Sake Gumi
China Diaries

China Diaries: Feng Yu SJB

For years, I longingly listened to my grandma's stories of her golden years in Shanghai. Her sudden move from rural Japan to French Concession Shanghai in the 1930's exposed her to opera, Gauguin and film noir. Before she met any friends or...

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: White Day

We're in Japan at the moment and there are luxurious, sparkling boxes of chocolates everywhere being sold for "White Day". Huh? Oh yah, that's right, it's the day, one month after Valentine's Day, when men give women chocolates. HUH??!?!? It's true. In Japan, it is...

Merry Kurisumasu

Merry Christmas everyone! I just woke up from yet another nap. I am sorry I have been neglecting thee, but after a full recovery day from this crazy last month, I will be fully devoted to you again. I actually got a tree this...

Kuishinbo

Kuishinbo: Otsukimi Dango

Japan has a wonderful fall tradition known as otsukimi (お月見) or Moon Festival, which celebrates both the moon and promise of a good harvest for the year. Besides otsukimi, it's also called chushu no meigetu or jyugoya. The custom is believed to have originated in China. In...

Kuishinbo

Kuishinbo: Doyou no Ushinohi (A Day for Eel)

During midsummer, tradition is to have unagi (freshwater eel) on specific days. The days are called doyou no ushinohi (土用の丑の日) to provide a nutritional treat, as well as to help survive the hot season. Unagi carries a lot of "stamina" nutrition, such as vitamins A and B-complex. The...

MOTOism

MOTOism: Food in France

I went to France for the first time. As I packed for the trip, all I could think about was the scene from The Devil Wears Prada where Anne throws her cellphone into a fountain. Everyone looks so stylish in that scene, or in...

The Forest Feast

The Forest Feast: Tu Bishvat

Over the weekend, we celebrated a little Jewish holiday called Tu Bishvat. It’s often called the “new year of the trees” and is sort of like Jewish Earth Day. Traditionally people eat 15 kinds of fruits and nuts and drink...

The Forest Feast

Forest Feast: Spiced Passover Haroset

Spring has sprung in the woods! Passover is this week and to kick it off, we hosted a first-night Seder.  We spent two days cooking all the traditional Jewish dishes: matzah ball soup, haroset (a paste of dried fruit and nuts), farfel (quiche-like squares), tzimmes (a...

Merry Xmas Wagashi (Sweets)

By Kenji Miura I celebrated Christmas in Japan by making wagashi, or traditional Japanese sweets. Santa is shaped out of shiro-an (white bean paste). The holly is made out of ogura tsubu-an (red beans boiled with sugar, skin-on). The tree is comprised of shiro-an and...

Culinography

Culinography: Happy Chanukkah!

Chanukkah, the eight-day Jewish holiday and festival of lights, started last night!  We light a new candle on the menorah every evening after sundown. I will be making the traditional latkes (potato pancakes), like I do every year, and I plan to attempt making sufganiyot...