Sunday, June 8, 2008

"You show me the faith, I'll keep it for you."

More adventures in cooking. I'm sure these bore silly both those of you who have been taking care of a family for decades, and those of who don't have to deal with such things yet. But I'm in that "shiny!" phase where every time I figure out how to do something on my own it feels like a big accomplishment.

For 880 yen I can get either an 800 grams bag of granola, or a kilogram bag of muesli. The former is much tastier with all kinds of dried fruit, while the latter only has a few pitiful dried berries. Especially, though, it's very hard to chew muesli, and it can double my allowed breakfasting time just working through the same portion. But I gather the only difference between granola and muesli is that one is baked until crispy. Which is when it occurred to me how to use my toaster oven to its full potential. I spread half the bag out on a B5-sized cookie sheet and turned my timer for a few minutes. Voila, only slightly burnt granola. The funny part is that the berries, when exposed to the heat, swelled up to their undried size, and deflated rapidly as they cooled.

I also made banana bread! It took some time from when I first planned it, because whenever I bought a bunch of bananas with the intention of letting them ripen enough I would eat them before they got to that point. So I finally bought two bunches - one for eating, one for waiting. Anything that rises must burn, so I covered it with tinfoil. It turned out revolting-looking - for some reason the banana fibers turn green as they cook - but quite delicious. Though there's a little bit of a bitter aftertaste that I think comes from too much baking powder - I was trying to do a recipe with tea/tablespoons with milliliter-spoons, so I might have been off a little. But yay for experiments with good results!

In non breakfast/dessert news, I usually try to cycle through my small repertoire of things I can cook, but ever since I put some chopped garlic and a little butter on hot soba noodles that's all I want to eat for every meal, every day. They sell these enormous tubs of garlic but I thought, "There's no way I could go through one of those, I'll just get this little jar." Obviously I need to go back.


(Not a Song) of the Day: Well, since I'm all about food, apparently, I give you two comedy routines by the hilarious duo Downtown, made up of Matsumoto Hitoshi and Hada Masatoshi. Don't worry, they're subtitled in English.

Thoughts on the Nature of Curry:

How to React when a Restaurant Makes a Mistake:

They do a traditional sort of comedy called manzai from the West of Japan, where one member, the boke, says stupid things and the other, the tsukkomi, berates him either verbally or physically - notice the quick slaps to the bald guy's head. Downtown, however, revolutionized the genre by making it much more conversational and natural.


raney said...

I am not sure I have anything as interesting, other than animal news. (Nina slept on the bed, such a princess). My homework is almost done for this quarter, and I got very prolific on that, and the teacher said "be brief." Got it sent off before I could type more. I liked your food news, success w/ muesli into granola, but those bananas sound pretty green. Well, it tastes better than they look I guess. -Raney

mabanagirl said...

Hi=I will try again to leave a message. Last time I must have accidentally or something touched a wrong button. Really enjoy your blogs. You are quite a cook. Am afraid I would be skin and bones if that was me over there. Maybe that is what I need?? Life here is definitely not as exciting as yours.You are a brave gal. Love ya. Grandma Neva