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…

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Purple Birthday Cake Update


Ok, so here is the update on the beautiful eggplant cake I found.

Well, I followed this recipe, however I forgot to add the 1/2 cup honey…doh!  Not really getting off to a great start here.

At first the blueberry purée was the most wonderful colour then I added the grated eggplant.   At that point the colour began to lose its vibrance.    I was still insistent on continuing, so added the wet stuff to the dry stuff.   I really should have trusted my painting knowledge on that of course when you add white to a dark blue it WILL become a light grey blue.   And yep, that’s exactly what happened.   Again I was still determined to finish what I started and make the most of this grey mess, so I hopped on my bike covered in flour and my face splashed with blueberry juice then cycled to the nearest supermarket to pick up some red food colour.

Yep, I was more concerned about it looking better than it tastes and gave in to the unnatural colourings.

I proceeded to doctor up the batter and voilà, the colour changed from grey to a dark eggplant purple.  Lovely 🙂  At that time I wasn’t aware of the lack of sugar in my cake and transferred the batter to the rice cooker.   Switched to 50mins then got stuck into the dishes.  I had a wee taste of the batter and it tasted really bitter from the eggplant skin!!  It wasn’t sweet AT ALL!! ahhhhh!

So here it is, the cake is now out of the oven (not looking very purple), smelling like vegetables!  I probably should take that as a sign that it’s going to taste like that too, but I’m still not giving in!

What I have done right is the frosting. It’s out of this world.  Soooo easy to make and tastes super naughty in a great way.   I’m hoping the frosting will save me.  What do you think?

Hmmm I’m not so sure.  I’ll wait till the morning and see how it looks and smells.   I think I’m hoping for a miracle to happen over night.  Who knows?

I’ll let you know how it goes.  Wish me luck!

♥ Suzie