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, again in November 2019 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, 2017 and 2019 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.

Monday 27 September 2021

Back on blog + kurs i kumihimo (Norge)

Yes, I'm reviving my blog :) Some years have passed, but the love is still there.

Two years (2019) ago I was finally back in Japan for a week long trip (with work). 
I will post more from that trip later.

I'm also giving an into to kumihimo at my local arts & crafts society (Husflidslag), info follows in Norwegian:

Intro til Kumihimo - temamøte:


Møte arrangeres: 30 sep 2021 19:00 - 21:00, Sandvang, Hellavn. 234, Fjellstrand

Kurs i Kumihimo arrangeres våren 2022 (dato kommer, følg med på Husflidslagets kalender).

Eating traditional food on a boat in Tokyo harbour

Kyoto - temple garden 

Thursday 17 September 2015

I'm still here - and got a new bento box!

Yes, time flies. Only one post this year so far, but I'm still here. Just overworked.
But, I've decided to start making bento lunches again. I'm not so happy with food at work, and want to eat better.
To motivate myself I ordered a new bento box from Bento & co. Get yours here, they ship worldwide: Bento&co
It's a round box, red "laque", rabbits "usagi" from Hakoya.

Let me overflow you with pictures of this beauty:

 From the side, with black elastic band.

 Top lid.
Can't wait to fill it!

Old and new bento boxes, both with rabbits.

Sunday 5 April 2015

Happy easter!

Yes, it´s been quiet. I work too much... But it´s easter and finally some time off!
This year we took it real slow. Only a small trip to pick up J from the grandparents, and the rest of easter at home. So quiet, so nice.

On our way home we visited Helgøya, an island in the middle of Norways biggerst lake, Mjøsa. Almost 40 years I´ve been in the neighbourhood without going there. It was very nice. Check out this cafe and shop: "Skafferiet" på Helgøya
We had homemade burger, cake and lemonade. Good times!

I baked a easter chocolate cake that got amazing decorations made by two 9-year-olds.
Check it out:

And today I´m making tofu. My own recipe, check this very blog for step by step instructions.
Can´t wait to eat the final result...

Hope you had a nice easter too, wherever you are or whatever you are doing. Tomorrow I´ll braid for the first time in months, got an custom order long overdue....

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Visiting Paris - Tattoos & Tower

The tower..
Again, sorry for the absence... Summer flew by. We didn´t go to Japan or not even a Japanese spa, but we try to keep a certain "standard" = seeking out Japanese food and experiences.

Anticipation... At least for the youngest one...
I climbed it! As in "took the stairs"!
Our journey through 6 countries this summer took us to Musee du Quai Branly and their very nice garden, building and exhibition. I especially enjoyed their Tattoo-exhibition with many fine examples of Japanese tattoo art.

Check out this place: Musee du Quai Branly

I´ll post more from our summer later, but first Paris!

I´ve been to Paris 4 times prior to this visit and have avoided the Eiffel tower. But you can´t fight a 8 year-old. They win. She wanted to go up, so we did. We skipped the 4 hour line for the elevator and opted for the 30 min lane to the stairs. I climbed to the first platform. I have extreme fear of heights, but I did it. The other two went another level up. Going down was bad, but I´m still here. I´ll probably never do it again....
Tattoo workshop for kids!
Poster of the exhibition.
She choose a kimono girl off course.

The secret garden...

Sunday 1 June 2014

A few new bracelets to welcome summer!

Finally I had time and energy to sit down and finish two custom orders. Thanks to patient customers.... I hope they will be happy. The sun and a long weekend did me good.

While I was at it, I took out the disc and finished two other braids; One brown silk and one vintage grey silk. I also put together two other bracelets that were ready braided, but not finished.

You´ll find them in the store! These two are already out, the plum, purple and brown ones are coming!

Friday 4 April 2014

Making wagashi - 和菓子

Fishy, fishy!

Hello, and sorry for my absence... Life and work has taken too much time lately....

But, look what we did - we made wagashi - Japanese sweets! More precisely we made fish out of apple juice and agar-agar (kanten).

It´s super easy and we will do it again! These fish are perfect for matcha (green tea).

You need:
Good quality apple juice
Agar-agar (powder or flakes, we used powder)
Sugar paste (optional)
Plastic or silicone mold

 I mixed 2 dl of apple juice, 60 grams of sugar and 3-4 grams of agar-agar in a kettle, and boiled it for 2-3 minutes. Adjust the sugar according to taste. Ours got a bit sour, but we like that! In the fish mold I made little balls of sugar paste as eyes. You don´t have to! 2 g agar-agar pr. 100 ml liquid gives a quite hard jello. You can use less and still get a good result.

After the mixture cools down a little bit (but not below 40 degrees C), pour into molds. The sugar paste might bleed, but I think it looks nice. The mixture will set when it gets colder, so fill it to the brim!

The fish sets quickly, you can leave the mold on your kitchen top counter or in the fridge. Serve with matcha and a fork/spoon (I´m going to get a real Japanese wooden fork soon).

Fun facts about kanten: Agar is derived from the polysaccharide agarose, which forms the supporting structure in the cell walls of certain species of algae, and which is released on boiling. These algae are known asagarophytes and belong to the Rhodophyta (red algae) phylum. Agar is actually the resulting mixture of two components: the linear polysaccharide agarose, and a heterogeneous mixture of smaller molecules called agaropectin

Sunday 5 January 2014

Happy New Year!

I´m sorry for not posting in a while... I´ve had a very buzy autumn. But I still braid, and I was lucky to both have several custom orders for christmas and I also went to a very nice christmas market here in Nesodden.

We celebrated New Year in our usual style... 7 courses + coffee and belgian chocolate. My in-laws took the trip from Holland to celebrate with us. My girl is happy with her child champagne and ketchup!

We made a lot of seafood this year, including these little babies:

You don´t need to go fancy with lobster. I just cut them in half and toast them in the oven with parmesan and herbs.

Serve with salad, bread and spicy mayo. Champagne off-course!

S novim godom - Godt nytt år - Happy New Year! I hope 2014 will be a really good year for all of you.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Black brass findings...

I decided to try some new findings this autumn; black brass. I find them at Fallen Angel Brass on Etsy, and they´re casted and finished by hand in the US. They ship fast and the findings are fantastic! They contain no lead, nickel or cadmium, so they´re perfectly safe too.

The store is here: FallenAngelBrass on Etsy

Green silk 16-count braid with black brass tulip endcaps, pinecone charm and green crystal.

I hope my new bracelets do them justice and that the customers will like them... Want to take a peak?

I´ll be making only one piece of each of this, so they´re all OOAK.
They can be ordered directly from me or take a look in the shop; I´ll put them out as I finish and photograph them...

Black silk bracelet with purple and green flowers, calyx endcaps, butterfly charm and green crystal.

What do you think, do you like the darker side of krysantemum design?

Wednesday 21 August 2013

New braiding

Ok, so I didn´t just lay around in Sweden in some spa... I´ve been braiding too!
Here´s some of my latest creations:

Coffee and yellow wrap-arounds. Hand made hand model by me....

Purple wrap-around in 100% silk. Love the fresh color!

Matching wrap-around bracelet and earrings in 100% silk. Pearl grey; lovely, versatile color.

You can get them here: krysantemum design online shop

I will list more silk bracelets soon, I´ve made 2 with 16 threads in pink/greys and pink/purple/greys.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Summer in Sweden

This summer, for the first time in 8 years, I was able to visit the Japanese spa (onsen) in Stockholm called Hasseludden Yasuragi. It´s beautifully situated in the Stockholm archipelago, some 25 minutes drive from the city centre or by boat.

This was my 4th and what later that week turned out to be my 5th visit. :)
We enjoyed 2 wonderful days there before heading to our rented summer house in the archipelago. On our way back, my mother in-law (bless her!), suggested we´d stay another night, so we did!
I miss the place already and it won´t be 8 years until next time, that´s for sure!

Here´s some pictures I made, it does't do this paradise justice, but gives you a glimpse....

Our room the first two nights. You carry your towel and bath gear in the basket.

Our room the last night (a week later). We got a large room with separate living room. We didn´t really need it, as we were mostly bathing... My daughter in yukata, you wear it at all times, even for dinner. 

The bar on the 2nd floor with outside terrace where you can see the sail-in for Stockholm.

Fish-spa! It was tickly and fun... We did it several times and the feet got super soft!

Indoor washing facility. This is where you do your washing ritual. You sit on the small chairs, wash and pour water over your head with the bucket. 

Outdoor hot springs. All-year around temperature is 40 degrees C. In the winter you can sit outside even when it´s snowing and freezing cold! Summer wasn´t so bad either....

See the homepage for more info: www.yasuragi.se
But; shhhhhhh, don´t tell everyone!