cool dessert

2020-06-27 TOKYO, JAPAN -- On hot humid days, cold desserts cool mind and body. We enjoyed mango jelly in a Thai pot (originally for serving steamed rice). 203 yen for 1 kilogram, if i remember correctly.


tortilla pizza

2020-06-24 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We baked pizza using tortillas instead of pizza dough. Excellent if you like ultra-thin pizza. Stack 3 tortillas if you like thicker crust. Sandwiched pizzas are fun too.

We drew with pizza sauce.

Tortillas puff up during baking.

Kero inspects his creation.

masked mom

2020-06-07 KAWASAKI, JAPAN -- We delivered roasted pork to my mom this morning. Alas we were forced to wear masks, and to part in less than 2 minutes. I felt like a newspaper delivery person.

Truth be told, as far as family is concerned, I can hardly wait for COVID-19 to become less of a concern.

I have few complaints other than being unable to see my friends and family. We were planning to quit my job and stay at home anyway. However, I confess that our house is not being organized or improved at the speed I promised myself.


kama and saku

2020-06-03 TOKYO, JAPAN -- Tonight's menu: grilled yellowtail.

The temperature sensors adjust heating.

I set the finishing core temperature to 72 degrees Celsius, clearly meeting and exceeding guidelines for safe food preparation.


The cheek is called
kama, literally meaning sickle, due to the curved shape of the gill cover. The filets are called saku, meaning wood blocks, again due to the boxy shape resembling wooden blocks or planks.

We delivered to our sister who lives downstairs. What a shame that we are forced to leave the food outside the front door so that she can bring it in. I haven't talked to her in months.

grocery shopping

2020-06-02 KAWASAKI, JAPAN -- We rented a car, walked at a bayshore park, and shopped at a hardware store, supermarket, and Costco. This is our 3rd time going shopping since we returned to Tokyo on 2020-04-11.

We watched ships enter port.

$500 worth of groceries. I'm becoming numb to grocery bills, haha!

Items that were scarce are returning to shelves (or, at Costco, on pallets): rice, toilet paper, pasta (spaghetti and macaroni), and hygenic masks (I know the proper term is surgical mask but few people buy them for surgery). I could not find peanut butter. Good news: tomorrow we are grilling fish!

I wish we had a car with a big refrigerator. The weather is getting hotter day by day.


2020-06-01 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We are pleased with ourselves for cleaning our refrigerator.

Years ago we needed to defrost the fridge. Ironically fridges (or reefers if you prefer that term) were cleaner back then because you would periodically empty the fridge and wipe it down. Today's fridges are frost-free, so we tend to forget to clean them.

We bought our fridge 25 years ago, when I began my PhD program.

We emptied our fridge. Noriko washed all the shelves and boxes. I wiped the fridge itself with bleach.

Spick and span!

Our fridge door is decorated with frogs (one plays trumpet) and my plaque for my food processing certification (which allows me to operate a restaurant).


2020-05-31 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We polished a silver-plated bronze trivet that Noriko received as a wedding gift.

The trivet was hand-made by an artist named Michael Aram.

We replaced the felt pads with synthetic cork that was originally intended for my trumpet's waterkey valves. (A waterkey valve lets water flow out of the trumpet tubing.)

The new feet are softer, quieter, and raise the trivet away from the tabletop.


2020-05-29 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We ordered sushi delivery. Yummy!


Enjoy life!


hone knives

2020-05-18 TOKYO, JAPAN -- Weather was bad. Instead of running, I exercised by honing kitchen knives.

Can you guess which knives are my favorite?

In the above photo, from left to right: (1) Noriko's heavy Chinese chopping and crushing knife, (2) my favorite Japanese nakkiri (veggie chopping) knife that was a gift from my mom, (3) my favorite Japanese gyuto (meat) knife that I bought in Sapporo about 15 years ago, and (4) Noriko's mom's Japanese deba (meat and bone) knife, which alas is beyond repair.

3 photos of nakkiri showing detail after sharpening.



3 photos of gyuto showing detail after sharpening.



cooking for family

2020-05-13 TOKYO, JAPAN -- Now that our pantry and refrigerator are full with food, it's time to feed the family!

I made diabolically hot mabotofu. Oops!

Baked sweet potatoes. These are beniharuka potatoes. Big and sweet.

Roasted beef. I improvised a roasting rack out of a yakitori (skewered barbecue chicken) rack and chopsticks.

We shared food with our sister and her family. I wish we could eat together! 10 meters away but not a word exchanged face to face.

an immovable feast

2020-04-11 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We are ordered to stay indoors for 14 days except for medical emergencies. Our sister can leave the house for grocery shopping and exercise. But we cannot, because we returned from the USA, which is deemed an area of concern by the government of Japan. So we dine splendidly at home!

Sushi delivery! Seen with red suitcases in the background.

Delivery rice pot! Complete with soup.

Our sister Keiko bought us fresh produce for us to cook.

Our cousin Satoko sent us fish and roe.

Fresh steamed rice!

Well-stocked pantry.