Local Souvenir : Peach?

Is this a peach?
No, this is a peachy sweet treat filled with bean paste.
Its box also looks like the box of a real peach.
This sweet treat is called “Shingen-momo”
Shingen comes from “Shingen Takeda” who was a famous military commander.
Momo means peach.
You can usually buy this in Yamanashi prefecture where you can get lots of real peaches, too.

If you need to buy souvenis for someone like your colleague and customers,
you generally choose snacks because they aren’t expensive, easy to send to someone and long-lasting.
Most souvenir shops develop their own local snacks such as rice dumplings, cookies and rice crackers.

Many these souvenirs are sold in each tourist spot.
The reason is that you can not buy them anywhere else.

Besides making such souvenirs is a popular business for local people and it makes the town cheerful.

You can find various souvenirs on this site.

Low-malt Beer At Home

Recently as far as alcohol is concerrned, I mainly drink low-malt beer about three times per week.

I buy “low-malt beer” (not regular beer) because the price of 350-milliliter can is 100 yen which is half the price of regular beer.
The taste is the same as beer for me.
My wife also likes drinking beer.
We eat a snack at the same time such as chips, peanuts and cheese.

Each of us drink one can on weekends.
The amount of alcohol might be low, but we can get drunk.
That’s reason enough to enjoy.

The object of drinking is to reduce stress during the weekdays.
We can forget our worries at least while we get drunk.
Sometimes I open my big mouth because of an alcohol.

However, my daughters don’t like that I drink beer because I fall sleep soon after I drink it. 😳

Moderate alcohol intake makes us laugh and fall sleep fast.

Mega Mac

Mega Mac

I know that  fast-food burgers aren’t very healthy.
My family and I like vegetables but we aren’t vegetarians.
Sometimes I want to eat at burger shop such as McDonald’s, Mos Burger or First kitchen.

The price of burger at all shops is almost the same.
I think that I can buy the most delicious burger at Mos Burger which features fresh vegetables.
However, McDonald’s advertises with colorful advertisements and their shops are in a good location.
So there are tons more McDonald’s than other burger shops.
I eventually bought McDonald’s with my family.
I usually buy the Big Mac  which has two patties but I tried to buy a Mega Mac, which has four patties, the other day.
This burger is on sale for a limited time only.
New types of burgers are always limited time offers.
For example, there were Texas, New York, Hawaiian and California Burger.

Besides that, I also ate French fries and drunk coke which I seldom drink.
How unhealthy!, but I want to eat them again.
I heard that these foods have an addictive nature.

Next time I’ll eat at Mos Burger.

Walking in Kawagoe CIty Part 2 “Food”

One of the main reasons people go to Kawagoe City is to eat Kawagoe food.

They vary from snack to Japanese sake.
Adults can buy Japanese pickles and local beer.
Children can buy snacks and ice cream.

Anyway everyone can enjoy eating them at a bench or while walking as soon as you buy them.

For example we bought rice crackers which were divided in bite size pieces.
We bought it because they were sold at toward the road and smelled of good soy sauce.

You can also find some kinds of pickled plums.
You can try a food sample and hear about it in detail.

However the most famous ingredient in Kawagoe City seems to be sweet potato.
They are used in ice cream, doughnuts, soba, distilled spirit(shouchu) and other snacks.

We ate rice dumplings that contained purple sweet potato.
This color and taste is natural.All my family was satisfied with this rice dumplings because it doesn’t contain eggs.

burdock pickles
toasted soybean flour candy

We also bought toasted soybean flour candy and burdock pickles .
We could go on forever buying many foods.
We feel these foods are more delicious than they really are because they are displayed beautifully and smell good.

If you buy these souvenirs, you can really feel like a tourist.

School Lunch

“Some schools in Chicago now ban lunches from home for health reasons – kids either eat the school food, or nothing. “

This topic is interesting and important for us.
So I’ll write about school lunch both in elementary school and day care.

1 Elementary school

When I was a child, there were some school cooks in each school.
They were called “Mrs. School lunch.(lunch ladies)”
They used a very large pan and rice paddle and began cooking early in the morning every day.

Recently school lunches are delivered by a large school lunch center like a factory.
Perhaps the government needed to reduce the cost of school lunches.

However, my elder daughter’s menu is similar to what I had eaten.

The most principal foods are rice and milk.
Sometimes chilidren can eat bread and noodles.
A glass of milk is served every day although some children including my daughter don’t like milk and there is an opinion that milk isn’t healthy.

The main dish is fish or meat served alternatively and some vegetables, such as potatoes and tomatoes, are served as side dishes.

2 Day care

Fortunately school cooks are cooking school lunch for day cares even now.
They cook a special lunch for my younger daughter who is allergic to egg and milk products.
It’s very helpful.
If something like cake is served and it is difficult to remove milk and eggs, my wife cooks an alternative bread and sends it to school with my younger daughter.

The menu is made by an expert in nutrition.
Milk or yoghurt are also served every day.
I wish that children could select a drink like barley tea.

In addition children can eat an afternoon snack, such as jello, banana, udon, doughnuts or cookies, at three o’clock

My elder daughter says “I liked school better when I was in day care. I felt it was more delicious. “

Usual Dinner

On the weekends I often cook lunch and dinner.
I forgot why I cook every week.
In the past I heard that “Men, don’t enter kitchen.”
However, I haven’t heared this phrase recently.

If I have time, I like cooking.
Sometimes I search for various recipes from cooking books or the intent.

Last weekend I cooked dinner without a recipe because I didn’t have any time.

I cooked three dishes in twenty minutes.

1 Tuna potato and tomato

I boiled potatoes and mixed in tomatos and tuna with salt and pepper.
That’s it.
I used a tin of tuna and a can of tomatoes made in Italy.
The potatoes were a little hard because they didn’t cook very long, but they tasted good..

2 Frying beef

We seldom eat beef because it is expensive. It depends on which countries the beef was from.
If the beef was from Japan, the price is about 200 to 3000 Japanese yen per 100 gram.
So I bought Ausie beef which is 170 Japanese yen per 100 gram.
I fried beef, green peppers and green onions with salt and pepper.

My younger daughter loves meat more than anyone else.
So she is often called ” Meat baby” in her day care nursery.
That seems a little mean although she likes that nick name.

3 Pickle

I just mixed salt, seaweed with salt and
cocumbres in a plastic bag for one minute.
This is very simple and it can be a snack.

That’s all. I like simple cooking.

Longtime seller

My family and I seldom go out to eat except on trips.
We like to eat homemade dishes.
We usually eat noodles, like pasta, ramens and udon for lunch on weekends.

In particular I have eaten this instant ramen (☆1) in the photo for more than thirty years old although this isn’t healthy.
I enjoy to cook ramen topped with various food like meat, cabbage, sprouts, corn and seaweed.
The taste and the package of this ramen never change in a major way.
Five pack of ramen costs about 290 Japanese yen.

Of course I can choose many kinds of ramen at the grocery store.

For example this miso ramen, which is popular in the northern part of Japan, has yellow broth.
So this noodle is called “Sapporo(☆2) miso ramen”.
Tonkotsu ramen, which is popular in the southern part of Japan, has white broth boilling pork bones.
Shoyu (“soy sauce”) ramen, which is popular in and around the Tokyo area, has black broth.

Sometimes I choose the other kind of ramen, but the next time I can not help but buy this miso ramen.
I always buy my acquired taste.

☆1 Ramen (wiki)
☆2 Sapporo (wiki)

The Hina-festival

The 3rd March was the Hina-festival in Japan.
My family and I ate “Sakura Mochi” and “Hinaarare” to celebrate the Hina-Festival.

“Sakura Mochi” (cherry rice-cake) is shown on the left side of the photo.  It is a rice cake wrapped in a cherry leaf, and filled with bean paste. When you eat it, you can taste both sweet and salty leaf.

“Hinaarare” is shown on the right side of the photo.
It is a kind of sweet rice crackers.My younger daugther scattered some of them.

I think that most Japanese-style confections don’t contain eggs and dairy products.
That’s very helpful because my younger daugther who is three years old is allergic to them.

After dinner my elder daughter wanted to sing the song of the Hina-festival with her family.

Anyway the most fun part of us was eating the delicious food.

This weekend I will have to store Hina dolls in the closet.Because if Hina dolls aren’t put away, it is said that my daughters will not be able to get married.
That’ll be fine for most fathers anyway.

10 minutes to make a lunch box

I prefer to eat from my own lunch box(bento in Japanese) because I’m bored of dining out. Also, I want to eat vegetables and save the money.

I wake up everyday at 5 in the morning and I go to work at 6 am.
Because I don’t have much time in the morning, I try to prepare my lunch box in 10 minutes

The contents of the picture are as bellow.

Rice : I often eat rice most of the time. Three times everyday.I seldom pack other staple food. I like bread but rice is easier to pack.
Fried chicken : I’m sorry to say that this is a frozen food which I didn’t really use.
Broccoli and carrot : My wife boiled them with a little salt.
Slices of “takuan” : Japanese pickle made from Japanese radish
Salmon flakes : I put them on top of the rice

That’s all.It’s simple.I usually use leftovers from last night’s dinner.

I think that the lunch box costs about 200 Japanese yen.
On the other hand dining out costs from 700 to 1,000 Japanese yen and the food has a strong flavor.
The lunch box requires a little care.
But I think that the lunch box is healthy and I may get very good at cooking.

The necessity for a recipe

I received a chocolate cake from my wife as a Valentine’s gift the other day.
This cake didn’t have eggs and milk in it because my younger daughter is allergic to eggs and milk related products
So my wife bought a book that wrote about cake recipes which did not include eggs or milk-related products.
And she was creative with the cream on the cake.
We enjoyed eating the cakes together.

By the way my wife and I sometimes use a Japanese recipe site called “cookpad” (Japanese)

This site contains more than 930 thousands recipe posted by the eight million members.

For example if I were to search for a cake recipe which does not include eggs, I can find about 210 recipes.
There are too many recipes to find a really good recipe quickly.
Then if I were to become a premium user which costs about 300 Japanese yen per month, I can sort the recipes out in descending order of popularity.

Sure, I think that these sites are a convenient assembly of knowledge and I don’t dislike them.
But sometimes I think it is bother to search and choose a recipe.

On the other hand I have never seen my parents or other same aged people cooking using recipe books.
They just estimate what ingredients to add but their dishes are delicious.
I wonder if that method is really old-fashioned.
I remember part of a song lyric sang by a Japanese band that goes
“There isn’t a recipe for life. You should not copy anyone. ” by a Japanese band.