Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy 21st, Gord

Happy 21st to my brother today!

My earliest memory of you is in an incubation cot a few hours after you were born; I was lead upstairs to the labour ward by the creche staff. You're my best friend while we were growing up. Always had my back. You even told me what I would be getting from mum and dad for Christmas without me having to guess. You pissed me off by doing a number of things when we were kids: e.g. remember the time you flushed my collection of shell and animal-shaped soaps down the toilet... one... after... the... other?! Or when you asked me if I would trade Krystal for Shadow because Krys was a smaller kitten than Shadow was?! Or whenever we got takeaway for lunch, we had a system (eat fries first then the burger); you always wolfed yours down and then you'd look at me with your big, hopeful eyes and ask me "Are you going to eat that?"

Despite being the typical painful younger sibling, you did grow up to be a really great guy. I hope you had a really great time and I hope I met your expectations for your birthday dinner last night. Love you lots.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

My current craving is WAGASHI

Wagashi: a traditional Japanese confectionery
generally made with natural plant-based ingredients

They are almost too pretty and intricate to eat. I remember having wagashi at a Japanese tea ceremony in Toyoda, Japan (in 2004). A long time has passed since then. It was a really wonderful experience, and I've never been able to rid myself of the craving for red bean wagashi.

Toraya Confectionery has the most amazing-looking range of wagashi, in my opinion! They have been running since before the 1600's. I'd recommend giving them a look. The attention to detail is simply spectacular!

But if you're wanting to make your own at home, have a look at the blog, My Wagashi Chronicles, by dosankodebbie. She is quite brilliant and readily makes the art of wagashi creation available for the rest of us.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Novelty food

I'm sure everyone knows about Japan's venture into creating square watermelons. Of course, they succeeded in this. The novelty of having a square watermelon is not lost on me... they're much easier to stack.
There are actually a LOT more deliberately, oddly shaped fruits and vegetables. Again, in Japan, a farmer produced a heart-shaped watermelon some years ago. I can imagine how these would have been popular around Valentine's Day.

Another shapely Japanese edible are these star and heart shaped cucumbers.

In China, a farmer made Buddha-shaped molds and fastened them over the growing fruit on his pear trees. The result was ... well, different. I think it would be like biting into a juicy, pear tasting baby. A tad disturbing, yes.

To top it all off, it's not just Asiatic countries which have taken a liking to making strangely shaped fruit and veg. Disney World in Orlando, USA, have jumped on the "vege cart", so to speak. To incorporate a little more Disney cheer into your life through food, pumpkins are produced with the likeness of Mickey Mouse!