Classic Bruschetta

Posted January 30th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

A classic bruschetta with simple salsa and fresh Parmesan cheese.  If you have old Italian bread, use it to make this delicious entree dish 🙂

 

  • 4 slices crusty Italian bread
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion, small
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbs chopped Parsley
  • 4 tbs Parmesan, shaved
  
  1. Skin the tomatoes. (remove the stem from the tomatoes and score cross on the skin on the other side.  Branch in simmering water for 10 seconds and then place in a bowl of cold water.  Peel the skin)
  2. Deseed the tomatoes and chop finely.
  3. Chop red onion finely.
  4. Combine the tomatoes, onion, olive oil and chopped Parsley.  Season well.
  5. Toast the bread on one side.  Rub the toasted side lightly with halved garlic.  
  6. Top with tomato mixture and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
  
 

Back to School

Posted January 28th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

It’s almost the end of January…  time passes to fast!  Whole this month has been pretty quiet for bagelier business as many people left Perth and went back to their home countries.  It was kinda nice  to me though, I could totally relax … :p

Now customers started to come back already and my everyday duty (making bagels) is back to as it was before, which is also a good thing! 🙂

By the way, I was so freaked out this morning …  There was a blackout around my house area, and Westernpower said the power will back around 10:30 am.  Oh my gosh, I have my dough in the fridge resting and waiting for being delivered to customer next day!  (T0T)  aaa…  I was so worried, but the power actually got back on around 9:30 am.   phew.. relief ..

It made me realized how important the electricity is in our lives! I couldn’t make coffee, I couldn’t toast a piece of bread, (couldn’t bother toasting on the stove) …  no tv, no computer …


“I Survived A Japanese Game Show”

Posted January 28th, 2010 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

“I survived a Japanese game show” started on channel 7.  This is an American reality show that saw its first season premiere on ABC June 24, 2008. details

Obviously it is a fake show, yes.  We don’t have such tv show in Japan called “MAJIDE” and they made it up for this American tv show.  Besides, the host of this “MAJIDE” show (the guy on the photo above) is an actor.  (his official website)

Watching this really makes me want to scream…  all the audiences and casts (Japanese) look so weird!  :p  Please don’t mistake that all Japanese people are that crazy!!

On the other hand, the games that American people has to do on the “MAJIDE” show are pretty normal stuff you see on tv in Japan every day :p  Wearing weird clothes, jumping around, etc etc.  Japanese comedy shows are very funny, but sometimes I don’t get :p

You can see from Takeshi Castle (風雲!たけし城).  This show was aired from 1986 to 1989 in Japan, long time ago, and it was already crazy funny.  In Aus, this tv show was shown on “V” (called “MXC”) on Foxtel before, and now is on Fox8 channel, however the story of the show is totally different on “MXC”.  They dubbed it into English, and what they talk about in the show doesn’t make sense at all.  I don’t know much about the original Takeshi Castle, but English dubbed version sucks…  

I missed Japanese tv shows so much when I just came to Perth.  Very different here.  But, I don’t say I like all the Japanese comedy shows.  Some of them are too much :p


Fireworks

Posted January 27th, 2010 in Japan, Perth WA | No Comments »

I’m sure many people went down to City area to watch the fireworks last night.  I thought there were fireworks on the New Years Day too in Perth, but apparently only on Australian Day.  

I didn’t go to watch fireworks but I could see and hear a bit of it from my sister’s house in Mt Lawley.  I’ve been to South Perth to see the fireworks once, I think it was 5 years ago :p  I remember there’re so many people (drunk) and many police officers…  

Watching the fireworks last night recalled a memory of summer in Japan.  I haven’t been able to watch fireworks in Japan for 7 years now.  I’m sure every prefecture has its own fireworks events every summer, and some of them are pretty big, but I always go to the one near my house.  

Shiga has few cities which do fireworks, and the one in Otsu city (capital city in Shiga) is apparently the biggest one among those cities.  I don’t go to Otsu, but go to Hikone city which is the closest to my house 🙂  

from http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/hanabi/

Because there is Biwa Lake in Shiga, the biggest lake in Japan, they ignite the fireworks on the boat floating on the lake.  Even though it’s just Hikone city’s fireworks, it’s really beautiful and usually it keeps going for 2~3 hours.  In Perth the fireworks is just for half an hour?  

There are many stalls selling food at the fireworks area.  Takoyaki, Kakigori (shaved ice with syrup), yaki-ika (grilled squid) etc etc.  People wear yukata (Japan’s summer wear, casual kimono) and watch the fireworks while enjoying those food 🙂

Aaaaaaaa writing this really makes me want to watch the fireworks in Hikone!  I wish I could go back to Japan during summer around August, but I don’t think I can this year 🙁  Hopefully next year…


Spicy Fried Rice with Kimuchi (Kimuchi Cha-han)

Posted January 25th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Cha-han means “fried rice” in Japanese.  Add kimuchi to make a sour and spicy Korean flavored fried rice.

<kimuchi Cha-han> serves 2

  • 1/2 cup kimuchi (Chinese Cabbage), roughly chopped
  • 2 bowls steamed rice, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 100g beef, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • chopped spring onions for garnish
  1. Heat a wok over high heat.  Pour in vegetable oil, then stir in garlic and beef: cook about 30 seconds.  Crack in eggs, stirring quickly to scramble eggs.
  2. Stir in cooked rice and kimuchi.  Cook over high heat, and shake in soy sauce then toss rice to coat.
  3. Drizzle with sesame oil, and toss again.
You can add more kimuchi to your liking 🙂

Massage, Shopping, Eating…

Posted January 24th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Yesterday I went to vanilla spa in Scarborough again to finish up my voucher.  I had 1 hour massage.  Even though Swedish massage is a soft touch technique massage, it was very mush enough to revive my exhausted body.  I have a super stiff neck shoulder 🙁

On the way home, I stopped at IKEA to have a look around, see if there is anything interesting discounted.  I’ve been kind of imagining how my future house wants to be, and browsing around the model rooms at IKEA was fun.  Then I had a brunch at IKEA cafe.

Open sandwich with meatball and beets salsa.  And, a cup of coffee (free refill!)

Because my husband (D) was tired from waiting for my massage and shopping at IKEA, we headed home.  After napping, we went down to Garden City to do window shopping.  We didn’t buy anything except for a lotto ..

This morning, after a mass at Church, I suddenly felt like toasted sandwich with a chunky lettuce filling, so made a toasted bagel sandwich.  Lots of lettuce, tomato, red onion and Jarlsberg cheese.  

Heat up a toaster very hot, and toast the bagel sandwich.  The crust is nicely crusty and the inside salad is still juicy and fresh.  Yummmm…

I enjoyed it with D’s scrambled egg.  I really like when he cooks for me ^^


The Markets

Posted January 22nd, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

I was contacting The Perth Markets to inquire about holding a stall.  Then, I received this email … ↓↓↓

Unfortunately it has come to pass that the Perth City Markets can not meet the City of Perth health requirements and therefore will no longer sell food on site.

Ummm that’s a shame 🙁

I wasn’t trying to make a huge profit by baking bagels and sweets, but I just wanted to try out something new by myself.  If that’s the condition in Perth, it’s fine 🙂  although I’m still going to continue what I do.  

By the way,

My friend flew to South America few weeks ago, and is staying there for about 2 months.  She likes traveling and has been to many countries, but she is experiencing a huge home-sick this time :p   I hope she is ok…

Since I was a kid I always wanted to go travel around the world, but as I mentioned before, I have been to only 4 countries in my life including Japan and Australia. :p  I think it’s easy to go traveling around while you are young: have time and money to spend for yourself.  I will definitely go traveling around to different countries eventually, but it may take time and I think it’s going to be my life-time hobby 🙂   The place I want to go to is America, some islands such as Samoi and Hawaii (beach!) , Alaska (America), South Korea (the food is tempting!) and Africa (wildlife!).  I also want to go traveling around Japan – onsen (natural hot spring spa), skiing, food, shopping, etc.  I didn’t really think this when I was a kid, but I really love Japan and am happy to be Japanese. 🙂  Which country do you want to go most??


Air Con

Posted January 21st, 2010 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

It’s fairly hot today, but not too much compared with last few days.  In Japan the weather seems to be pretty fine too.  Still cold though, but no snowing in Shiga 🙂

If I compare, I prefer winter to summer.  I love the feeling of waking up in the cold morning and have a cup of hot coffee feeling cold air on my cheek.  I easily get annoyed by anything in hot weather …  Summer in Perth is still ok though,  I hate hot humid steamy summer in Japan.  
  
One thing is that air con is a must item to stay survive summer in Perth.  Few years ago, when I was staying in a shared-house, there was no air con in the room nor house.  I had one fan in my room, and I had to survive with it whole summer.  One night, it was really really hot even around 10pm.  I turned on the fan all night and tried to sleep because I had an important exam on the next day.  But, all I got was vert hot air blowing to may face and body from the fan.  I couldn’t breathe!  I thought my lung was burning!  The temperature of the air was too hot, so there was no point using a fan…  That was the first time in my life that I experienced sleepless night. :p
    
Actually, I don’t like air con either.  A room sometimes gets too cold… That’s how people catch summer cold.  
That’s why I just wear very little clothes and hung around in the shade.  At home I don’t wear clothes sometimes!  Some people may think I’m a monkey :p  I sure am not a lady-like.
  
I’m eating water melon every night.  I can just eat fruits everyday during summer 🙂   Watermelon is my favorite fruit!  In Japan we have normal watermelon as well as yellow color watermelon and square-shaped watermelon.  They are of course more expensive than normal ones.   Yummm….
    
  
 
 

Japan’s Canned Cocktail / Chu-Hi

Posted January 20th, 2010 in Food | 6 Comments »

Cocktails and Chu-Hi have been my favorite alcohol drink since I was a teen.  Chu-Hi is originally made with shochu and carbonated water flavored with various types of syrups such as lemon, green apple and calpis.  ( I used to make them when I was working at Izakaya few years ago 🙂 )  You can find many types of cocktail drinks and Chu-Hi in Japan.  Even convenience stores sell cocktails and Chu-Hi cans.

Suntory, Kirin and Asahi are the big beverage companies that make canned cocktails and Chu-Hi drinks.  There are standard ones such as lemon Chu-Hi to unique ones such as chocolate cocktail.

Coke x Vodka

Chu-Hi with Maccha Green Tea.  Best chilled.

Chu-Hi with Maccha Green Tea. Best chilled.

Classic Canned Cocktails

Classic Canned Cocktails -salty dog & fuzzy navle


 

 

 

       Fruity cocktail with ripe tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

       Milk chocolate with Rum. Only available at

       convenience stores for

       limited time.


『How Could You?』 by Jim Wills

Posted January 19th, 2010 in にほんご, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh.  You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was “bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?” – but then you’d relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.

私がまだ子犬だった頃、私はあなたが喜ぶような仕草をして、あなたを笑わせました。あなたは私のことを「うちの子」と呼び、私がどんなに靴やクッションを破壊しても、私たちは最良の友となりました。私が悪さをすると、あなたは私を指差し、その指を振りながら、「どうして…?」と問いました。しかしすぐに、あなたは微笑み、私を転がしておなかを撫でてくれました。

My housetraining took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because “ice cream is bad for dogs,” you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

あなたがとても忙しかったので、私の破壊癖は思ったより長く続きましたが、 それはお互い時間をかけて解決しましたね。 あなたに寄り添い、あなたの信念や、誰にも秘密にしている将来の夢に聞き入った夜のことを 私は今でも覚えています。 あのとき私は、これ以上幸せな人生はないと、固く信じていました。私たちはたくさん散歩をし、公園で走り、ドライブし、途中でソフトクリームを食べました。 (あなたは「アイスクリームは犬の体に悪いから」と言って、私にはコーンしかくれませんでしたがてん) 私はいつも陽だまりでうたた寝をしながら、あなたが一日の仕事を終えて家に帰ってくるのを待ちました。

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

次第に、あなたは仕事や出世のために費やす時間が長くなり、やがて人間のパートナーを探すようになりました。私は辛抱強く待ちました。あなたが傷付いた時や落ち込んだ時にはあなたを慰め、あなたの決断が間違っていても決して非難せず、あなたが家に帰ってくると、おおはしゃぎして喜びました。あなたが恋に落ちたときも、いっしょになって歓喜しました。

She, now your wife, is not a “dog person” – still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a “prisoner of love.”

彼女−今はあなたの奥さんですが−は、「イヌ好き」な人ではありませんでしたが、 それでも私は彼女を受け入れ、愛情を示し、彼女の言うことを聞きました。あなたが幸せだったから、私も幸せだったのです…やがて人間の赤ちゃんが産まれてきて、私も一緒に、その興奮を味わいました。赤ちゃんたちの、そのピンク色の肌に、またその香りに、私は魅了されました。 私も、赤ちゃんたちを可愛がりたかったのです。しかしあなたたちは、私が赤ちゃんを傷つけるのではないかと心配し、私は一日の大半を他の部屋やケージに閉じ込められて過しました。私がどれほど赤ちゃんたちを愛したいと思ったことか。でも私は「愛の囚人」でした。

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them, especially their touch – because your touch was now so infrequent – and I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered “yes” and changed the subject. I had gone from being your dog to “just a dog,” and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

赤ちゃんたちが成長するにつれて、私は彼らの友達になりました。彼らは私の毛にしがみついて、よちよち足でつかまり立ちをしたり、私の目を指で突付いたり、耳をめくって中を覗いたり、私の鼻にキスをしました。私は彼らの全てを愛し、彼らが私を撫でるたびに喜びました。何故なら、あなたはもう、めったに私を触らなかったから…必要があれば私は命を投げ出しても、子供たちを守ったでしょう。私は彼らのベッドにもぐりこみ、彼らの悩み事や、誰にも秘密にしている将来の夢に聞き入りました。そして一緒に、あなたを乗せて帰ってくる車の音を待ちました。 

以前あなたは、誰かに犬を飼っているかと聞かれると、私の写真を財布から取り出し、私の話を聞かせていたこともありました。ここ数年、あなたは「ええ」とだけ答え、すぐに話題を変えました。私は「あなたの犬」から「ただの犬」になり、私にかかる全ての出費を惜しむようになりました。

Now you have a new career opportunity in another city and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You’ve made the right decision for your “family,” but there was a time when I was your only family.  I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said “I know you will find a good home for her.” They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with “papers.”

You had to pry your son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed “No, Daddy! Please don’t let them take my dog!” And I worried for him and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

そして、あなたは別の街で新しい仕事を見つけ、みんなでペット不可のマンションに引越しをすることになりました。あなたは「自分の家族」のために正しい決断をしましたが、かつて、私があなたのたった一人の家族だった時もあったのです。私は久々のドライブで、とても嬉しかった・・・保健所に着くまでは。そこには犬や猫たちの、恐怖と絶望の臭いが漂っていました。あなたは書類に記入を済ませて、係員に「この子によい里親を探してくれ」と言いました。保健所の人は肩をすくめて、眉をひそめました。彼らは知っていたのです、歳を取った成犬たちが−たとえ「血統書」付きでも−直面する現実を…

あなたは、「パパやめて、ボクの犬を連れて行かせないで!」と叫ぶ息子の指を 一本一本、私の首輪から引き離さなければなりませんでした。私はあなたの子供のことを心配しました。何故なら、あなたはたった今、このことを通して 友情、誠実さ、愛、責任、そしてすべての生命への尊重の意味を、彼に教えたのです。あなたは私の頭を軽くたたき「さよなら」と言いました。あなたは私から目をそらし、首輪とリードを持ち帰ることさえ、丁重に断りました。あなたにとって守るべき期日があったように、今度は私にも期日がやってきました。

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked “How could you?”  They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you – that you had changed your mind – that this was all a bad dream…or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

あなたが去った後、やさしい女性係員が二人やってきて言いました。「何ヶ月も前からこの引越しのことを知っていたはずなのに、里親を探す努力もしなかったのね・・・」と。彼女たちは首を振りながらつぶやきました。「どうして・・・?」保健所の人たちは、忙しさの合間に、とても親切にしてくれました。もちろんゴハンはくれました。でも、私の食欲はもう何日も前からなくなっていました。最初は誰かが私のケージの前を通るたびに、走り寄りました。 あなたが考えを変えて私を迎えに来てくれたのだと願いました。今回のことが全部、悪夢であってほしいと願いました。 そうでなければ、せめて私を気に留め、ここから助け出してくれる誰かが来てくれればと…。しかし、幼い子犬たちの愛情を求める可愛らしい仕草には敵わないと悟った年老いた私は、子犬たちの明るい運命を脇目に、ケージの隅に引っ込み、ひたすら待ちました。

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured “How could you?”

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said “I’m so sorry.” She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself – a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my “How could you?” was not meant for her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

ある日の夜、係員の女性の足音が近づいてきました。私は彼女の後に続いて通路をとぼとぼ歩き、別の部屋に行きました。しんと静まり返った部屋でした。彼女は私を台の上に乗せ、私の耳を撫で、心配しないで、と言いました。私の心臓が、今まさに起きようとしている事実を予期し、ドキドキと鼓動しました。しかし同時に、安心感のようなものも感じました。かつての愛の囚人には、もう時は残されていませんでした。生まれついての性格からか、私は自分のことより、係員の彼女のことを心配しました。彼女が今果たそうとしている責務が、彼女に耐え難い重荷となってのしかかっていることを、 私は知っていたからです・・・かつて私があなたの気持ちをすべて感じ取ったように−。

彼女は頬に涙を流しながら、私の前肢に止血帯を巻きました。私は、何年も前に私があなたを慰めたときと同じように、彼女の手を舐めました。彼女は私の静脈に注射の針を挿入しました。私は針の傷みと、体に流れ入る冷たい液体を感じ、横たわりました。私は眠気に襲われながら彼女の目を見つめ、「どうして…?」と呟きました。

おそらく彼女は私の犬の言葉が分かったのでしょう、「本当にごめんなさい…」と言いました。彼女は私を腕に抱きました。そして、「あなたはもっと良い場所へ行くのよ。」「ないがしろにされたり、虐待されたり、捨てられたり、自力で生きていかなけらばならないようなところではなく、愛と光に満ちた、この世界とは全く違う場所に、あなたが行くのを見届けるのが私の仕事なの…」と、急ぐように説明しました。私は最後の力を振り絞り、尻尾を一振りすることで、彼女に伝えようとしました。さっきの「どうして…?」は彼女に対する言葉ではなく、あなた、私の最愛なる主人である、あなたへの言葉だったのだと…。私はいつもあなたのことを想っていました。これからもあなたのことを想うでしょう…そして私は永遠に、あなたを待ち続けます。

 

THE END