Weekly Bento : WEEK ONE

this week's bento

We are midweek here in Japan, but since I have time and still plenty of leftovers to last me tomorrow and Friday, I thought it would be nice to just go over the bento of this week right now:)

As I mentioned previously, I will not be eating school lunches for personal reasons, so I will be making lunches each week. Hopefully I will be able to keep myself organized enough to continue making healthy ones.

So, let’s go over what all is in this bento, shall we? In the top box we have a green bean & fried tofu dish made with no extra oil (used the oil already in the fried tofu to cook it all), Japanese sweet omelet, bree cheese, vegetable eggroll, and two strawberries. The bottom contains white rice with a pickled plum in the middle and stewed eggplant, paprika, and salmon.

This week, I shall share one recipe with you, and that will be….

yum yum yum!

Stewed Eggplant, Paprika, and Salmon
2 salmon fillets
2 eggplants
1 red paprika
1 yellow paprika
1/2 cup of dashi
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
cooking wine

cut up the salmon into bite sized pieces and brush them with cooking oil
toast the eggplant and paprikas in a toaster oven for 5 minutes or until soft.
In a saucepan, mix together all wet ingredients (I actually added a bit of corn starch to thicken it a little)
slice eggplant and paprika into bit sized pieces and add to the saucepan for a few minutes.
grill salmon in the oven for 3 minutes and then add to the saucepan for another 5 – 10.

Rating out of 5

Flowering Viewing

While I did not get to do a proper Hanami this year as I did last year, one of my co-workers offered to drive me and two others to a man-made lake in Kawagoe where the cherry blossome were in full bloom and we had lunch. I took pictures with my regular digital camera, as well as some with my new phone that has different settings on it.


Another Light in the Heavens

I love you

Today, when I came home from work, I put my things away, called across the room to Hikari that I was home and then went about doing a few other things before I went to her cage to give her more of her favorite tofu.

When I did…I found that Hikari had already gone.

Her small body was still warm and soft, so she had passed away probably sometime after I got home…almost like she was waiting to see me one more time.

Hikari was everything that her name implies: she was my light. She kept me company when I was living alone and Jun was back in the States finishing his study abroad. She always came when I called her. Recently, despite her being unable to walk, she still always came to me and let me hold her.

She loved being outside in the sun, so Jun and I buried her under a tree in the front of the apartment complex. She is in her cupcake house that she loved so much with some of her favorite dried tofu. Now, she can rest knowing that she gave me so much.

Hikari, you were the best hamster I could ever ask for. You were always energetic and always happy. You really were my light when times were dark. Thank you and I love you.

To everyone who is like “SEPTEMBER 11?! That’s such a happy day” //end sarcasm//

It will be.

Consider, for instance, Pearl Harbor, which also had a huge impact on U.S. history. Dec. 7 is probably still a sensitive day for many Americans, but I think it’s good to realize that history doesn’t stop the march of time. Happy events do still happen on otherwise sad days, and life goes forward.

I am sure you are all familiar with the quote “time heals everything.” People are going to be born, get married, and there will be cakes and candles on Sept. 11, in spite of what happened on that horrible day in 2001. And as more and more years go by, people will keep celebrating, which won’t make Sept. 11, 2001, go away, but hopefully the happiness in the future will eclipse some of the tragedy from the past.

September 11th is a date. Just a date. That date in ONE year, something really awful happened. If you look hard enough you can find something bad that happened probably every day of the year.

I think it would be great to have something really positive and celebratory to associate with the date instead. Kind of making it about rebirth and hope rather than just tragedy. Celebrating the life and freedom that we have and honoring the heroism that was shown that day. It was an unthinkably horrible thing and a national tragedy, I think it would be good to reclaim that date as something positive and celebratory in life. I think it’s important that we remember as a nation and as people, but I don’t think it needs to be a day of mourning and sadness forever.

Doesn’t anyone else think it is time to take back the date? Remove the stigma attached to it? I mean, I highly doubt that people here in Japan are going to be looking at dates next year and be like, oh, March 11…big earth quake and tsunami…can’t do it then.

//end rant

Confused about Japan’s Nuclear Reactor? Here is something to help!

I know the subject matter may be laughable, but there is A LOT of truth in what is being presented.

This Month in 給食 – FINALE: March 2011

With this, my blogging about school lunch comes to a sudden halt. My school lunch ended on a high note as I was able to eat the 6年生の楽しみ給食 (6th grader’s special lunch) that consisted of apple jelly, fried chicken, two hashed potato star thingies, two sweet breads, and all in all yummy things.

I am not sure the reasoning exactly, although I think it has something to do with the power outages and not knowing if they would be able to prepare food as well as the gas “crisis,” but the city decided to cancel school lunch for the rest of the term. I am unsure what this means for the new school term starting in April, but we will just have to wait and see.

Distance from Power Plant

I am the blue dot

There, for those who think I am being naive and should be running for Okinawa or Kyushu right now, here is a map from the nuclear power plants to where I am located. Notice the nice big number up there with a 2 followed by some other numbers? I am well outside what even the United States is asking in terms of an evacuation radius.

What I find disturbing is that I woke up this morning, checked all my news sources, and read that hysterical Americans have bought up so much potassium iodide that there isn’t a crisis reserve left for Japan…

Not to sound mean and bitchy or anything…but…YOU PEOPLE OVER THERE ARE SAFE! THE RADIATION WOULD NOT CAUSE ANY DAMAGE EVEN IF IT REACHED YOU! There is a whole lot of ocean between Japan and the United States. Do Americans know that Japanese people are not rushing out to buy these pills despite them being in the immediate “danger zone”?

Update at 9:25 a.m. ET. You Don’t Need Potassium Iodide: NPR’s Jon Hamilton talks with experts about using potassium iodide to prevent cancer following radiation exposure. There’s been a run on tablets in the west, although there’s been no radiation danger there to residents. The Surgeon General clarified some comments she made on Tuesday; at first she described potassium iodide purchases as ‘precautionary’, now she says ‘she wouldn’t recommend’ it.

As I am sure you are all aware, the radiation levels are currently dropping. The radiation reading came to 279.4 microsievert per hour at the point roughly 1 kilometer west of the No. 2 reactor at 5 a.m. Friday, compared with 292.2 microsievert per hour at 8:40 p.m. Thursday, shortly after the Special Defense Forces discharged water from fire trucks, according to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

In other news, the power outages continue as well as the after shocks. I really do feel sea sick these days due to all the shaking – now partly being caused by really strong wind.

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