A Happy New Year

I suppose this will be the last article (comments will not be accepted after 2011/12/31).
Abi has come back from desert and we'll be leaving Gothenburg in a week. I still don't feel like we're moving but I already packed most of our stuff. We will stay in another city in Sweden for a while, and then move to Iran. I have no idea how long it will take for us to get to Iran but hope we enjoy life wherever we are. Hoping you the same.


A Happy New Year! Kumiko and Abi


It's been a month since Abi left for Iran (or desert). And I almost lost contact with him... But I'm doing quite well!

ingredients for this week

I went to Kviberg's market alone for the second time. To my surprise, I've met some Japanese there, for the first time! A couple and a student. They said they'll be living in Gothenburg for a year. Lycka till!

Something special from this week was sweet potato. Sweet potato you can get in Sweden is not the same one as we eat in Japan. Satsumaimo is much more crumbly or flaky but this orange sweet potato we eat in Sweden is watery and less sweet. I will make this dish imoringo anyway when I find good sweet potatoes. A favourite dish from my mother's recipe.


Cut sweet potatoes and apples in thick slices.


Add raisins and cook until it's soft. Done! How simple is that? But it's a real good dish for a snack, I promise. It's even good when it's chilled.


You should add some little water in the beginning so that it won't burn on the bottom. The juice will run out from the ingredients after a while so the water should be really little. Some honey or butter is also good to add as an extra flavour.
It's called imoringo - imo means potato and ringo apple in Japanese. Enjoy!


Pomegranate is a fascinating fruit. Its colour is attractive and the shape is unique. I was surprised when I first tasted a pomegranate from Iran because it was very sweet. Japanese pomegranate tastes sour and I don't think I can eat the whole fruit myself.

the ones in the right box

How to eat? Here's what I learned from Abi - first cut the top and the bottom of the fruit. Then notch three or four parts on the side, from top to bottom. Twist the fruit to open it. Then it's easy to remove fruits. You shouldn't remove the seeds but eat them because the seeds will clean-up your intestines.
He bought a lot of pomegranates before he left for Iran and now it's up to me to eat them up. The only problem of pomegranate is that it's a little troublesome to eat so I tried a better method.


Remove the fruits and gather them in a bowl. It would be a perfect treat to eat with a spoon after dinner. In this way, your shirt won't get stains, too.

origami box


A Japanese friend of mine taught me about this - origami box. She made more than fifty of it (!) to give away to charity for children in Fukushima, Japan. The box and the lid is made from 12 separate (but same size) papers.



Here's how to make. I didn't find it difficult to follow, probably because I'm used to do origami (?). The word origami, by the way, means "fold" (oru) and "paper: (kami) and they're specially cut in squares for this purpose. I had some origami at home but my friend said that she didn't use origami to make her boxes. By cutting them into squares, you can use any kind of paper, I suppose.

It's a tiny gift box.

Why do my bread crack?

My bread baking has been going pretty well for the last couple of times. But then this came back again - mushroom bread!


It's really disappointing when you find your bread having cracks around, or even on bottom. But I think I found out the reason why it cracks. I suppose it happens when the dough is not yeast/inflated enough. Since I don't use any natural yeast but just sourdough, I have to be very careful to see the appropriate time to put dough in the oven. This time, I've put it too early although it seemed not inflated enough. Do you know why? I was in a hurry to put the dough in the oven and start eating because this was done.

spicy grilled chicken and veges


Baking two different dished at the same time - I was doing this to save energy but I've decided to change the method after this. I've had enough with mushroom bread!

But the inside of bread was ok (good).

schlumbergera and stapelia

I'm so happy to see some of our plants put forth its buds. Why at this time of the year? Probably because of the heating that started working a while ago.



It's called schlumbergera, which is originally from Brazil. It used to give flowers twice a year, around Christmas and Easter, as I remember. But after we divided it into some small pots, they became weaker and weaker and in the end stopped giving flowers. So I put them altogether in a same pot again last spring and here's the result. I'm so glad and grateful that they're back.


Here's another one that gives sense of a new life. You can see some light-green parts at the points and even one on the stem, which are growing. The plant is called stapelia and it's originally from South Africa. This also and always make us happy when it gives flowers.



Its aroma is a kind of bad... but it looks fabulous, doesn't it? Texture of the flower is nice and smooth, too.

Those two plants have always been giving me a big pleasure and I was thinking of a nice coincidence. I have two important friends who I met in Gothenburg, who come from the same countries as those flowers. Brazil and South Africa.


Leaves are falling. Trees looked so colorful a week before but now they all seem to lose them. Oh no... the winter is coming. I have to upload the pictures before that.



Good morning!

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