Summer Shabu Shabu

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tomato-bounty_3479This summer has been cool. Our garden tomatoes ripen so slowly, so late; but there are lots of tiny green fruits. We’ve had to be content with a few small bowls of these gorgeous heirloom cherry tomatoes. But the bounty is beginning…
Mr. Tess and Little Tess came home from the Farmers’ Market with a bunch of yellow beans with purple stripes. They were long and the beans in their pods looked large, perhaps more mature than I would have chosen, but none the less intriguing.

Shabu Shabu Gift

aroma-induction-cktp_0747Oh winter cold, winter dark, winter comforts so dearly embraced: it’s when friendly time beside the fire and good food is most satisfying.

A nabemono is a warm and convivial way of sharing meal. A pot of water or broth simmers in the center of the table, surrounded by plates of meat, fish, tofu, fruits, and vegetables. With chopsticks (or fondu forks) diners slide morsels of food into the simmering stock to cook, then lift them out to a plate.

This Christmas, my sister and my daughter surprised me with an induction cooktop and prepared a lovely Christmas Eve shabu shabu!

Shabu Shabu Christmas

faux stained glass Christmas bird made with tissue paper and glue
It’s been many years since I decorated for Christmas.

This year has been different. I discovered the faux stained glass installation I made in 1979. I’d displayed them for several years, then we moved to apartments/house with small windows so they went into deep storage. When I found them a few weeks ago, my first impulse was, “Bah! Humbug!” and toss them into the recycle bin. But both husband and daughter said, “NO!!”

Japanese Creamy Sesame Sauce

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Shabu shabu is a party on a plate. In winter, sharing a hot pot with friends is an entertaining dinner. This version of shabu shabu is like eating a bouquet of summer: cool with colorful fruit and vegetables. Prepare it in the morning before the kitchen is hot. You can bring it to a potluck party, or serve it as an amuse gueule. The sauce with crudité makes a nice change from the usual sour cream-type of dip

Spicy Sesame Sauce: Buta Shabu Shabu

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Chilled fruits and vegetables, cool thin slices of pork, and a spicy sesame dipping sauce make a festive summer meal. The colors are beautiful and everything can be prepared ahead of time.”Open sesame!” Seeds explode from the ripe pods on sesame plants. Depending on the cultivar, seeds will be ivory, golden, red, brown or black.

Have you ever wondered where sesame seeds come from?

Cold Shabu Shabu with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Cold Beef Shabu ShabuThis is a beautiful summer meal. Shabu Shabu is a Japanese dish in which very thin slices of meat are cooked in simmering water at the dinner table by the diners. In winter it’s comforting to sit near a pot of boiling water, warming the hand holding your chopsticks to swish and cook your food. Not so fun when it’s hot and humid. This recipe is served chilled with peppers, papaya, beef and sesame sauce.