23 July 2007

Trying a new onigiri method

I liked this idea, even if it's not very green. But if you are in a hurry, making everything in one tidy packet is much quicker than trying to keep your hands wet so the rice doesn't stick to them. You also don't have to mess around with the onigiri form.

1) Mix the flavourings that you want into hot rice and turn it over a few times to cool it a bit.

2) Line a teacup or rice bowl with plastic wrap and fill with a handful of the rice mixture.

3) Push a little well into the centre and add your filling. I've used umeboshi (Japanese style pickled plums).

4) Twist the ends of the wrap together and form a ball with the rice working it together a little bit.

5) Using your first two fingers, form the three corners of the triangle.

6) Then you can untwist the plastic wrap and wrap it around the onigiri nicely so that it can be packed for lunch.

16 July 2007

Real soap

Syrian soap
Originally uploaded by Shanti, shanti.
I just love a real bar of soap. Shower gel is convenient and everything, but there's something romantic about having the real thing. You can take your time smelling them all in the shop to get just the right one. And then, when you open the paper, there's always just a little bit of soap dust that falls out onto your sleeve that you might rediscover later in the day. Sometimes, it's the wrappings themselves that are beautiful. They can be ornate or just simple and stuck together by hand with bits of glue that has squished out between the layers of paper.
This one is obviously hand-cut, and has been pressed with unknown (by me anyway) and intriguing language. It's an olive oil soap from Syria that was given to me last week by another teacher I work with who has spent time teaching in Oman. Thanks スー!

15 July 2007


My postcards in the flat
Originally uploaded by Shanti, shanti.
I've got most of my postcards from the project now, so I've finally decided to put them on Flickr. It's been really exciting waiting for the postman everyday! I'm planning another postcard project in about a month or two, so if you're interested, just say...aye!

14 July 2007

Matto's Birthday present

Matto's Birthday present
Originally uploaded by Shanti, shanti.
Yes, you will get this sometime soon, Matto, even though your birthday was last week. This is evidence that it IS actually being made! Are you excited?

Cycling along the rice paddies

Last weekend we had a respite from the tsuyu rains, and so took advantage and went out for a cycle round. I love going down this road because you are surrounded by rice fields. It's the closest you get to being in the wilderness around here. I've now lived in Japan for 2 and a half rice seasons.

06 July 2007

Du pain?

This is how the bread came out. It was really lovely and I'd use the recipe again. Today I had a sandwich made with it for lunch. That was about the nicest part of my friday!

Daisy bicycle

When I got to uni this morning and went to lock up my bicycle, I found that these little daisies had somehow attached themselves to my front wheel mudguard. Must be the end of term!

03 July 2007


This is another sort of onigiri with cool (but not very green) wrapping that keeps the nori separate from the rice until the last minute. Sorry, no video this time!

Kuroneko Yamato man, I love you!

Relief is at hand! We've received our long-awaited shipment of Vegemite. And just in time to adorn the real bread we made at the weekend!

01 July 2007

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning
Originally uploaded by Shanti, shanti.
I love the feeling you get at the end of Saturday when you realise that you actually have one more day before you have to go back to work. Although i'm still conditioned to wake up early, I try to stay in bed as long as possible drinking tea, scribbling in a journal, or reading the book I've been trying to get through for 6 months.