The name of this recipe typifies the poetry in everyday Japanese life. … The white poppy seeds—sprinkled like beach sand over the dish—evoke the (same) pine-bordered beach scene with ocean breezes playing among the trees. —Shizuo Tsuji
I laughed this morning.
J. brought me coffee. I usually sleep face down with feet hooked over the end of the mattress; he nudges against them to wake me. Today I was on my back with toes pointing toward the the opposite wall. He put the cup on the table and kissed my forehead, which is usually hidden. Instead of tiptoeing away, he put his hands under the sheet and rubbed the bottoms of my feet. I laughed. He asked what was funny, but all I could say was it’s just nice.
We’d eaten a delicious dinner—he even asked if it was hard to make! (It’s not much more difficult than making hamburgers.) We spent a quiet evening together and had a lovely night.
It’s rare to hear someone laugh for simple happiness.
Japanese Chicken Loaf: “Wind-in-the-Pines”
from: Japanese Cooking
A Simple Art
by Shizuo Tsuji
4 page 368
- 1 pound (450 gr) ground chicken
- 3 Tablespoons saké
- 1 egg plus 2 yolks, beaten
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoon sugar
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger juice (I was very generous)
- egg white
- 2 teaspoons white poppy seeds (or toasted sesame seeds)
Put half the ground chicken into medium skillet, add the saké. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly to keep the chicken broken up, for about 2 minutes, till meat turns whitish. Drain. Cool. Partially pre-cooking half of the meat is a way to keep the finished dish from shrinking.
Use hands to mix the uncooked chicken with the beaten egg and yolks. Add salt, sugar, and soy sauce, mixing well between additions. Mix in the pan-cooked meat. Last, add the ginger juice. The mixture will be wet and sloppy.
To bake and serve:
Spread the meat mixture in an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan lined with oiled foil that extends over opposite sides of the pan. Place the pan in a bain-marie or large pan with hot water. Bake uncovered, for 30 minutes at 425°F (220°C). The loaf is done when the center is as firm as the meat on the edges.
Immediately upon removing from oven, brush on beaten egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds while still wet. The hot food will cook the egg and make the sesame (poppy) seeds stick.
Pull the foil to remove the chicken from the pan. Cut the loaf into 2-inch squares: each serving is 4 squares.