Sep 15, 2014

Hikawa shrine festival / 氷川神社のお祭り

While Mia and I were taking a walk in Mejiro, we saw a festival on Mejiro street.

目白を娘と散歩していたら、たまたま氷川神社のお祭りに遭遇。

Since Mia loves festivals, we decided to visit the festival.

娘は御神輿や山車を見るのが大好き。もちろん見に行こうとせがまれ、祭りに足を運んだ。

It was a perfect timing to be there because they were about to start pulling the dashi. I rented the happi from a festival staff for Mia, then we joined the event to pull the dashi.

そしたらなんとタイミング良く子供達の山車引きがちょうど始まるところだったので、受付で娘用のハッピを借りて山車引きに参加した。

I think the best part of pulling the dashi is getting free snacks, drinks and sweets. We got some juice, a slice of water melon, popsicles and soda every time we stopped somewhere for a break. When we finished pulling the dashi, they gave us a bag of snacks, sweets, juice and a pear to enjoy at home.

休憩ごとにもらえるお菓子やジュースはやっぱり何歳になっても嬉しい。

This experience made me to think about how I used to love pulling a dashi and getting free snacks and sweets as a child. I thanked Mia that I got to do it again!

山車を引く子供達を見ながら、そういえば私も子供の頃にお菓子が欲しくてよく山車を引いたなぁ〜なんて考えて懐かしくなった。

Wasshoi in Mejiro!
Wasshoi wasshoi!
First break! Free OJ!
Mikoshi- portable shrine!

Sep 3, 2014

My favourite things / 私のお気に入り

I know it's not hot in #Tokyo today but I am making matcha #kakigori!
Pikachu kagigori machine that we have been using a lot during this summer.

今年の夏に大活躍しているピカチュウかき氷機は送料込みで2000円以下で楽天で購入。
買って大正解!

#Bonseki #盆石 The bonsai made by sand and stones. @目白庭園
Stunning Bonseki at Mejiro Garden

目白庭園の盆石は毎月違った物が展示されているとか。来月も実に行きたいと思った。

雪の宿が当たった!
I have been eating a lot of rice crackers that I won from Yuki no Yado.

懸賞で当たった雪の宿。抹茶味とカスタード味を初めて食べた。うーん。いつも食べている普通の雪の宿が一番美味しい気がするのは私だけ?

My only perfume at this moment- Od'AZUR by Lancôme
Lancome O d'Azur Eau De
This perfume was a gift and it is the only perfume at this moment. After I got pregnant, I became very sensitive to smell that made me not being able to wear any perfume. Also I moved a few time during and after my pregnancy, so I had to get rid of my other perfume.
I find this is a good perfume to wear during summer time because the smell is sweet, rosy and citrusy.

友達からもらった唯一持っているランコムの香水。甘いふんわりとしたローズとシトラスの夏っぽい香り。

Sep 2, 2014

Easy creamy gorgonzola pasta / 簡単! クリーミーなゴルゴンゾーラのパスタ

I never liked the taste of gorgonzola until I had it in my pasta.
When gorgonzola is on sale at Seijyo Ishii grocery store, I make this easy creamy gorgonzola pasta.

青カビの臭いチーズがゴルゴンゾーラ。
この青カビのチーズをパスタに入れて食べるまでは美味しいチーズなんて一回も思わなかった。
ゴルゴンゾーラが成城石井のスーパーで安くなっていると、つい作ってしまう超簡単パスタ。

Ingredients are listed below.
下記が材料。

Heavy cream or soy milk / 生クリームまたは豆乳

Gorgonzola cheese / ゴルゴンゾーラ

Pasta / パスタ

Black peppers / 黒胡椒

Cook whatever pasta that you want to use.
Cut gorgonzola into small pieces.
Heat up heavy cream or soy milk in a pan, then add gorgonzola and mix it until gorgonzola melt.
Add the pasta into the sauce and mix them well.
Transfer Easy creamy gorgonzola pasta into a dish; put some black peppers right before you eat.
I do not add any salt in this pasta because gorgonzola is salty enough.

好きなパスタを茹でておく。
ゴルゴンゾーラを小さく目に包丁で切る。
フライパンに生クリームまたは豆乳を温めてゴルゴンゾーラを加えてチーズをかき混ぜながら溶かす。
出来上がったパスタをお皿に移して、食べる直前に黒胡椒をふる。
ゴルゴンゾーラに塩分が含まれているので私はこのパスタには塩は加えません。
Creamy #Gorgonzola #pasta for #lunch

Aug 31, 2014

Moroheiya / モロヘイヤ

Moroheiya are originally from Egypt and they are considered as superfood. They were introduced to Japan in 1980s because of their nutritious value.

モロヘイヤは栄養価の高い緑黄色野菜で1980年代にその栄養価が認められ、日本に進出した。

Moroheiya contain more than twice of beta carotene compare to spinach; they are rich in vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium and iron. When you chop it up, the slimy substance that is called mucin comes out that is the same substance in okras. Mucin can help diabetes and protect stomach.

モロヘイヤはほうれん草の二倍のβカロチンを含み、ビタミンBとEとKそしてカルシウムと鉄分が豊富。モロヘイヤを刻むとオクラと同じネバネバしたムチンとよばれる水溶性食物繊維が出る。このムチンは糖の体への吸収を遅らせたり、胃壁を保護するやくめを果たしたりする。

I normally use Moroheiya in my miso soup or green smoothie. I feel like they can be added any dishes or sweets because they do not have much taste.

モロヘイヤはあまり味がしないので私はみそ汁や、今の季節だとグリーンスムージーに加えて楽しむようにしている。

I was able to buy a bag of Moroheiya for only 100 yen at a grocery store because it is still in season. After using leaves for my green smoothie, I decided to grow them in a glass jar with some water. Some roots came out, so I moved them to a pot. They are very easy to grow during the summer.

夏が旬のモロヘイヤなので今だと一袋100円位で購入ができる。買ったモロヘイヤの葉っぱをグリーンスムージーに使ったあとでグラスの瓶に少しの水で育ててみたら根っこがニョキニョキと出てきた。根っこがある程度育ったら庭の鉢に植えた。モロヘイヤは簡単にどんどん育つ!

Moroheiya can grow up to two meters if you just let them grow and their seeds/fruits are poisonous. There was a report saying that some cattle died after eating their seeds in Japan. Do not eat their seeds/fruits!!!

モロヘイヤは放っておくと2メートルくらいの高さまでどんどん成長する。モロヘイヤを家庭で育てる場合は秋にできる実は毒なので食べないように!
Growing SuperFood, Moroheiya in my little back yard!

Aug 30, 2014

Mejiro Garden / 目白庭園

Mia said "WOW!!!" as soon as we walked in Mejiro Garden.

娘は目白庭園に入ったとたんに,WOW!!!と叫んだ。

Mejiro Garden is a small garden that is located near Mejiro station on JR.

目白庭園はJR目白駅のそばにある小さめの庭園。

I was not expecting much before our visit to Mejiro Garden, however I was stunned by its aesthetic beauty. I loved how the garden was designed because almost everything that I saw at the garden was interesting and beautiful that made me that I want to explore the garden more by walking.

全然期待しないで庭園に入ったので、庭園の美しさに感動。
小さなスペースがとても上手に、庭園を訪れる人が楽しめるようにデザインされていたので、誰がデザインしたんだろう?とまで考えてしまった。

I ended up walking through the garden twice!

あまりにも庭園が良かったので庭園を二周した。

I would love to go back there soon.

また行きたいと思った。

Mejiro Garden
Posing for a camera!
Mejiro Garden
Sleeping Koi at Mejiro Garden

Aug 29, 2014

Artists, Yuzo Saeki and Tsune Nakamura / 画家の佐伯祐三と中村彝

After reading about some famous painters, such as Yuzo Saeki and Tsune Nakamura used to live in my area and their studios still exist here at the ward office, I always wanted to visit their studios and it finally happened!

区役所のパンフレットに落合に住んでいた画家のアトリエ/美術館についてのパンフレットを何度か読み、ずっと行ってみたいなぁと思っていた中落合にある佐伯祐三と下落合にある中村彝のアトリエについに娘と一緒に訪問。

Both of them had a cute small art studio.
やっぱり海外のアーティストのアトリエと比べるとサイズが小さい。だけども、こじんまりとして可愛らしいアトリエだった。

Below is Yuzo Saeki's art studio in Nakaochiai, Tokyo.

下が佐伯祐三のアトリエ。
Yuzo Saeki's art studio

Yuzo Saeki was born in Osaka, Japan in 1898 and his father was a Buddhist monk. In 1921 he married a painter, Yoneko Ikeda. He was a student at Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris in 1924; he loved living in Paris and the city inspired him to paint. His nick name was "Van Gogh of Japan" because his style was similar to Van Gogh's work. He passed away when he was 30-yr-old in Paris.

画家、佐伯祐三は1898年に大阪生まれでお父さんはお寺の住職さん。1921年に画家の池田米子と結婚。パリを愛し、パリで芸術の学生として1924年から過ごす。画家のゴッホのファンで佐伯の作品はゴッホのタッチを思わせたため、彼のニックネームは日本のゴッホ。短命な佐伯は30歳にしてこの世を去る。

Inside of Yuzo Saeki's studio
He was a good looking man!
写真でみるとかっこいい人だったんだなぁ〜と思ってしまった。
Yuzo Saeki's studio
Yuzo only used this studio for four years.
佐伯はこのアトリエを実際の所は4年位しか使っていない。


Below is Tune Nakamura's art studio.
下が中村彝のアトリエ。
Tsune Nakamura's art studio

Tsune Nakamura was born as the fifth child of samurai family in Mito, Ibaraki prefecture in 1887. He went to a junior army school in Nagoya to become a solider, however he contracted tuberculosis which ended his military career. Tsune always enjoyed drawing and painting as a child that led him to become an artist. He was a member of a painting groups, such as Hakuba Kai and Taiheiyo Gakai. Tune`s work was influenced by Rembrandt, Renoir and Cezanne.

中村は5人兄弟の末っ子として茨城県の水戸に生まれる。陸軍軍人の兄の影響を受けて軍人になるために名古屋陸軍地方幼年学校を卒業。しかし肺結核をわずらい軍人になるのを諦める。その後に幼い頃から得意だった絵画をするようになり画家を志し、白馬会洋画研究所で絵を学ぶ。

He built a good relationship with Soma family who was known as the art patron and the owner of Shinjuku Nakamuraya. There was a studio in the back of their house; they let him live there. Their oldest daughter, Shunko posed him as a nude model for his work. He fell in love with her, but her family did not want her to marry him because of his illness. Heartbroken Tune left for Izu Oshima in 1914, then he built an art studio in Shimo Ochiai, Tokyo after getting help from a patron financially. He passed away from his illness at the age of thirty seven.

新宿中村屋の相馬夫妻と仲良くなり新宿中村屋の裏のアトリエで暮らし、作品作りに没頭する。相馬家の長女の俊子は中村のためにヌードモデルを引き受ける。彼は俊子に恋をするがその恋は実らない。俊子の家族は娘の裸が人々の目にさらされる事を嫌う。また病気の中村が娘と仲良くなる事も良い事とは思わなかった。傷ついた中村は伊豆大島に1914年に旅立つ事になる。しかしパトロンから経済的な援助を受けて後に下落合にアトリエを構える。肺結核の為に37歳でこの世を去る。
Tsune Nakamura's studio
I think Mia enjoyed visiting art studios with me.

娘もアトリエを私と一緒に満喫。

Aug 27, 2014

Pecan nuts basil pesto / ペカンナッツとバジルのペスト

My friend from California got me some tasty organic pecan nuts. Living in Austin, Texas for many years made me to fall in love with pecan nuts. It is too bad that they are not easy to find here.

友達がとっても美味しいオーガニックのペカンナッツをお土産に持ってきてくれた。
テキサス州にかれこれ10年以上住んでいた私はピカーンナッツが大好き。日本ではなかなか手に入りにくいのでアメリカからのお土産は何が欲しいと聞かれると、ついついピカーンナッツと言ってしまう。

I store them in a refrigerator, so I wrap them in a aluminium foil then toast them in a toaster for couple minutes to make them more crispy and bring out the aroma.

ナッツ類はカビが生えるのが怖いので冷蔵庫保存。でも冷たいままで食べたくはないので、アルミホイルに包んでオーブントースターで3分くらい軽くトースト。そうするとナッツが香ばしくもっと美味しくなる。

Below is what is in my pecan nuts basil pesto; I just put them in a blender for about forty seconds. It is easy and tasty!

ちなみに下が今回のペカンナッツとバジルのペストの材料。下記の材料をブレンダーにかけて40秒くらい。
簡単で美味しい!

Basil/バジル

Pecan nuts/ペカンナッツ

Olive oil/オリーブオイル

Mimolette (I did not have parmesan cheese this time.)

今回はパルメザンチーズがなかったので冷蔵庫にあったミモレットを使用。

Garlic/ニンニク

Making basil pesto with pecan nuts
Pecan nuts basil pesto pasta
I eat my pasta with chopsticks at home often because I find it convenient!
I love adding some black peppers right before I started to eat the pasta.

食べる直前に黒胡椒をたっぷりかけて!

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