Some links and random thoughts

Here are a bunch of unrelated-to-each-other links and thoughts that have accumulated recently.

Product linkage, edible

For UK and Europe readers: Japan Centre has a sale on this week for Yamamotoyama Soy Rappu, colorful soy based wrappers that are an interesting substitute for nori seaweed when making sushi rolls. I haven't really tried them myself yet, so I placed and order and will see how they work.

And speaking of Japan Centre, they now stock Grape and Orange flavored Calpis! Ah, Calpis, the guilty pleasure of my youth. I'll be writing up an unnecessarily long and rhapsodical ode to this most curious fermented milk beverage sometime soon, before summer runs out.

Allez Cuisine into the deep

For U.S. cable TV viewers, Fine Living is going to be running a Sea Monster Week of Iron Chef episodes starting on Monday the 18th, starting off with Battle Octopus, then on to Battle King Crab on Tuesday, Battle Giant Eel on Wednesday, Battle Squid on Thursday, and ending with Battle Ashura Oyster. Sounds like good slimy fun.

Not edible, but still so sweet


Recently it's become very popular in Japan to decorate various things including cellphones and iPods, mirrors, bags, even your car's rearview mirror, with fake confectionery made of clay that look just like the real thing. They are made with various air-drying clays. Take a look at this Google image search for some amazing examples. Remember, none of what you see there is edible!

If this intrigues you or your kids, J-List/JBox has an exceedingly kawaii paper clay cake making kit aimed at children. It comes with lightweight air-drying paper clay.

Update on what's up with me and stuff

And finally, some personal notes... As I've written about here previously, I'm in the middle of the process of selling a house (actually two houses, since this is a Doppelfamilienhaus), finding a new place to live, and then eventually moving from here to there. I've tried not to let the two food sites slip into non-updated oblivion, but I haven't been able to spend as much time on them as I'd like, not to mention any kind of time consuming cooking. (My two other blogs have already gone rather quiet). Anyway, if you see a lack of answers to questions, or note the fact that most recently posted recipes are very, very simple, you know what the reason is! In the next few weeks I may be absent for some stretches so that I can go do some serious house hunting, and when we do find a new place to live it's likely things will be quite hectic for some time after, but I hope you bear with me!

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I've seen those soy wraps in stores here, but haven't bought them yet for fear they won't taste good. (And the fact that they're 3.99 a package doesn't help either. ;) I'd be real interested to hear a review on those!!!

Good luck with the house selling!

Good luck with all the house business!!

Best of luck with your new house, hope it all goes smoothly.

Both an exciting and a scary time! Hope you get some good buyers and find a lovely home to move to before too long!

I picked up a pack of those wrappers at a Japanese market near my parents house. So far I haven't even opened up the package, I keep thinking of what I might make with them and haven't decided.

They looked interesting to me, but it was the fact that they were colorful that really drew me to them, I like color.

Do you pronounce kawaii as Kah-wah-ee? If yes, that was the first word of Japanese my friend Meg taught me, and I use it ALL THE TIME. Probably since I think everything is cute.

Also, best of luck with all your real estate work - I'm a Realtor in the States, so I know first hand what a chore it can be.

Last, if you have the time, please stop by my site. I put Just Hungry at the top of my food links. Plus, I tell everyone I meet about your site - that's how good it is!

They sell the soy wrappers at the Whole Foods where I am. They're an interesting texture, like fruit leather, but not as sticky. I found them to be bland-tasting, despite the vibrant colors, and not as easy to work with. My attempts of making makizushi with the soy wrappers turned out to be a bust because they don't adhere to the rice very well. The sesame variety lost its seeds when I pulled it out of the sleeve.

I've seen people use it in bentos with shape cutters-- a cute accent with stars and moons and such. And maybe it's better with hand rolls, as depicted on the package. I'd be interested to see what you and other readers come up with.

I've got some of the soy wraps, I've seen them used to make strawberry rolls and they are delicious. I bought some myself to make desert onigiri with mochi rice, maraschino cherries, and the soy wrappers for seaweed substitute. >: Tried fruit roll-up once for the seaweed substitute, all they do is melt into a gooey mess.