New Honey Cake Recipe!

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honey-cake_3626I always bake honey cakes for Rosh Hashanah from Joan Nathan’s book, The Jewish Holiday Kitchen. The first honey cake, I added cardamom. Mr. Tess noted it was not like his grandmother’s.
This year I tried a new recipe: lovely, light, not cloyingly sweet, and the spices shine, especially the cardamom which is reminiscent of my grandmother’s Finnish pulla bread. So that brings us full circle, one grandmother to another, most appropriate for the cycle of generations, seasons, and years celebrated during this holiday.

Sweet Potato Cakes

http://1tess.wordpress.comWhen the recipe says to broil on low (200°C) for only 15 minutes, believe it!
Also, set a timer so you know when the time is up…
Believe it or not, these were really truly very tasty once I cut the burnt tops off. They looked ok as well, once I turned them upside down. ≥^!^≤
The young woman at the little Korean grocery (Hyundai Asian Market) was arranging a display of pretty red sweet potatoes. They looked so fresh that two of them hopped into my basket before I knew it!

Oh sweet potato cakes!!

Mitsumame: a summer dessert

http://1tess.wordpress.comI’m looking through my window at the jungle our garden has become, at the bunches of pale green tomatoes hanging heavily in the cool sunlight. The trees and the house are casting shadows narrower and angled more northward than they did only a month ago. The sunlight is thinner after traveling through more air at a steeper angle, providing ever less warmth as we move closer to the equinox.

I’ll admit that today’s recipe is not suitable for my weather. It’s a light and refreshing Japanese sweet to be enjoyed on a hot and humid summer day. (ok, I’ll admit my posts have been sparse and I made this a month ago…) But it makes me happy that somewhere it is warm enough that this recipe will be just the perfect cooling dish to invigorate melting flagging spirits / appetites.

Chestnut Yanggaeng: Korean Candy

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The little Korean grocery store (Hyundai Asian Market) where I often shop, has a full aisle stocked with mysterious snacks and sweets.
This candy caught my eye because the package reminded me of a lacquered box filled with treasure. The chestnuts, just visible through the window on the front, seemed to glow through dark amber.
This is a sophisticated confection: the flavor of the red beans shines, and the chestnuts retain their distinct texture and taste. It is a lovely treat to serve with tea or ice cream.

Japanese Crepes

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After making okonomiyaki, the cabbage stuffed Japanese pancake, I became curious about other Japanese pancakes. I’ve made pajeon, a Korean version on okonomiyaki made with nira or Chinese chives. I’ve since learned that it is very popular in Japan where it is called chijimi. On the sweet side are doriyaki, the popular Japanese sweet pancake-sandwich filled with sweet bean jam. Then I considered crepes, the delicate French pancakes with the lacy edges. I thought about the historic influence of Japan and Europe upon each other…
So why would there not be such a thing as Japanese crepes?

Calpis: Karupisu

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For the longest time, I’ve wanted to make this Japanese milk drink. J. remembers first having Calpis with his Japanese tutor, about twenty years ago. They would sit out on her sun-porch to study; one day she served him a glass of the pleasant milky white soft drink. But I recall that thirty years (+) ago, J. brought me a beautiful blue-paper wrapped bottle from Manna, the foreign and very exotic grocery store in Ann Arbor. It looked like a bottle of fine liqueur—a drink for celebration with its cheerful patter of white dots. Then he told me it is called “cowpiss!”
One of us remembers he visited me when were in junior high school. I should ask him if he thought I was “cute” back then!

Sesame Seed Senbei

I came across this senbei recipe while wandering around the internet, looking at Japanese food blogs at 3 a.m. There are many things that seem like great ideas at that time of night, but which seem foolish in the light of day; these crackers are really are good anytime.

These crackers are nice and healthy eaten plain. But they’d be great with a tangy feta, cream cheese and olives, or one of these dips I’ve posted about: Bright Green Edamame Dip or Soybean Hummus.