Saturday, October 08, 2011

Cooking and baking lately and farm fresh eggs from friends

I have 2 big posts, I hope to get posted before our family leaves to Hakone this coming week. I'll try to get this one posted now. All these things happened 2 weeks ago. One morning, Noboru was home and so he ran Noah to yochien for me. Whenever he's home and available he always does try to jump in and help me, which is appreciated. I was home busy cleaning the house like crazy. Swooshing toilets, vacuuming floors, dusting blinds, making beds, doing laundry etc. When he came home, he brought me home some breakfast. I didn't ask for McD's, he just brought it anyway. Was so busy honestly, that breakfast for myself really wasn't on my mind. He bought 2 sausage muffins for himself. And he bought me the English muffin combo with iced coffee. He said, enjoy your breakfast. Anyway...it's the small things like this that really are important. It's the small thoughtful things he does throughout a week, that might not seem huge or significant but really...they are. And I do....I do the same. If I'm running around at the Cainz, I'll pick him an obento I know he'll love for lunch if he's home for lunch that day. Or even just buying his favorite strawberry kakigori, because I know how much he loves it. That way...he knows. I'm thinking of him too. This back and forth thing, we've just always had. It works. : ) Great now I feel really dorky saying that. But it is true.
I made a real wonker of a meal last week. : ( I have so many meals, that I make well. Can make in no time at all. And I know they come out great. However, with the colder weather coming, and one pot meals about to start happening here. I was at the store last week, slowly going up the aisles, because you know last week, was a calm week nothing major happening last week. So, I was looking for a good nabe to get. I grabbed our regular one we usually have. And then, I saw this. Tandoori chicken nabe. It sort of stopped me in my tracks. Our family loves Indian food. It's so good. My yochien mom friends and I are constantly having lunch at the closest Indian restaurant near us. I love Indian curry, And yumm, tandooori too, is also a favorite. This sounded interesting. We love Indian food, we also love nabe. I thought, either we'll love this, or we'll hate it. I picked all the ingredients and brought that home with the rest of the weekly groceries. I sure hope my family likes this I thought.
I had prepped the meat, the veggies, made the rice. When everyone was finally home, I started boiling. The boys were upstairs playing. Noboru was in the shower, when it was ready, and I said...."dinner. " Everyone came and they said.."what's THAT smell?" @_@ : ( It was not a, yumm what's that smell. Type sound. I think I was in the kitchen so long, I was used to it. When Noboru came in, he also said..."Ewww/ohhh what's in that?" Now I started to slightly worry. I even tried to give them a family pep talk. We love Indian food right? We should love this. You'll see. So, I placed the pot in the middle of the table, had already served everyone rice. Noboru said, it has a strong smell of something...couldn't put his finger on it, what it was. He grabbed the bag from the trash, and read the ingredients. He said, it is cumin. I don't think most Japanese are big on cumin he said. I thought. :( At this point what can you do. The foods already been made. There's no dinner plan B. So, we ate it. Noboru, Branden and Noah usually eat like it's going out of style. They eat, eat, ask for seconds and possibly thirds. : ) However the tandoori chicken nabe night. They ate so slowly, you'd think they were going to the gas chamber. I tried to like it also but, I just didn't. It just wasn't for us, I guess. Anyway moving on...
The weekend after I made the last apple crisp, I baked this yellow cake, chocolate frosting and sprinkles. I've been baking/making something for dessert every weekend since it started to get cooler weather wise.
Fishing in play clothes and rain boots. To protect feet from possible water, snakes, etc. Yep, they've been going fishing once a week with their dad. Total rough and tumble boys. : ) They told me a story that made me queasy. Don't read this paragraph if you get easily queasy. They told me, the day this pic was taken. Daddy caught a fish, and when he reeled him in, daddy tried to take the hook out but the hook was hooked in the fish's eyeball and so when daddy took the hook out, the eyeball came out with it. The look on my face. @_@ Ewwww ewww eww, I did not want to hear that. But they're my son's and they are boys afterall. So, I said...ohhh wow, what did dad do with the fish? Well they said, dad tossed the eye back into the canal and the fish too minus the eye and he swam away with only one 1 eyeball. @_@ Gulp, what a story. Being a mother of boys, I get used to hearing gross details like fish eyeballs and such. : )
I baked 2 roasted chickens 2 Sunday's ago. I tried that roast chicken seasoning for the first time. It was really good. Not salty in the least. Just flavorful, crispy, flavor all the way in. So good. Made the whole meat flavorful. Noboru kept commenting on it, how good it was. Branden and Noah kept saying...mommy this is the best chicken you've ever made. : )
Not a fancy dinner, just a simple one. Homemade mashed potatoes, corn, and roasted chicken.
This was Branden's portion from another night. 2 fried pork chops, rice a roni and broccoli. Noah had the same except he eats only 1 pork chop. Branden also went back for seconds on the rice a roni.
There are so many chicken farms around here and 2 dairy farms. So many road stands to buy farm fresh eggs. Anyway, my friend, who lives in our town, but not in our housing community. She lives in the farming area. Anyway she has chickens, she rang my bell last weekend. Carrying. a bag, she handed me, 22 eggs and fresh baked mini cakes. I've brought her many baked things I've made before. So, she brought these to us. I thought that was really thoughtful.
Why are these not in the egg area in my fridge you ask..... I had just bought 2 cartons of eggs that very day. 10 eggs per carton, would you believe our family had to eat 42 eggs last week? Oh yeah. : ) If I had known she would have brought them, I wouldn't have bought mine obviously. But you know, I didn't know. I made egg salad twice last week. I made the boys, over easy eggs, scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, veggie omelets, you name it they had it for breakfast last week...If it had eggs in it, I made it last week. We finally got rid of those 42 eggs. : ) Anyway that was very thoughtful and it is good to have such amazing kind generous friends like that. I'm thinking I'll bake her a pizza in return now. : )
We pulled the tomato plant last week also. We travelled so much and kept so busy this Summer, we didn't have time to plant a garden. However the tomato plant from last year, though we did yank it from the yard. It grew back. @_@. We had teeny tiny mini tomatoes all Summer and the ones used in the obento from Branden's undokai were also used from the garden. But we pulled this plant. He was just growing too big.
We also pulled and harvested the sweet potatoes. Branden brought a plant home from school last Spring and it was ready for harvest. We had just finished the ones from Noah's sweet potato dig and now we have these to get through. : )
Picked up a few random things from my weekly shopping. Scrubbing bubbles for the bath/shower area. Generic lime dish soap, rarely use it since we have a dishwasher but it's nice to keep on hand for the odd pot or pan here or there. And hand soap for the upstairs.
Laundry soap, color safe bleach and bleach for just white colored clothes. With boys, they often get grass stains, crayon smudges at yochien, you name it. I try somehow to keep things clean. I also have Oxy clean, Tide stick pens, you name it, I have it in the laundry room. @_@. : )

I buy this much yogurt (at least) a week. I often will go back and buy 2 extra of the big containers of it. Both Branden and Noah love yogurt, I like the calcium they get from it. So, as long as they eat it, I keep buying it. I also love yogurt as well. The boys also drink so much milk on a weekly basis, you wouldn't believe it. : ) And chocolate milk too.
Ran to the 100 yen last week. Picked up the Mickey leisure sheet. Coffee candy for me. Erasers for both boys. And onigiri wrappers for Noah's onigiri day at the yochien. And obento cups.
Also picked up this Mario leisure sheet for Noah for next year.
I found this at some little shop, I happened to be passing by and saw this and knew Noah would love it.Put this in his bag of stuff for next year.
Picked up 2 bags of Halloween treats for the boys. Pumpkin cheesecake yumm.
This is obviously not Branden's bike. : ) It's the Jinbei boy's bike. He comes to play every weekend. Other kids come too, but the Jinbei boy is one of Branden's closest friends. : )
Remember, I ordered Noah's yellow winter coat from Gap a week or so ago right? I ordered this top for myself along with it. My dad has it now and will give the package over to Noboru when he's there in about 10-12 days.
The big bag of 10 apples from Hanamasa. They turned into a very nice apple crisp/crumble. So yumm. So far this year, 2 apple crisps this season. And 1 yellow cake with choco frosting so far.
What's in here? Well, something Noboru bought. He bought something electrical. It's for the Slingbox and also the Slingcatcher we have waiting at my dad's condo already. I'm sure most of you know what a slingbox is. I first heard of one when we lived in our old house rental. A lady I knew had bought one. Sounded interesting. However, I was and am pretty satisfied with the cable (at the time we had cable) and the satellite we have now. I lived in Japan without cable or satellite for 6 month's when we first moved here. And that was hard because I really dislike Japanese TV. The sense of humor is just very different for mine. So we got cable at our old house rental. And it honestly satisfied me. I didn't feel deprived. We got many many shows. Also, I didn't want to watch my slingbox on my computer. That was another downpoint for me personally. At the end of a hard day for me. I like vegging on the couch relaxing with a pillow and a blankie. Not sitting upright at a computer table. Then we moved to this house. Got satellite. And again Japanese satellite has a lot to offer in my opinion. I have never felt I was missing out. I wasn't anti-slingbox by any means. It was just, I didn't want to sit at a computer to watch after a long hard day. I'm sure if I had a lap top, it might be okay though I could then relax on the couch and enjoy it. But since our main computer is in one set spot. I think that's why. And like I said, Japanese satellite isn't bad really. Not at all. Anyway I was talking to my very good friend Cheryl in Osaka. She's older then me, has more experience living in Japan then I do and I've just known her forever, I think the world of her. Though I didn't just move here either though. : ) Anyway, she was telling me about her sling catcher. She said, Gina you can watch it on your TV. Now that sort of intrigued me. I mentioned to Noboru what she said. And she was right. The ball went rolling after that. Noboru has been researching every aspect like mad for a month and a half now. How to set it up, what upload speed does Guam have? Which slingbox should we pick, so many. And also the sling catcher isn't for sale in the US anymore at all, can we find one? And at what cost? Noboru ordered the slingbox he thought best for us. And with Ebay, he won the hard to find Sling catcher. He had them sent to my dad's. I asked my dad of course way before... if it would be okay. He said, of course yes. So, shortly, Noboru will be flying to Guam, he will arrive at 11:30pm and fly back to Japan at 10am. So he will be there just to set it up. And with the sling catcher we'll have a remote control and everything. And then we will have over 200 channels. We will have basic cable and the digital channels. And get to see everything my dad gets to. Of course we can change the channel from our end. Anyway so that is in the works. I have since asked 2 more of my girlfriends who have slingboxes with questions and asked how they liked it. They say they're great. One had her husband hook her sligbox up with another computer near her TV apparantly, so she doesn't need the catcher at all. Which is cool. I've never had one. So, we will see. If it works, I'll have all the same channels they have in California since Guam gets the same exact things California gets.
The one thing about Fall coming is the laundry is starting to take longer and longer to dry outside. Hmm. I am still giving it the old college try. But, I think soon, I'll have to just start using the dryer here at home.
I made buta kimchee recently. I made teriyaki chicken bowls for the boys. Meanwhile Noboru and I were on fire eating the buta kimchee.
Same as every year. I was given 2 bunches of yellow plastic and with instructions to cut in 1cm widths and make pompoms. Each mother makes her own child's pompoms for the undokai. I made these last Sunday. : )

Tomorrow October 9th, is the town undokai. The elementary school undokai I love. Because the kids put so much effort into it. I also really look forward to the yochien undokai too. I try to make a decent lunch/obento. But the town undokai? Hmm. You know they took a poll in our town and the results were shown on last month's town monthly paper/bulletin. 60% think the town undokai should be stopped, 30% said it should be greatly changed/switched. @_@ I hate to say this, but we agree too. Branden isn't running 98% of the kids from our elementary are not. They're doing 2 music numbers and that's it. Lots of the JA/and local farmers particpating. Many seniors in our community also particpating. And what happens if you don't send your child? He will be marked as abscent. I will not go all out... as far as the obento goes either. Remember those chicken cutlet potato salad sandwiches we had at the pool this Summer? That's what I'm making for tomorrow. Maybe a pack of chips. Some drinks. It is also short, We should be gone by 12:30pm. So, just a simple small obento. 1 leisure sheet. No umbrella/tent anything. For the town undokai.... nobody brings anything to the town undokai but a sheet, so we've always only brought a sheet too.

And this coming Monday is another holiday here in Japan. Both Branden and Noah have no school this coming Monday.

Also, one last thing, I am now working at a 3rd hoikuen. The hoikuen I will be working at October 20th will be a totally different hoikuen, then the 2 I've been teaching at. Okay this thing is long enough. So I better end this post now.