Following up on my previous post regarding my health condition, test results are out and seem like I have to go through surgery. Hopefully they won't keep me in the hospital for so long, but I will have to close my cooking class in June (Last class will be my wagashi class on June 2nd.)
I will resume taking bookings around end June depending on how I'm recovering. I apologize for the inconvenience and hope to see you all soon!
For some reason, people started to become very interested in making wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets, or is it that they have suddenly noticed that I have a class on it? For the past ten days I've held 4 wagashi classes including a wagashi birthday party for 7 year old girls.
The wagashi, nirikiri sweets in particular are very seasonal so the motifs will differ between April and May. April is all about sakura, cherry blossoms and May will be collar iris and wisteria. But still we will be making the sakura flower as it is the most popular. I've also added a design that resembles a river which runs in front of my house.
The class will start off by learning how to make the nerikiri dough as well as explanation on the ingredients used for making the wagashi. We will be making 4 different kinds of nerikiri sweets which you can take home in a box or have it with matcha tea after class. For more details on this class please visit this page.
As I've been not well lately, and due to my health condition, I will not be able to take new bookings for the time being. I will update my status in Mid-May when I get the full diagnosis and know if I need to go thru surgery. Please check my website again.
For those of you who have already booked class in May/June, I will contact you individually if I need to cancel the class.
I apologize for your inconveniences and hope to do more class when I have recovered.
Seems like wagashi(Japanese Traditional Sweets) is the new trend. I've been getting a lot of requests for a wagashi class this month, so I set up a couple of classes.
Come and explore the art of wagashi and learn to make them yourself. You will be making 4 pieces of wagashi in this class which you may taste after class with a bowl of matcha green tea or take home with you in a box.
Classes scheduled in April and May:
Yesterday was "Premium Friday" in Japan. For those of you who have no clue what this is, it is a government backed campaign to boost consumer spending after work by encouraging workers to leave early on the last Friday of the month , which just started in February.
This month the "Premium Friday" happened to fall on the last day of the Fiscal Year, so I doubt that the second Premium Friday contributed much for consumer spending except for farewell parties for those leaving the company.
For my cooking class, I had a group of British Company workers come to do a team building activity by cooking. They split up into 3 groups to make three kinds of gyoza dumplings. I hope they enjoyed their Premium Friday Evening!
Yesterday, I finally had some time to go down to Asakusa to buy a new wallet that I have been wanting to for several months. The shop is off of Nakamise Shopping street that stretches from the Sensoji Shrine.
This is a traditional handcrafted and handpainted white leather that dates back to the 1800's originating in Himeji city, Hyogo Pref, which is actually my husband's home town. I just love all the patterns from traditional to modern that are all beautifully painted by the artisans. I really had a hard time deciding which one to pick!
Bukoya Oozeki Website (In English)
Simply Oishii Japanese Cooking Class is now featured in ImChef, an information website for cooking classes across Japan. This new service, developed by a group of young entrepreneurs is aimed at giving overall information about cooking classes held in English for foreigners across Japan. I think this is the first ever of that kind which I find quite helpful for not only foreigners looking for cooking classes but also for cooking instructors like me who would like to increase exposure apart from our own website.
They have created a page to introduce my cooking class and also a nice short video showing the experience. I hope this gives more insight on my classes.
Today was a Chirashizushi class. Chirashizushi is a type of sushi that is served on a plate with toppings scattered on the sushi rice. Chirashi or Chirasu in Japanese means to "scatter". This is a typical Girls day dish, which falls on the 3rd of March every year to celebrate the well being of the girl(s) in the family.
Although the Chirashizushi is eaten all year round, the girls day Chirashizushi is topped with ingredients that symbolizes good fortune. For instance, the shrimp symbolizes, longevity as the bent shape resembles an elderly person. The lotus root symbolizes good future as you can look through the holes, the kinshitamago (shredded eggs) symbolizes gold, the beans (in most cases it will be snow peas) symbolizes hard work. And especially for girls day we decorate the sushi with sakura dembu, a pink colored dried and shredded fish which symbolizes a cherry blossom.
We also made clam soup which symbolizes happy marriage as there is only one match for a set of clam shells. The class finished off with a sakura mochi, which is also a girls day dish.
Most of the Cherry Trees in Japan are Somei-yoshino, which bloom about the same time, end of March to beginning of April in Tokyo. But if you are not in Tokyo during that period, you can still enjoy the Kawazu-zakura which has a slightly darker pink flower blooms earlier.
Today, I spotted a Facebook post from my neighbor who had a photo of the Kawazu-zakura in our neighboring park. So, I set off with my 10 year-old son for my first ohanami. (I needed the exercise too)
The cheery trees were in full bloom - and contrary to the somei-yoshino, the Kawazu-zakura lasts longer so you may be able to enjoy the ohanami for another week or two.
The park is called Rinshi-no-mori -koen. It used be an experimental nursery, established in 1900 by the Agriculture Agency. Later it came under the management of the Forestry Agency and was called the Ringyo Shikenjo (forestry research station). It is full of trees and wildlife, you cannot believe it is in the center of Tokyo.
We used to come here a lot when my two boys were much young as it has two playgrounds and a splash pool. They hunted for Kabutomushi (Japanese Beetle) and crayfishes in the summer. For more details of this park, please visit this article by Bestlivingjapan
Those of you living in central Tokyo may have already noticed that there are so many large scale supermarkets in the area. Especially the once that have a big parking lot. So, ever since the Himonya Daiei closed down for renovation, all my friends in the Meguro area looked forward for the Grand Opening of the new AEON Style that took over Daiei.
I finally had the chance to take a look at the new shop yesterday, and here are my findings:
- Overall, there wasn't a major change. There is a Starbucks and a Cafe/Bar on the second floor.
- AEON Liquor shop on the second floor has a good selection of wine and beer and other alcoholic beverages
- As the Upper floors are still under renovation, you can only buy women's clothing and not children's or men's clothing.
- There is a wide selection of kitchen tools and household goods that I found quite amusing on the 4th floor.
- The spice and condiment section is huge and the selection is vast. This is what amused me the most.
- The selection for organic products was large compared to other supermarkets. You can even get organic spices.
- The meat selection is quite good. They have Tasmanian Beef, Iberico Pork, New Zealand Lamb, Hungarian Duck and much more. Be there after 6 pm for a bargain as everything with less than 2 days till the expiration date will be discounted 20% - 30% off.
- The selection of cheese is pretty good and if you are lucky you can get cheese that are close to the best before date at a discounted price. I was tempted to buy the brie cheese at 50% off.
- The basement parking space is gone and you have to park in the open air which means you don't want to go there on a rainy day. (You might need to walk a few blocks on the weekends when that closes parking lot is full). You get free 2 hours parking if you buy more that 1500 yen.
AEON Style Himonya Website (English)
I'm Miyuki and I teach Japanese Home cooking at my home in Tokyo.