bit.. and being a "Russian housewife", I thought I'd try to make pirogi.

So, here we go:

7 g dry yeast
2 ts brown sugar
2/3 cup skimmed milk (abt. 2 dl ), lukewarm
1 large egg
1 tbsp water
1 cup (=240 ml) melted margarine, lukewarm
1/4 ts salt
3 3/4 cup flour (= 9 dl) (I used dinkel)

1/2 head of cabbage
2 tbsp hacked dill
1 clove garlic, hacked
2 tbsp oil
2-3 hard boiled eggs
2-3 large potatoes cut in small cubes and boiled
salt and pepper

+ any meat, fish or chicken and maybe peas as well
1 beaten egg

Make dough
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in lukewarm milk, leave for 5 min, then add the egg beaten with water and lukewarm margarine, plus salt. Stir together and add the flour, cup by cup, leaving 1/2 cup out. Form the dough into a ball and knead in the rest of the flour. Leave to rise for abt. 10 min. Use at once, or refrigerate for up to 24 hrs.

Make filling
Boil eggs and potatoes until done. Sieve potatoes and peel eggs. Chop them into small pieces.
Cut the cabbage into strips and boil for 2 min in salted water. Strain and chop it up more.
Put the oil in a large pan or wok, add garlic, fry 2 min, add cabbage and dill. Fry until soft, add potatoes and eggs + any other filling. Adjust taste with s/p.

Make circular pieces of the dough and put 2 tbsp filling on one half. Close it into a half circle, close the edges with a fork and put beaten egg on it.
Cook the pirogi for 20-25 minutes on 200 degrees C until brown.

Serve with soup or sour cream dressing. Great for picnic!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Roses *non-Japanese plants!*

I'm proud to present: Mr. Graham Thomas and Heritage.
The lovely Austin roses currently growing in my garden. Planted in mid-May, they're now full of fragrant flowers, Graham Thomas (above) has pale yellow, almost peach flowers. Heritage (under) has light pink, almost white, some more pink, full flowers. I have high hopes for these ones!

My garden

Growing daikon has proven to be quite interesting and quite tricky for a garden-virgin like me.
But, this one I think will be a success, after a few attempts that has ended with small, withered ones...
I have no idea if this pot is deep enough or how long this root is now, but I'll try to let it grow for another week or so to see if it gets thicker.
The daikon is Hybrid Daebu Summer, and it should be grown in 60 days after sowing.
It was planted around May 15th, so that gives it another week to grow.

My green shiso is also growing well these days. After a rocky start in the beginning of summer, they got pale green and were bothered by insects, they've matured into rich, dark green plants with huge leaves. I will salt the leaves for onigri wrappers this week - so stay tuned!

Happy morning

Japanese tea in my tetsubin (iron tea pot) and aka-shiso growing in the background....