Tuesday, June 24, 2014

See This Glass?

Iced Coffee @ Akaoka Cafe Zeyo 

This signage led me to this small cafe in Konan City (about 1.5 hours drive from where I live now) last Sunday.

It says "Walk about 140 steps to the left, then turn left." So, obviously someon walked here, counting each and every step. LOL

It will take you pretty close to the cafe. Then if you can find another small signage with the name of this cafe, you'll be here:
Entrance of Akaoka Cafe Zeyo
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.When ordered an iced coffee, it came in this cute glass in the top photo.
Loved it so much! ♡

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kimo-Kawaii?

Giant Isopod Made out of Sausage

Yep. Believe it or not, Giant Isopod has been quite popular in Japan recently. Undoubtedly, it must be another example of Japanese Kimo-Kawaii (gross-but-cute) fad. Just try an image search with ”stuffed giant isopod”and see how much people love it here. ;)

I was aware of it because some of my Facebook friends have posted about their love of this creature several times in the past couple of years. But it was when I had dinner with some university students the other day that I was told how crazy some people are about seeing these creatures alive -- or even, tasting them! Think about it. Some passionate folks drove for hours to go to China Town in Yokohama just to join an event of cooking and eating Giant Isopod!

When I heard that, I realized how privileged we the Muroto residents were. Here, if we want to see them, all we have to do is visiting this facility called AQUAFARM.
AQUAFARM (closed on Sat.)

It is a Deep Seawater harvesting/distribution facility. Inside of this building, there is a tank where they keep the deep-sea creatures that were sucked into the Deep Seawater intake pipe with the water. Yes, they are alive and swimming in the tank filled with Deep Seawater. And almost always, you can see these visitors from the deep sea that look like big roly-poly bugs. :)
To be precise, these are Bathynomus doederleinii which is a little smaller variety than Giant Isopod Bathynomus giganteus. These smaller ones are about 10 to 15 cm, and not terribly intimidating, I would say.

Anyway, at AQUAFARM, you can come in for free of charge and take a look at several deep-sea creatures in the tank and learn about Deep Seawater through the exhibits.

And, this fad seems to have inspired some creative bento fans to make this gross-but-cute creature out of this kind of sausage!
These red sausages were the only kind available when I was a child. And we were crazy about octopus or crabs made out of them. I remember begging mom to make and put some in my bento box, but she wasn't very interested. (Maybe that's why I love doing something like this so much now... to fulfill the unmet need in my childhood, huh?) This type of sausage lost its popularity once when people started criticizing artificial coloring. But now they use tomato-derived lycopene or other vegetable-derived coloring, so now they're back and loved by those who make elaborate kyaraben.

And the other day, by accident, I found this site showing us how to make Giant Isopod out of the red sausage! Do you think I could resist the temptation?
OF COURSE NOT!

And hence, the two lovely bugs in the first photo. How do you like them? Not bad, huh?

One problem though... It may take some courage to eat my gross-but-cute creations... :(
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Monday, June 16, 2014

What This Banana Bread Tells You

Moist Banana Bread Made with Overripe Bananas

I guess many people already know that banana bread turns out great when used overripe bananas. Or it is almost like this bread is designed to be made with such bananas. And long-term readers of this blog probably know that when I post about a banana bread, it means that some bananas in our kitchen were in an emergency situation.  LOL

Yep! It was exactly what happened this time, AGAIN.

But Obachan found out about it, took out a printed recipe of banana bread from the bottom of the recipe folder, and
ta-dah!!
once again, saved the day! :D

Yeah, I know. I'm not too happy about the big holes in the bread. This time I didn't mash the bananas thoroughly because I wanted to leave some chunks to enjoy the different texture. But now I think that a better thing to do was mashing the bananas thoroughly and adding chopped nuts for a different texture.  Haha.. :P
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