Stuffing my Face with Deliciousness


Some deliciousness from my last few days in beautiful Japan!!

After a wonderful 3 years it’s time to go home.  The clock was working faster than usual so I was determined to enjoy as many yum times as I could!

Below was a set lunch in a beautiful old Japanese style house/restaurant.  Kimchi dressed chicken (drowned in mayo) on a bed of salad accompanied with a kabocha salad, miso soup, fresh steamed rice and some tsukemono followed by a refreshing and revitalising yet slightly naughty ice coffee.

Regardless of the mayo overload the sugar and cream, the meal was a memorable one.  Time spent with wonderful friends always justifies the excess calorie intake.

Next up are photos from my very first experience of a Japanese tea ceremony.  I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to enjoy such a cultural experience.

One thing about the ceremony, which surprised me the most, was the attention to the detail of every movement you make during the ceremony and the many meanings behind every process from the tools used, the decor which surrounds you, the clothes you should wear right down to the words you should speak.

Our ceremony was a more relaxed one.  Hosted by Irino sensei, who has practised the art of the tea ceremony for over 30 years.  She explained her every move in such finesse. Also, her modesty in her abilities only added to the charm of the experience.

First served was a light meal which consisted of somen noodles and miso soup, onigri, grilled ebi, tsukemono and an egg wrapped processed fish (I have forgotten the Japanese name)

It is believed that eating a small meal such as this before drinking the tea layers the stomach from the harsh properties in the tea and also aids in absorbing its powerful qualities.

Shortly after the meal, we were then ushered to a waiting area whilst Irino Sensei prepared the next part of  the ceremony.

Below the ceremony is in process.  Irino Sensei skipped many parts of the tea ceremony  as it can take up to 5 or 6 hours to fully complete every step.  I wont describe every detail, but if you are interest please take a look here.  This website gives you a great insight into the traditional art form of the Japanese tea ceremony.

We enjoyed a thin macha in beautiful chawan (green tea cups).  Thin macha is apparently better drunk during the summer, due to its light texture and taste.

Wonderful 🙂

And now for the last lunch.  I couldn’t leave without spending one last afternoon in my favourite café.   The lunch there never fails to please.  From all the stresses of packing this café is my perfect place to relax.  We didn’t have a car or bike, so we walked for 45mins in the 36 degree humid heat to get there.   It was worth every minute and every cup of sweat which poured from us.

Satisfied!

What followed was a sad farewell and a 53 hour Journey back to Scotland.  Many long waits for busses, flights, connecting flights, delayed planes, planes missed, plastic plane food and numerous teas and cakes later, we are finally home.  Here is how we celebrated,

Goats Cheeeeeeeeeese 🙂 Ohisashiburi!

Yummy succulent and melt in the mouth Scottish salmon…mmm…

Green Tea is not just for drinking.


What drink solves all your problems when you feel you need a pick me up any time of the day?

This week has seen litres of green tea pass my lips.  I can’t seem to get enough of it.  Surprisingly enough I have been craving it more than wine or gin or the multitude of alcoholic drinks I seem to regularly poison my body with.

I wish green tea was just as popular back in the UK as it is here.  I have almost taken for granted how lucky I am to have it practically on tap here.  I’d better get stocking up now so I can send home a years worth to see me through my masters.

I love this tea so much.  I drink it hot, cold, I bake with it and even bathe in it…well…not my whole body, just my face.

Facial toners are always full of ingredients and chemicals and are often very expensive and harsh on your skin.  At least when I’m in scotland I have the option of reading labels to see which products to avoid. Unfortunately though, in Japan I don’t have that luxury of being able to understand everything I read.

Often you’ll find brands advertising their products with the selling point that it contains green tea or Aloe or both.   It is common for people to apply aloe straight to your skin, so why not do the same with freshly brewed green tea (chilled of course)?

Ok, If you do decide to do this, it will have to be fresh as it doesn’t contain preservatives, but considering I drink it every day, it isn’t much to save a little for my face too.

As you probably already know green tea is high in anti-oxidants.  It’s powerul benefits are written all over the internet telling us that  it inhibits the growth of cancer cells, lowers total cholesterol levels.  It also protects skin from free radical damage.  Apparently it is helpful for all skin types too.  Perfect for me as my skin is annoyingly sensitive to everything.   I have also read that green tea helps burn calories faster (perfect for all those dieters out there).  It is also supposed to kill bacteria found in dental plaque, preventing tooth decay.   In saying that it also stains your teeth, however all the goodness out weighs this problem for me.

It’s pretty obvious that this drink is good for you.   Even if you are one of those who are sceptical about all these types of stories you read on the net.  It won’t do you much wrong to indulge your body both in and out with a few cups.

For me I just love the taste and the feeling it gives me, the rest is just a bonus.

Here’s a little toning mixture I use on my skin every night I’d like to share with you:

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 tablespoons of fused green tea
  • 2.5 tablespoons of fused peppermint leaves (I find the peppermint adds that extra freshness)

Directions:

  1. Simply mix the infusions in a bottle then refrigerate.
  2. Use within 4-5 days