Friday, March 27, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wendell's Irish Soda Bread


This recipe was in last week Monday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser.  It came out so good that Wendell made it a couple more times for his softball team(s).


IMG_2138

Heat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees for loaf pan). 

Whisk together 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar (5 tablespoons for loaf), 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2    teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 cup raisins and 2 teaspoons caraway seeds.

In a separate bowl, whisk 1 large egg, 2/3 cup buttermilk (1 cup for loaf) and 4 tablespoons warm, melted, unsalted butter. Add flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be stiff but sticky. Scrape the batter onto a cookie sheet and shape into a mound about 7 inches across. Use a sharp knife to make a large X on the top.
Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes (45 to 50 minutes in a loaf pan). A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Cool before serving.

—Mike Gordon

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lessons in Patience


It seems that with this sewing thing I spend an equal amount of time going backward as I do going forward.  Dunno why, but no matter how careful I try to be, I keep doing dumb stuff. 

I've sewn a zipper onto a side seam instead of the top.  I've sewn on pieces upside down. I've accidentally ripped out stitches and then had to resew them again. Once when I was all pau with a project and was just tidying it up by snipping off some loose strings, I cut a puka right in the front of the bag. 

For the coin purse below, I decided that I didn't like the zipper that I had already sewn on.  It ended up being too heavy and stiff for the small-sized purse. It looked too bulky. So even though I was almost done, I took it out.

IMG_2677

And guess what I did with this nifty rotary cutter that I just got?
IMG_2681

I accidentally sliced a precious red zipper in two. Yup. Clean in two. Howzdat?
IMG_2695

Ohmmmm . . . Ohmmmm . . .

Saturday, March 21, 2015

T-Shirt Theatre's Spring Show: Big Ideas Re-Imagined


I attended a T-Shirt Theatre rehearsal of few days ago, and as usual these talented Farrington High School students provided an amazing performance.

If you happen to be free on either of the days below, you should go check them out.

Spring Show "BIG IDEAS"

T-Shirt Theatre's spring show "Big Ideas: Reimagined" weaves together theatrical vignettes from earlier shows reimagined into one connected storyline by Direct Primo Assis. New original music composed by Musical Director Jonah Moananu adds the punch and elevates the emotional power within the performance into this delightful and introspective drama adventure.

FREE Performances
Thursday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 12 at 4:30 p.m.
Kaimuki High School Auditorium

IMG_2193a

IMG_2465a

IMG_2411a

IMG_2250a

IMG_2216a

IMG_2437a

IMG_2398a

IMG_2351a

IMG_2283a

IMG_2294a


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wendell's Puff Pastry Salmon


Unreal that Wendell made this yah! I couldn't believe that he even attempted it, and it tasted as good as it looks.  He got the recipe from here

IMG_2029

Luckily, I was home to catch some action shots. 
IMG_1994

IMG_2002

IMG_2007

He made these beets to go with it.  It was yummy.  The recipe can be found here
IMG_2033


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

More Pouches


Here are some pouches that made recently.

Isn't this triangular coin purse so cute?  The instructions are here. I found the black and white material in a remnant bin at Walmart.
IMG_2041

The zipper and lining material is from a brand-new Paris Blues jean that I got at a garage sale for $1.
IMG_2044

Here's a matching pouch.
IMG_2074

I used the waistband of the jeans to decorate this pouch.  The canvas-like blue/white material is from an old Roxy bag.
IMG_2137

This is a pencil case that I made with a Japanese furoshiki cloth that Leslie gave me a couple of years ago.
IMG_2071

Here's a coin purse made with the same material.
IMG_2066

Coworker Michele gave me the material that I used for this pencil case. 
IMG_2068

Wendell asked me to make him a case for his eyeglasses that he could fit into his fanny pack. I recycled the black material from an  old bag.
IMG_2051

The material for these four pouches came from another Roxy bag.
IMG_2134

This is the bag that I cut up. I got it for $1 at the Kalaheo Project Grad garage sale last month. IMG_1784

While taking pictures of the four pouches, I decided to shoot this lamp to show you too. It was 5 bucks at the swap meet.  Verilux! Score, hah!
IMG_2128

I'm thinking of using these buttons for zipper pulls.  Not sure if they're sturdy enough though 'cause they're plastic. 
IMG_2086

But I couldn't resist buying um 'cause they're so cute. Right? They're from Ben Franklin and were $3.50/pack.
IMG_2080

Zippers are the most costly item to me. Michele found a good deal on eBay, 100 zippers for $15.  I'm hoping I don't lose interest in sewing until I can make use of most of um. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Amazon Has a Heart


A family friend posted this on Facebook.  They recently lost their beloved pet, Mr. Ernie.

We had ordered Mr. Ernie special food from Amazon but it arrived after he had already passed. We never opened the box. Still grieving, we emailed Amazon to ask if the un-returnable food could be returned because of our circumstances. Amazon wrote us back a personalized letter apologizing for our loss and giving us an immediate full refund on all items. Furthermore, not to inconvenience us during our mourning period, Amazon told us to not return the products and instead donate them to an organization.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Binchotan Charcoal


When me and Geri were in Marukai the other day we looked at some table-top shichirins much like this one that me and Leslie used in a restaurant in Japan. Geri was seriously considering buying one but ended up just "thinking about it".

IMG_5578a

I told her that if she got it she would need to use that special Japanese charcoal.  I didn't know the name of it at that time. We couldn't find it at Marukai, but I did manage to find it at Nijiya the next day.  I bought a bag. Ho da expensive.  $9 for a 1-pound bag.  
IMG_2387-2

When I got home I looked it up.  Sooooo interesting. Binchotan is made from ubame oak and is called white charcoal. It does not release smoke or other unpleasant odors. Binchotan is harder than black charcoal and rings with a metallic sound when struck. You can reuse binchotan several times by submerging the hot coals in cold water and then drying them for a day. It's also used to freshen the air and to purify water. The photo below is from Wikipedia.
binchotan
"BurningBinchōtan" by STRONGlk7 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia

Here's a video I found showing how the King of binchotan, Kishu Binchotan is made. From what I could figure out using Google Translate, they use ubame oak which they straighten and make uniform in size by inserting wedges. This is so that the pieces will burn evenly. They fire the pieces at 2190 degrees F. Many factors including the season, weather, condition of the wood, etc. determine when the binchotan is done. It takes many years of experience to learn when the timing to finish is right. 


Watching the video made me realize why the binchotan is so expensive.  And I wonder how much longer this traditional method of charcoal-making will survive.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Kashiwa Mochi


This is Kashiwa Mochi.  It's made and eaten during the Children's Day celebration time.  Geri bought it at Marukai and started eating it as soon as we got into the car.  

IMG_2384

When I got home I looked up "Kashiwa Mochi" and found a recipe. Look at what it says about the leaf. 

kashiwamochi

I couldn't stop laughing after I read it because I'm the one that told Geri that she's supposed to eat the leaf. And she listened. Because I'm older. And wiser. Hahahaha!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hmmmm . . .


I bought this lemon from the swap meet.  It's so huge that it looks like an orange. The guy I bought it from had 10 of um.  I bought um all.  They were 50 cents each.

IMG_1978

They were plump and so juicy.  I'm gonna give my mom half and I'll make lemonade with my half.  
IMG_1975

Look at the seeds.  Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Yes!  I'm gonna try again.  Yee haw!
IMG_1991

Isn't the juicer so pretty?! I got it from Akemi of Nippon Nin. She bought it in Japan.  Thank you, Akemi!!