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So shoot me already.  Distracted by visitors, gastroporn photography and good restaurants of all persuasions, I am re-igniting my passion for cooking and this blog. Having said that, err… some random photos until I return <inserts sheepish grin> !!

OK… so I am sick. Unsurprising really, following my harrowing deadline on the 7th. My appetite is wan and the only thing I’ve felt like eating today are umeboshi, or pickled plums.

Instead, I am reading some food-related books to cheer myself up:

Another thing that is cheering me up is my new:

Canon G9

More on this when I am well!

Turns out that said deadline has morphed into another, April 30.  Following that will be another and final deadline of May 7.  Ever the procrastinator, I’ve found some more food pix from the annals of my photo library. None of them are truly blogworthy, but I guess they will serve as a good measuring stick for that faraway point in time when I *can* take pictures worthy of the foodporn moniker…

Italian dinner

It’s been a mad couple of weeks and I feel as if I have lost my cooking groove. I am trying to eat properly though, and had an ‘Italian’ themed meal late last week…

  • Wheat spaghetti, broccoli & pesto
  • Mozzarella & tomato salad doused in balsamic vinegar & EVOO
  • Grilled capsicum & eringi mushrooms on a bed of mizuna greens

I’ve been suffering from a surfeit of impending deadlines that won’t let up until April 21st. Life’s a b*? %h, I tell you. That, coupled with my non-camera status, is another reason for my recent lack of blogging.

While I can’t do anything about my deadlines, I am planning to purchase a new camera, either a Canon G9 or Canon Powershot 5 IS. (If anyone is using either of these, please comment!) I’m trying my luck bidding on Japan’s Ebay equivalent, Yahoo Auctions. So far, no good. But what I have found instead is butter… That’s right, butter.

You see, Japan is suffering from a, err… butter shortage at the moment. You can read more about it here via ‘quality’ reporting from the Japan Times:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/rss/nn20080406a2.html

I’m okay however, and have more than enough cow spread for my daily fix of Vegemite toast. Alas, others aren’t so lucky… check out the bids and prices on these Yahoo Auctions!! (NB: you need to be able to read Japanese fonts on your browser)

http://search4.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/search?p=%a5%d0%a5%bf%a1%bc&auccat=24034&f=0x2&alocale=0jp&apg=1&s1=bids&o1=a&mode=2

My response? “Japan. Always interesting, never boring!” I think I need some Vegemite toast.

Random photos

Mashed potato ABC salad Buri Rocket

L-R:

Mashed potato.

ABC Salad (asparagus, broccoli, celery)

Buri marinating in ginger and shoyu, prior to being cooked teriyaki style

Rocket/arugula.  A relative rarity here in Japan, and a bargain at ¥100 ($1AUD) for this entire bunch! Was enough for 2 x meals.

Having prepared a very Japanese meal and all, I had the best of intentions to photograph tonight’s dinner.  Alas, eating got in the way!  Next time, next time…

Spring chowder

Despite it being well into Spring, Tokyo has experienced a cold snap these last few days. To make matters worse, it’s raining – I feel guilty saying that as an Australian! – and the sky is a dull, drab gray. In order to cheer myself up a little, I recently made a Spring Chowder. Unfortunately I was not organised enough to take any pictures. I’ll make up for it in a separate post:

Spring Chowder (feeds x 4)

1.5kg cleaned clams ( I actually think you could get by with less)

3 cups water

1 tblspn light olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 streaky bacon rashers, chopped

2 white onions, sliced

1 red chilli, seeded & finely chopped

1 carrot, grated or chopped finely

1 bay leaf

2 large desiree potatoes, peeled & diced

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1 cup roughly chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley

Salt, white pepper

Crusty bread to serve

__________

Throw any any clams that remain open when you tap them. Bring 2 x cups water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add clams, cover, and steam for 2-3 minutes. Discard any that remain closed. De-shell most of the cooked clams, leaving some whole for garnish. Strain and reserve the clam liquid.

Put the olive oil, garlic and bacon in the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the bacon has browned. Add onions, chilli, carrot and bay leaf. When the onion is translucent, tip in the potatoes, clam liquid and 1 x cup of water. Cover and simmer for 35 mins. Add the celery, clams and parsley, season with salt and white pepper. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with the whole clams. Serve with crusty bread.

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