July 25th, Wednesday:

  • Chicken Curry (Chicken, Potato, Carrot, Onion)
  • Milk
  • Mango Jelly with Nata de Coco (Mango Jelly, Nata de Coco, Peach)
  • Maize

In Hokkaido, we call toumorokoshi (maize) “toukibi”, but in other parts of Japan, there are various ways people say it, such as “toutoko” and “tokkibi”. Aren’t the differences between regions interesting!

It’s the last day of the first trimester, so I didn’t eat school lunch today. But I wish I could eat Mango Jelly. Just as there are different words for maize in Japan, there are different words in English too.
In the US, most people called maize corn. But actually the word “corn” refers the staple grain of a people. Thus Japanese corn is technically rice, and British corn is technically wheat. The reason maize is often called corn started as an abbreviation of the term “Indian Corn”, which of course would be maize. The word maize itself is commonly used in Britian and comes to English from the language of the Carribean indigiedents through Spanish.
But back to the Japanese language, what I wonder is what is the difference between 「とうもろこし」and「コーン」。

Have a nice summer break!

  • チキンカレー
  • 牛乳
  • マンゴーゼリーとナタデココ
  • とうもろこし

German Potato

July 24th, Tuesday:

  • Tomato and Egg Soup (Onion, Egg, Parsley, Ham)
  • German Potato (Potato, Bacon)
  • Cheeseburger Patty
  • Butter Bread
  • Milk

The “German” in “German Potato” means “Duits”. The German Potato is a a potato dish made in Germany.

A hearty lunch and German Potato is so tasty! Kyuushoku Center knows how to do tomatoes in soup right, too. A slight note on my above translation. The food “German Potato” is written exactly like that in katakana. But the normal term for “German” in Japanese is “Duits”, which is what Germany calls herself.

By the way, the oil server in my house started making unusual loud noises last night, but I figured I would wait a day or two to see if it wouldn’t stop. Today at work, I was informed someone at city hall had discovered my oil tank was leaking and kindly fixed it for me. So my problem was fixed before I even reported it. I don’t know who it was that someone was, but Thank You so much city hall person!!! I love you!

  • トマトと卵のスープ
  • ジャーマンポテト
  • チーズインハンバーグ
  • バターパン
  • 牛乳


July 23rd, Monday:

  • Miso Soup (Potato, Wakame Seaweed)
  • Mizore Simmered Shrimp and Mini Fried Tofus (Fried Tofu, Shrimp, Soy Bean, Daikon Radish)
  • Breaded Teriyaki Mahimahi
  • Rice
  • Milk

Mahimahi, as a fish of the dolphin family. lives in the warm oceans of the world. Since it’s meat contains very little fat, it is often eaten fried or as meunière.

The English term for Mahimahi is “dolphin fish”, but since everyone is like, “Aw, dolphins are so cute! I could never eat a dolphin fish!!!!” most people call it by its Hawaiian name, “mahimahi”.

BTW, I liked the Mizore Simmer a lot.

  • みそ汁
  • ミニ厚揚げとえびのみぞれ煮
  • シイラ照焼味フライ
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳

Miso Grilled Mackerel

July 20th, Friday:

  • Miso Soup (Onion, Cabbage, Carrot)
  • Eggplant and Pork Soy Sauce Stir-fry (Pork, Eggplant, Green Bean, Bell Pepper)
  • Miso Grilled Mackerel
  • Rice
  • Milk

Eggplants, even among the summer vegetables, are exceptionally good for cooling down the body. There may be many people who hate eggplants, but we recommend them as a food for people who can’t endure the heat.

I’m afraid I missed about a week’s worth of lunch translations, for which I am very sorry.  Having too much on my plate, so to speak, is a weakness of mine, and how I hate being so busy! Anyway, I like my work. On a whole, my middle schoolers are a delight to work with: even if they don’t like English, they are usually interested in me as a young foreigner, and I think that that is something valuable. Recently, I’ve also been doing an evening “English Conversation” (eikaiwa) class. Doing such a class is entirely different from my normal work. During my everyday work at JH schools, there is a lot of focus on making English fun. These students must learn English, whether they like or not, so I am here to help ease the pain that is learning English and help my students discover the wonder and beauty that is different cultures (ie: cultural exchange). Eikaiwa students (adults, I mean), on the other hand, like English. That’s why they  signed up for the class. Learning English is their hobby. I must confess I don’t quite understand this.

As a teenager, I did quite a bit dabbling in languages, mostly dead. In fifth grade, I taught myself through a stamp kit to phonetically read Egyptian hieroglyphs (a surprisingly useful skill). In ninth grade I kept an active correspondence with my friends and a certain English teacher, quite honestly, all written in the Tengwar alphabet. At one point I was working through an antiquated German textbook, and then my interest veered into Gothic (yes, the language of that forgotten germanic tribe). At university, I took two years of “Reading Latin”, and signed up for an extremely fascinating class of Ancient Egyptian. Given my diverse language dabbling, I’d think I’d understand perfectly my eikaiwa students. But I don’t. And here is why I think so: I want to learn to read and write. Nearly every language I have dabbled in significantly has been a dead language: a language no one speaks anymore. And naturally “English Conversation” students want to learn to converse, that is talk. It’s an interesting difference, I think. One that merits more thought. That is, assuming I am not the only creature under Heaven who likes reading and writing, but not talking…. :/

  • みそ汁
  • なすと豚肉の醤油炒め
  • さばのみそ焼き
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳

Chicken Udon

July 19th,  Thursday:

  • Chicken Udon (Chicken, Naruto Surimi, Onion, Carrot, Green Onion, Bean Curd)
  • Milk
  • Pancake
  • Furano Melon

The melons raised on the expansive lands of Furano have a delicious sweetness. We have Furano melon in school lunch only during this season. Please eat it and enjoy it’s seasonal deliciousness. 

I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve had chicken udon, and so I really enjoyed it. Furano melon is, of course, sweet and delicious. However, when ever I eat melon it makes my mouth itch, which is sort of weird, but may be related to my seasonal allergies… The “pancake” was made with whole wheat (I think) and tasted pretty wheat-ish. The maple syrup flavoured cream sandwiched inside was pretty good though.

  • かしわうどん
  • 牛乳
  • パンケーキ
  • ふらのメロン

Pork Kimchi on Rice

July 18th, Wednesday:

  • Pork Kimchi on Rice (Pork, Egg, Chinese Cabbage, Carrot, Green Onion, Sesame)
  • Milk
  • Miso Soup (Daikon Radish, Tofu, Green Onion)
  • Salt Grilled Rockfish

Today in our lunch han, we made an informal poll of whether one likes meat or fish better. Of the three girls and two boys, everyone said “meat” except for one boy. One of the girls said she didn’t like fish because of the bones. As I’ve mentioned my extraordinary dislike for eating bones previously, I am sure you already know I have much sympathy for that dislike. However, I still said I preferred fish. In Japan, meat is usually sold already cleanly cut up in pieces and deboned, but fish is sold whole often with head and tail still attached. But I remember as a child watching my mother stick her hand up inside the chicken and pull out its guts while preparing it for dinner. And that’s chicken. We didn’t eat red meat at home, but if had, I am sure it’s preparation would have been even grosser. So my student might feel meat is cleaner and easier to eat than fish, but it’s not, at least in America.

  • 豚キムチ丼
  • 牛乳
  • みそ汁
  • メバル塩焼き


July 17th, Tuesday:

  • Consommé (Cabbage, Onion, Carrot, Ham)
  • Spaghetti Dressed with Meat Sauce (Spaghetti, Pork, Onion, Green Bean)
  • Fried Corn Patty
  • Top Sliced Roll
  • Milk

The roll today was debatably supposed to be filled with the Spaghetti and eaten like a sandwich, some what reminiscent of yakisoba bread.

BTW, we made mini pizza’s using gyoza skins and caramel custard pudding in home economics today.

  • コンソメスープ
  • スパゲッティメートソース和え
  • コーンたっぷりフライ
  • 背割りパン
  • 牛乳

Chop Suey

July 13th, Friday:

  • Miso Soup (Onion, Cabbage, Pearl Crouton)
  • Chop Suey (Pork, Shrimp, Squid, Bell Pepper, Chinese Cabbage, Cloud Ear Mushroom, Bamboo Shoort, Carrot, Quail Egg)
  • Deep-Fried Tofu
  • Rice
  • Milk

Chop Suey (lit. Eight Treasures of Ingredients) is a chinese dish made by frying many types of meat, fish, and vegetables and then thickening it with potato starch. If you put sauce from the chop suey on top of today’s tofu, it tastes delicious.

  • みそ汁
  • 八宝菜
  • 揚げだし豆腐
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳

Crystalline Dumpling

July 12th, Thursday:

  • Veggie Miso Ramen (Pork, Bean Sprout, Bamboo Shoot, Chinese Cabbage, Carrot, Onion)
  • Milk
  • Shrimp Crystalline Dumpling
  • Frozen Mandarin

Japan vies for first or second place for the country that consumes the most shrimp. The Japanese can enjoy a plentiful variety of shrimp dishes like sushi and tempura.

Koppe Pan?

  • みそ野菜ラーメン
  • 牛乳
  • えびの水晶包み
  • 冷凍みかん

Tomato Omelet

July 11th, Wednesday:

  • Summer Vegetables Curry (Pork, Kabocha, Carrot, Eggplant, Zucchini, Bell Pepper)
  • Milk
  • Healthy Salad (Burdock, Carrot, Dried Sardine, Sesame)
  • Tomato Omelet

Zucchini has a thin long shape like a cucumber, but actually it is related to the kabocha squash. Not only the fruit but also the flower of this vegetable is eaten during the summer season.

There is no English class today, so I didn’t eat school lunch. I’m sorry. But actually, I despise dried sardines (chirimen jako), so maybe I am not that sorry.

By the way, while most haole people don’t associate curry with omelets, it is a very popular combination. In fact, “omukare” or omelet curry and rice is a specialty in my town here. So I stole the above picture from a local restaurant called The Pavilion of Cheerful Comfort (Shoraku-tei).

  • 夏野菜のカレーライス
  • 牛乳
  • 健康サラダ
  • トマトオムレツ