Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gingko Rice

Photo credit: Ginkgo trees of Jingu-Uji-kosakusho in Ise city. Mie prefecture, Japan.
Go into any pharmacy and check out the vitamin supplements counter. You cannot miss Ginkgo Biloba. Most people acknowledge the health benefits from gingko but have never seen the actual fruit and its nut.
The first time I knew gingko was when this pungent smell reached my nose one autumn day in Japan. I was walking under a gingko tree. The leaves are yellowing and twirling around everywhere, carpeting the pavement. I saw small rotting fruits under my steps. My friend who was walking together told me to collect the rotting fruits. That moment I thought she has some bad tasting mouth telling me to collect some rotting, smelly fruits on the pavement like some kind of hungry, homeless soul that wonders aimlessly in the park.
She strongly said the gingko seed is nice to eat and rather expensive in the market. Well then, lady, you picked those rotten smelly fruits yourself was on the tip of my tongue.

She was right. That was some 20 odd years ago but now I'm addicted to that nut.
I normally cooked gingko in my rice. Here in the picture is gingko and green peas rice.
Gingko rice with Japanese side dish
That was lunch. Baby potato with sesame and olive oil, some small fish (ikan bilis) with konbu (sea kelp), chicken with black pepper and white radish with taufu soup.

I just dissolve some chicken cube into the rice cooker with the gingko seed and some green peas.

Gingko rice with western serving

Here I served the rice with garlic fried chicken and mushroom sauce flooding the broccoli and baby potatoes.

It is quite easy to get the gingko seed in a can. The product comes from China, if you cannot get the fresh nuts.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Tree House Diner going towards Naha Airport (pic. by google)

After paying for my grocery, I saw a counter with coffee machine and some cups. On the counter was written "Service Counter". It has been a while I haven't been to this shop. I feel some things have changed.
I asked a shop assistant walking passed, "kofi wa legi de harau desuka" (do I pay at the cashier for the coffee?)"
She said, "sa-bisu deshou"!
Sa-bisu to mean "service".
When you send you car for service, that means you are doing a service for your car. So when the Japanese says sa-bisu to you it means they are doing you a service. Basically, service means free. No payment.
If you want something free, you don't say, "Give me free!"
You say, "sa-bisu kudasai!"
This is English Japanese. A kind of English only the Japanese understand.

At the counter, two elderly couple were sipping the sa-bisu kofi. As I approached I asked the lady, "tsumetai desuka" meaning is it cold?
I got from her, "hotto kohi!"
Hah, hot coffee! I should have used English in the first place, I told myself, feeling small.

See? Who says the Japanese cannot speak English. They speak English very well.

Buraku Hotto kofi sa-bisu beri naisu! (Strange but true, this is English!)


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Winter Sunflower

Winter Sunflower

Looking at the mess in the tatami room, I told myself to get out of the house, no matter the familiarity with a ship in a storm.
So, I practically pulled hubby and go up north. Not to far but it was a good rest for my head and eyes.
We reached a field of winter sunflower. That's me in my peachy cap hiding in between the flowers.
I think they grow the flowers for the seed, maybe to make cooking oil or to sell as bird's food.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Greedy for books


I buy books (the whole lot on my wish-list) whenever I return to Malaysia. I patiently wait for that time. Then read them during those quiet time alone at home. My husband warned me not to use credit cards to buy anything online. His money, so as the obedient wife, I obliged. Just a few weeks ago, I saw the movie Dr. Zhivago on the movie channel for the 3rd time. I told myself to get the book and it went on my wish-list.
At the same time, I tried to download it on the e-book sites. But some asked for US33/- and some told me to be a member and some just take like a week to download (even with my fast broadband). I gave up.
I came across Amazon.Japan and saw the price at second-hand on at Y399 plus Y250 for transport. My mouth just waters and then I looked and the payment method.
I don't have to use credit card!
I just take the Payment number given by email and input it in the payment machine at the convenient stores. That simple. Just pay cash and the book is delivered to my address.
Of course, I practically ran to the stores and make payment.
I got it today.
But hubby is mumbling something like "you still haven't start on those 15 books you bought years ago!"