Archives for posts with tag: Cooking

I don’t usually swear.

I just don’t feel that it’s necessary in daily life. In fact, I think it sounds pretty crass when you curse all the time. I have friends who do it, it’s fine, no judgment. I just usually don’t. I do, however, get that there are situations in which a swear word is actually the best option to perfectly describe what is going on. Like when you flip your half-cooked grilled cheese sandwich onto the lit burner instead of into the fry pan.

Then a few f-bombs actually feel pretty good.

Fannie May

The Fannie May traditional assortment is certainly nothing to turn your nose up at.

Valentine’s Day is a big business holiday in Japan.  And just as in the U.S., chocolate  is a bestseller.  While you will never hear me complain about receiving some good old Fannie May, I have to admit that the creativity and artistry that goes into Japanese Valentine’s Day goes far above and beyond what we Americans are most familiar with.



Even though the chocolates sold in the stores are beautiful, many young women like a more personal touch.  It’s very common to make your own chocolates to hand out to friends, boyfriends, and co-workers.  But just because you went that extra mile for your crush, ladies, don’t expect anything back just yet.  In Japan, February 14th is the day women give chocolate to men.  Men aren’t expected to reciprocate until White Day on March 14th.   Why is it called White Day?  Well, the gifts are usually white.  I asked a Japanese friend once what kind of white gifts are given and she told me that marshmallows are common.  Which I think is just terrible.  You slave over a hot stove melting chocolate and lovingly pouring it into molds all night, and a month later he hands you a bag of marshmallows?  You’d better hope that’s not an indication of how the rest of the relationship is going to go.

So, I’ve been making cakes for our cafe (Cafe Joyful) recently.  I have never had a problem until the last 2 weeks.  After a month-long absence, due mainly to an incredibly hectic schedule with end of the semester stuff, PM, and visiting friends, I finally baked a delicious apple cake one fine Tuesday AM.  I took the cake out, noticed it’s beautiful golden-brown color and mouth-watering aroma, and walked it over to Cafe Joyful.  Only to discover that the cafe was closed for a 3-day holiday.  Then this week, I again made the apple cake, using the same ingredients, same oven, same temperature, same pan for crying out loud.    And.  It.  Burned.  Seriously burned.  As in smoke-pouring-out-of-the-oven-burned.  After only 15 of the required 40 minutes of baking time, someone came downstairs to fetch me.  I was told there were even some flames.  It was tragic, annoying, bewildering, embarrassing.  Next week I will try one more time to bake a cake for the cafe (NOT an apple cake, no apples even in the kitchen near the cake).  If there is yet another incident that attempts to deter my efforts, I will conclude that my cake-baking days are over.  As they say, 3 strikes, you’re out.