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).

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!
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.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Tea ceremony - making matcha

Finally I have got all the equipment for making matcha... I have a whisk, a scoop, a hemp towel, whisk holder, iron tea-kettle for water and good quality matcha.

So, here´s my version of a tea ceremony:
I apologize to all you Japanse out there who find me to be too much of an amateur for this; I will practice!

First I heat water and warm the bowl with hot water inside, wipes it off dry.


Kettle with hot water, ceremony grade matcha, whisk on holder, bowl with matcha scooped in.


For this matcha (Yuuki Midori, organic) I use 2 scoops and aprox. 70 ml water.


I let the water cool to about 70 degrees C and pour it in, holding the bowl in one hand.


Whisk in a W-shaped pattern using your vrist only, not the whole arm.


Until you get a frothy foam with lots of bubbles.


Enjoy!


My utensils and tea displayed on a piece of hemp cloth.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

A day at the art&crafts fair in "Blå" (Søndagsmarkedet)


Today I decided to go and try my luck at the art&crafts market at "Blå" in Oslo.
The sun was shining, and the journey with the boat pleasant. A lovely day, I sold
a few items, talked to a lot of nice people, other creative people selling their stuff,
enjoyed the nice weather.... and I even got to braid some!

Here´s the result of todays braiding, I love the dusty pink and freshwater pearl combo.
This is a yatsu shippou-braid; flat with holes, that I later fill inn with pearls.



The market has it´s own blog: Søndagsmarkedet på Blå
Check it out, or even better - come next sunday if you´re in Oslo, or any sunday....

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Things are growing in my garden...

The weather is varying there days; sun, rain, sun, overcast and then rain again. But my plants are doing ok. The new rose is coming along, and the one I had for 3 years is slowly growing too.


Meet Mr. Braithwaite!

The tomatoes are still green, but they look good! I hope for some nice, sunny days to get them all red and ready for Mr. Linuz´ mozarella & tomato salad!


You say tomato......

Friday, 17 June 2011

Mail from Japan

Two parcels in one day! I almost forgot the pouring rain.... The trip to the post office was rewarded with this:


My new chasen has arrived + some nice organic matcha I can´t wait to try.
Today I just enjoyed unpacking and touching the hand cut bamboo.
Tomorrow or later tonight it will be put to the test when I´m making a nice cup of usucha matcha!

Monday, 13 June 2011

My workroom


I thought I might let you take a peek inside my workroom these days.
Where I spend my free time creating little braided pieces for the store or for my friends and family.
I find the mess quite beautiful.... all the colors and pieces of shiny string, little crystals and silver bits and bobs....



And I hope the room will soon be complemented with a genuine marudai in wood. The only problem - I have no idea where to put it!

Where to get it (contact me if you´re abroad and would like something):
My Epla shop

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Wating for mail... from Japan


Soon in use!

I´ve finally ordered a new chasen (matcha whisk) and this time a hand made one from Japan!
I´ve also ordered some organic matcha from the same store. Usually shipping from Japan is
fast and safe, so I have big hopes for the parcels to arrive next week!

I will post pictures when it arrives, but for now you can see it for yourself here:
Matcha whisk and tea

I need to order more utensils for the tea ceremony, but I like to try a store first and see if everything works out fine.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Yakitori / kushiyaki


Today I decided to make yakitori - grilled skewers with chicken and pork for dinner + for a summer party at my daughters kindergarten tomorrow. I made up a big batch of chicken, pork and asparagus ones.

There really isn´t much of a recipe... I made two different marinades, a traditional tare marinade for the pork and a ponzu/ ume one for the chicken.

Tare:
Soy
Mirin
Sugar
Salt
Dashi

Sour marinade:
Ponzu
Umeboshi, honey marinated
Salt + pinch of sugar

I put the whole batch in the oven, as I don´t have a grill at hand. I think they stayed about 15-20 minutes on 200 C. Half I packed down for tomorrow.

We had them with a simple carrot salad (sliced carrots in ponzu sauce), rice and miso soup. The sprinkle is furikake and there´s some sweet soy too.

Monday, 6 June 2011

3rd time lucky?

Yes, I decided to get another rose.... my "Graham Thomas" seems to be alive, but a bit shaken after frost, but my "Heritage" didn´t make it this winter. I decided to try a "L.D. Braithwaite" this time, it has a higher hardiness-number than the Heritage... maybe it´ll last me more than one season.
Anyway, pictures are coming. It´s been raining all day, and there´s no flowers yet anyway...

David Austin promises me something like this:

Picture courtesy of David Austin Roses

I also browsed my blog-links and enjoyed, as always, reading baby ramens updates + checking her new Japanese items in store. You should too! Visit store here: (Link to blog in my blog-list on the right hand side):
Baby Ramen shop on Epla