Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finally it feels like fall!

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows how much I hate (that isn't actually a strong enough word) the summers in Japan. There is nothing quite like opening your door and feeling a very hot very wet blanket fall on top of you. I hate just standing and sweating.  I know some people love summer and really "blossom" in the heat and sun. Not me. I wilt and want to do nothing and go nowhere. We have to keep our typhoon shutters closed on our sliding glass doors to keep out the afternoon sun otherwise no amount of air conditioning will keep us comfortable. That means it starts feeling like we live in a cave.

I know that some foreigners in Japan survive without air conditioning but I'm just not one of them. I can't even look at food after a certain point if I'm not in air conditioning never mind cooking food . Thankfully my husband is the same. But it also means very expensive electricity bills and a feeling of "meh" just starts to feel normal.

Thankfully I don't feel "meh" anymore!!  It was glorious today!  It was about 25 Celsius with a nice cool breeze in the afternoon and it's nice and cool at night. I've started sleeping without air conditioning and I feel alive again!  I wore pants today for the first time since mid May. Taking a bath in my deep Japanese bathtub with the window open at night is heaven. The though of going out doesn't make me sad and we opened the shutters so it is nice and light in our apartment!

This weather also means, of course, fall/winter food is starting to appear.  Now we can buy "oden" at the "combini" (convenience store).  Oden is quite delicious (though it took me a few years to like it) but sadly, I'm pretty sure the stuff I can buy at the stores/restaurants isn't gluten free as the "dashi" (broth)  has soy sauce in it (and all soy sauce has wheat in it in Japan). I don't buy it often because of this but man it is yummy! Here are some pictures

The first shows what it looks like when you make it at home.

This is what you can buy from 7-11. This first one is "chikuwa". This is made of fish paste and molded into different shapes-it tastes much better than it sounds!

This is a slice of daikon
 This is "ganmodoki" . This is a tofu fritter made with vegetables, egg whites, tofu and sesame seeds.

This is my favorite! This is "mochikinchaku" . The outside "bag" is made from deep fried soybean curd. It is filled with "mochi" (Japanese rice cake) and mushrooms and pork. Delicious!
 These are "shirataki" noodles. These are made from konjac yam.

This is an egg! My hubby loves these!

I make this at home sometimes so I can make it gluten free. It is easy, filling and delicious! You can add other things of course! You eat these with spicy mustard.

The other good  thing about fall is that it is my birthday this Saturday! I will be 41. I  can't believe it to be honest. I came here at 27. Where the heck did the time go?!  I am hoping my husband and I will go out to my favorite yakiniku  restaurant for dinner!  And I'm really lucky this year because not only does my birthday fall on a Saturday but I have a 5 days off! So I'm off from Saturday to Wednesday and go back just for 2 days before the weekend again! 

Great weather. My birthday. 5 days off. Life is good!


alvinthegreat said...

hi sofia-san!

i've been following your blogs and it is really fascinating!! more like an inside scoop of japanese living through foreign eyes!

yokatta desu ne! that you can again enjoy your japanese bathtub while the window is open. WOW! that sounds really luxurious!

looking forward to reading more of your fabulous blogs! mata ne!

Grace said...

Yum yum! My mom just made some today... Perfect on a cold, wet, windy, miserable day here inVancouver...I need to learn how to make oden!!!

Japan Australia said...

The heat is never ending during the hot Japanese summer and Fall is always a big relief. When the Tsukimi Burger starts appearing I know for sure that Fall has arrived in Japan. I love the Autumn food and cooler temperatures as well as the changing colours of the trees in the mountains.

Japan Australia

Mitinita said...

I really miss oden,this is a dish that can be made overseas if the ingredients aren't available.

Mai said...

this looks really tasty (:

Jenevy said...

i'm so glad to read your blog coz i miss Japan bigtime,.really,.everytime i saw your pics of foods in Japan makes me wish to go there at once,.

i'm actually a filipino and still studying here in Philippines but my parents live right now near Nagoya City,.they're in Japan to earn some okane,.

i love your blogs,.God Bless,.


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