Japan: Eating in

Green river 1Many years ago, so many that the email account no longer exists, I received a message from a high school friend who was traveling in Japan. She may have been studying in Tokyo at the time, or perhaps this was one of her earlier visits before she started making Japan one of her homes away from home. In the foreground of these images, she and another schoolmate of ours stood surrounded by the most beautiful mountains I had ever seen. In my memory, the mountains were blue and green, rich with color and rising steeply around two smiling women standing on the side of winding roads. Continue reading “Japan: Eating in”

Birthday strata

Birthday strataShared meals at our house usually revolve around a large pot of soup, some form of veggie-forward tangle and serving dishes for friends to bring along something to share. Guests’ offerings have varied widely – locally made colas, loaves of bread, the kind of salads that always taste great because someone else made them, fixings for an ‘Egyptian breakfast’, chocolate cakes and fruit tarts from the shop down the road – but we’ve only received a set of farm fresh eggs once.

These six beauties were brought all the way from Oban and were guaranteed to be the deepest orange we’d seen. They were, and the color of this strata is here to prove it. Continue reading “Birthday strata”

Hot Cross Buns

Broken up sideEaster crept up on me a bit this year. Usually, we would have been off work for at least a four day weekend. We would have planned to get out of the city, gather with family for a big meal and enjoy plenty of chocolate treats. With our new work patterns this year, neither of us took the typical long weekend. We’re counting down the weeks (less than three!) until we head to Japan, so this Easter really caught me by surprise. Continue reading “Hot Cross Buns”

Christmas cookies

Teacakes 7

A few years ago, I shared a list of Christmas cookie recipes with my sister-in-law, whose commitment to homemade treats for all occasions is a bit of a legend among her family and friends. Although I had at that time been observing and collecting Irish and British Christmas traditions for a few years already, it was sharing that list that made me notice how integral Christmas cookies have been to my memories of this holiday. Continue reading “Christmas cookies”