Archive for the ‘Foodblogs’ Category

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July 02, 2012: Search Terms and Wasabi Fries

July 2, 2012

Having done the blog now for a while, and being dedicated to making it the best it can be, I daily check the search terms that steer people towards the blog. It is very important to me to see IF and HOW people are finding what they are looking for.

Sometimes the search-term combinations are just puzzling. Like today, when someone searched for “Kuribashi-Butterflies” I wasn’t quite sure what they were looking for. It doesn’t help that I am not a native Japanese speaker, in this case. Sometimes, it’s exactly clear, and I can tell that the searcher has found just what they are looking for. Like last week when someone was searching for the “difference between a New England Boiled Dinner and Corned Beef and Cabbage” and I covered that in the original article when Yoshio and I made Corned Beef for the Showa students.

Sometimes I’m pretty sure people are finding the right article, like the person who searched for “Rubber Band Around a Cockroach” and I think this is in reference to my recent article “Rock-a-Bye Lobster” where I talk about both lobsters with the rubber bands and compare them to a “cockroach of the sea.” Sometimes the search results have been gleaned from the search engines obviously scrambling various WOO articles. These are the most disappointing to me, as clearly the searcher has not found exactly what hey are looking for. Like someone who was recently looking for a “Green Tea Mocktail.” Now, WOO has several Japanese cocktails and several green tea articles, but no real green tea mocktail, unless you count my recent article “Nicole Loves Green Tea” about a green-tea latte recipe from my friend’s daughter.

Sometimes the search-terms are just amusing, like the person looking for “Squirrels Eating Yams!” Now I have a yam recipe and I think one of my articles about gardens mention my constant battle with squirrels eating my veggies. I’m pretty sure I didn’t help this person, and I wish them every success in their battle against pests, but I have to admit, their search-terms made my day!

Once in a great while, I get a search that just makes me think that WOO should have an article on that very topic. Such was the search from last week, when a viewer was looking for a particular wasabi-flavored chip made by a certain Japanese chef. Well, I never heard of the chef, but I thought a wasabi-flavored potato to be  perfect fusion dish, so here’s mine:

Wasabi-Fries:

Scrub well, three baking potatoes and section each lengthwise into 12 pieces, keeping the skin. In a wok, over medium heat, add 2 Tblsp. corn oil to potatoes. Cook for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally. Try to resist turning up the heat. You want the potatoes to brown evenly and cook all the way through. Towards the end of cooking, add another Tblsp. of oil, a sprinkling or coarse sal de mer, pepper and chili powder. Fries are done when you are able to pierce the biggest piece of potato with a fork. Serve hot with Wasabi Dipping Sauce.

Wasabi Dipping Sauce: To 1/2 C Mayonnaise (I like the Kewpie Japanese brand, for this, as it is a tad more sweet than traditional mayo, and has a slight yellowish color because they only make it with egg yolks) add 1 Tsp. prepared wasabi and 1 Tsp. mirin. Whisk. Top with toasted and crumbled nori.

If serving to an authentic Japanese crowd you might want to skip the pepper and chili powder, as they might find this too spicy, but I found this dish to be a great snack or a starter to a Japanese-fusion dinner. Should be perfect match with a Japanese beer!

There’s a saying: “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever will.” I’m sorry that I couldn’t help this particular mysterious searcher, but their suggestion of a recipe was fantastic!

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March 13, 2012: “O’er the Yardarm”

March 13, 2012

I suspect that I am not the only foodblogger that uses his own blog to cement down his creations. I can’t count the times, now, that I have referred to “World of Okonomy” to remake a recipe that I have created for the blog. This is a recipe that I have made for a while, but I’m always winging it, so it always varies a bit. Making this recipe for the blog forced me to finally lock it down.

The produce department at my grocery store was practically throwing away limes (6 for $1.00) so I snapped up all I could carry. They were not “pretty” limes, but as I was turning them into limeade, I didn’t care what the outside looked like.

Limeade: Slice in half and juice 8 limes (10 oz.) Strain through a sieve. If you like the lime pulp, strain only half of the juice. To the juice, add 1/2C. sugar and a few grains of sal de mer. Add 2 Qts. H2O to the juice. Chill. Serve straight or with ice. I like my limeade a tad on the sour side, so add more sugar if you prefer.

During the summer, if it’s the weekend and the sun is “O’er the Yardarm” I’ll put a splash of gin in the limeade. We tend to use that particular colloquial phrase to mean “after 5pm”, but I wondered about the specific origins of the phrase. The “yardarm” is the crossbeam that holds up the sails of a sailing vessel. In the North Atlantic, where this phrase originated, in sailing weather, the sun would appear to cross over the yardarm, as seen from the deck, at about 11am. This signaled the crew to distribute their first portion of rum, for the day. One could imagine, that with terribly hard work of the sailor’s life, combined with isolation, battling the elements, crappy food, disease, and the lack of female companionship, that the daily portion of alcohol probably made the sailor’s life just a little bit more bearable. One source stated that the sun appears to cross over the yardarm again at 5pm. Either way, the phrase seems to mean a sanctioned time to imbibe.

Limes played a big role in the life of the sailor in the 18th-19thC. Being away from fresh food for months on end created a specific disease for sailors: scurvy. Because humans cannot synthesize vitamin C (ascorbic acid) they must get it directly through their food, specifically citrus fruits. The cause for scurvy wasn’t officially known until as late as 1932, but sailor realized that if they ate lemons or limes on the long voyages, that this would relieve the symptoms of scurvy.

Lemons have 4X the vitamin C of limes, but the British Navy could grow limes in the Caribbean, which was a British colony. British sailors were known (and still are known) as “limeys” because of their dependence on limes.

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October 19, 2011: Foodblogging with Escher

October 19, 2011

MC Escher "Bond of Union" 1956

Last week, I get a link from a fellow foodblogger who calls her blog “Feral Homemaking.” I am always honored when I receive these link requests. It means someone who does something very similar to me, has seen World of Okonomy and found it worthwhile. A very flattering gesture from a peer. As always, I look over the blog and as I am looking over “Feral Homemaker, I find myself really liking it, first, as it has a very unique voice. It’s foodblogging from the hip: straight opinions and smart writing on not only important things like economy for the home but also fun topics that might (or might not) be tangential to cooking. The blog has cool recipes and something I’ve haven’t yet seen: a foodblogger who’s brave enough to actually post what doesn’t work in their cooking! After all, cooking is always at least a partial experimentation the first time you make a recipe. Part of the process of cooking, is analysing what doesn’t work and fix if for the next time. I took a quick look at the “About” section to find out who this blogger is, but the information there was a bit skimpy, but I was hooked and I immediately added “Feral Homemaking” to my blogroll, I even posted a tweet on Twitter about how cool I think the blog is.

On Sunday, I got a very nice visit from my good friend, Pamela. Yet another good friend contributing to my skimpy larder, Pam brought a huge store of canned and dry good as well as a bushel of fresh veggies from her CSA: rainbow chard, kale, red cabbage, salads, spinach, daikon, fresh herbs, and squash. She also brought her own canned veggies. I had forgotten that Pam did canning, but her’s were wonderful: crispy dilly beans; pickled tomatoes (both green and red) and beets. After wolfing down the first jar, I had to move the rest of the jars out of my sight, as they were so delicious, I would’ve eaten the whole lot!

I took Pam through the Wayside Inn area near me. We followed the basic route that Lisa, little Harry, and I did in my “August 30, 2011: Speaking at Geese.” One variation is that when we ended up in the drygoods store that Harry found “BOR-ing!!!” I found that they had a whole other floor that I had never visited. Poor Harry! If only he could’ve held out a little bit more! This floor was full of the coolest toys from end to end! Harry would’ve loved it! As Pam and I are picking through toys that we remembered from our childhood, we are talking about blogging in general and that moves naturally to foodblogging and Pam casually mentions “Well, in my Feral Homemaking blog, I…” Suddenly, it’s like I stepped into and Escher drawing! “WHAT! WaitaminuteYOU’RE the Feral Homemaker!!!” Pam assumed that I had known all along when she sent me the link!

I hope that Pamela takes my appreciation of her blog, absent of my  knowledge that it was her writing, as the highest praise. It’s rare event to be able to offer a “no-strings attached” compliment to the people in our lives. I tell everyone that my friends and family keep me on my toes, as collectively they are the most talented, interesting, kind, and REAL people I have ever known, and by their example, make me want to be a better person!

…and now what a treasure to visit Pam’s blog: a rare chance to look anew upon an old and valued friend, this sparkling Mobius-strip of a personality who twists through my life!

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