Thursday, November 12, 2009


I've been cooking a little bit. A very little. I'm not much of a cook.

I made Nancy's delicious Banana and Coconut bread with Lime glaze and it was delicious! Please give it a try! It looks like I burned it in this picture but I didn't. Nancy suggested adding lime zest to the glaze but there is no way that I can find real limes in my town and I was only happy I found lime juice.

As the evenings get colder I'm sure housewives and mothers the world over make steaming soups and stews for their families and in Japan everyone makes nabe. Nabe actually means "pot" but in this case it means the meal that is inside the pot.

Nabe can be almost anything (that's why they are so popular) and various vegetables are cooked in a deep ceramic pot with soup stock and then placed on the table for everyone to dig in and eat together. It is quite a different way of eating from the normal numerous small dishes that Japanese meals usually consist of. (Well, we still have rice dishes and maybe pickle dishes...)

Nabe pots come in a variety of shapes and sizes but most are ceramic. Each area of Japan will have their specialty nabe using ingredients of the area, for example, on the coast the nabes will incorporate shellfish and seafood; some areas use a lot of chicken and green onions etc.

My nabe last night had chicken and chicken meatballs, Chinese cabbage, green onions, carrots, deep fried tofu, mushrooms, sliced icicle radish and tofu. The soup base was miso flavor. Yum! It always seems like though there are only two of us, we finish off the whole nabe but I guess there are a lot of vegetables so it is pretty healthy.

And this is a nabe that actually doesn't occur in my house but for awhile was quite popular. It seems that cats are drawn to the nabe pots and find them good napping places. A couple of years ago during the winter season, a news station asked viewers to send in neko-nabe pictures (Cat pots) and what a flood resulted. (Picture from the Internet)

My cats show no interest in my nabe pot though I have introduced it to them...

"What's the big deal about nabes? I'd much rather eat what's inside." --Chip

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