Bread Roll

March 19th, Tuesday:

DSCN4414

  • Cabbage and Bacon Soup (Cabbage, Bacon, Carrot)
  • Spaghetti Napolitan (Spaghetti, Pork, Sausage, Onion, Bell Pepper)
  • Butter Broiled Salmon
  • Top Sliced Roll
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 723

The familiar Spaghetti Napolitan! Actually, this dish is a Western dish that was created in Japan. Napolitan refers to it being in a “Naples (in Italy) style” dish.

I felt today’s lunch was sort of “ma….”, but that might be because I don’t really like pasta that much. Well…. I did have a thriving passion for Knorr Alfredo pasta mix when I was at university, but that is really more akin to loving cup ramen than it is to liking pasta. By the way, I love noodles in soup, but it is just when noodles are dressed in sauce that I don’t think they are great.

Tuesday is always bread day! On bread days, the side dishes tend to be Western style dishes. You can see this easily just looking at today’s menu: a bacon, rather than fish or seaweed, based soup; the very western style Napolitan; and butter, rather than salt or koji, broiled fish. (I should mention though some people thought fish with Napolitan was a very odd combination.) Looking at the calorie count, today’s lunch is not so unusual, but on a whole bread day lunches tend to have a higher calorie count as well. However, I like school lunch bread rolls a lot, and while I adore rice and am happy to eat it everyday, occasionally having bread for school lunch is a nice change.

Anyway, the other day I was reading a book called “もっと変な給食” or “More Strange School Lunches” I found in one of the classrooms. It is mainly a collection of strange school lunches from all over Japan and sort of explanation about why the author found them weird. In between the school lunch collection are also some columns talking about issues relating to school lunch. I translated one of them for you:

Rice-based school lunches and bread-based school lunches are completely different.

Rice school lunches and bread school lunches are not the same. Not only are they different in how they influence our health, but it also has a strong connection to agriculture, the environment, and food culture.

Rice-Based School Lunch
Creates a low-fat menu
Rice has no additives
No worries about post-harvest agrichemicals
Supports local farmers
Raises food self-sufficiency
Protects Japanese food culture
Protects Japanese agriculture
Washing up requires less detergents

Bread-Based School Lunch
Creates a high-fat menu
Worries about food additives
Uses post-harvest agrichemicals
Dependence upon imported foods
Loweres food self-sufficiency
Erodes Japanese food culture
Undermines Japanese agriculture
Washing up uses more detergents

DSCN4413

キャベツとベーコンのスープ
スパゲッティナポリタン
鮭のバター焼き
背割パン
牛乳

Crab Salad

March 6th, Wednesday:

DSCN4357

  • Pork Rice Bowl (Pork, Onion, Bell Pepper, Shimeji Mushroom)
  • Milk
  • Miso Soup (Daikon Radish, Carrot)
  • Japanese-style Salad (Octopus, Cucumber, Wakame Seaweed, Imitation Crab)
  • Kcal: 822

The condition of when someone or something is sought after by many people is said “hippari-dako (stretched octopus)”. This comes from the fact that when making dried octopus, their legs are pulled out in all directions to dry them.

I am not sure what was so Japanese about today’s salad, given it was dressed in mayonnaise, but it was full of crab-mayo deliciousness. That said, it wasn’t all that popular with the students. I think a lot of them were put off by the looks of it. Also, students who dislike cucumbers are surprisingly common.

豚丼
牛乳
みそ汁
和風サラダ

Milk Maid

February 26th, Tuesday:

DSCN4320

  • Consomme Soup(Chinese Cabbage, Onion, Carrot, Ham)
  • Cod Roe Spaghetti (Spaghetti, Shrimp, Bell Pepper, Cod Roe)
  • Breaded Bean Patty
  • Milk Make (Chocolate)
  • Butter Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 815

“Milk Make” makes its appearance. Squeeze it into the milk carton through the straw hole, but before you do this, take a sip of the milk first to prevent extra milk from spilling out. Then put in the milk make, mix it well, and drink it up.

Today’s breaded bean patty had a slightly sweet taste. It wasn’t overly popular with the boys. Previously, when we have had cod roe spaghetti, there were more eggs I felt. I don’t know where the name for the chocolate milk syrups comes from: literally it is “Mirumeiku” so I thought that sounded like “milk make”. But I don’t know. It comes in a tube that looks just like the tubes of chocolate you can buy for cake decorating. In fact, I wonder if it isn’t practically the same thing. That said, I can’t drink milk, and thus I gave my milk make away, and didn’t drink it.

Speaking of milk and its derivatives, yesterday I ate a sweet. It looked like it was sweet potato sweet, but actually under the sweet potato was a great deal of whipped cream. I should have just thrown the whole sweet out when I discovered this, but no: I still ate it. So  last night and today I have a very unhappy stomach ache. WHY DO COMPANIES MAKE INEDIBLE CREAM SWEETS SO DELICIOUS LOOKING!!!! ~(>_<~)

Today's Chocolate Milk "Milk Make"

Today’s Chocolate Milk “Milk Make”

Cod Roe Spaghetti

Cod Roe Spaghetti

A picture from where I sat at the foot of the table.

A picture from where I sat at the foot of the table.

  • コンソメスープ
  • たらこスパゲッティ
  • 豆いっぱいフライ
  • ミルメイク(ココア)
  • バターパン
  • 牛乳

Meiji Period Curry!

February 13th, Wednesday:

DSCN4288

  • Old Fashioned Curry and Rice (Grilled Chikuwa, Potato, Carrot, Onion)
  • Milk
  • Boiled Vegetable Salad (Broccoli, Cabbage, Red Pepper, Yellow Pepper)
  • Spinach Omelet
  • Kcal: 989

When meat was not eaten as much as it is today, ground foods were used as an ingredient in curry.  Most representative of these are fish sausage and chikuwa. Having listened to the children of olden times, what do you think?

I like chikuwa a lot, so I enjoyed today’s curry more than usual. Curry itself is a rather heavy dish I think, so using chikuwa rather than makes it a little light I feel. Not that it seems to have any less calories. Today’s salad was decent, but without much flavour. It was dressed in sesame and made of “western vegetables”, as broccoli etc. are sometimes advertised as here.

So, today was “old-fashioned” curry, so I thought I would post a recipe I translated from a Meiji period (1873) cook book I translated:

curry

○「カレー」ノ製法ハ葱一茎生姜判箇蒜少許ヲ細末ニシ牛骼大一匙ヲ以テ煎リ水一合五タヲ加ヘ鶏海老鯛蠣赤蛙等ノモノヲ入テ能ク煮後ニ「カレー」ノ粉小一匙ヲ入煮ルコト洋一字間已ニ熟シタルトキ塩に加ヘ又小麥粉大匙二ツを水ニテ解キテ入るヘシ

As for the method for making “curry”, you should cut finely one stalk of green onion, half a ginger, and a little bit of garlic. Add 1 and a half gou water with one large spoon of ox bone added to it. Add chicken, shrimp, sea bream, oyster, or red frog and boil well. Then, put in one small spoon of “curry” flour and simmer for one Western hour. After it is well cooked, add salt and two large spoons of wheat flour to the water, so it is dissolved.

To be honest, this recipe seems a little to difficult for my poor cooking skills, I can recall only lumpy less than successful results from my days when I still attempted to make things like flour thickened sauces. But I do like cooking from historical recipes. For example, I did make a delicious castella cake from the Meiji period recipe recorded by the Kaientai:

BakumatsuCastella

 

ちょっと昔風カレーライス
牛乳
ボイル野菜サラダ
ほうれん草オムレツ

Penne Eating Contest!

December 29th, Tuesday:

DSCN4273

  • Cabbage and Ham Soup (Cabbage, Onion, Ham)
  • Penne Dressed in Meat Sauce (Penne Noodle, Pork, Onion, Carrot, Green Bean, Green Pepper)
  • Squash Croquette
  • Cocoa Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 883

Penne has a diagonally cut mouth, and since this resembles a “pen”, it is called that. The small proves on the outside of the noodle are to help hold the sauce.

Today, I think I accidentally stole Kyoto-Sensei’s lunch. He, of course, was so kind to pretend that it wasn’t so, but I still feel a bit bad about it. Today’s lunch was tasty though! Esp, I liked the western style soup. Although thinking about it, I pretty much love all soups. Penne and Squash are both pretty heavy foods, so I felt so full afterwards. One of the boys at my table today ate over two full school lunches–two milks, two rolls, two croquettes, and a ton of penne–which was amazing. Even his classmates were impressed.

キャベツとハムのスープ
ペンネのミートソースあえ
かぼちゃのコロッケ
ココアパン
牛乳

Potato Soup

December 11th, Tuesday:

DSCN4076

  • Potato Soup (Potato, Onion, Parsley)
  • Rice Noodle Stirfry (Bell Pepper, Rice Noodle, Pork, Shimeji Mushroom, Carrot, Bamboo Shoot)
  • Star Hamburger Steak
  • Butter Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 848

Bifun noodles are made from rice flour. The unsticky, long-grained Indica rice is used to give it its characteristic texture.

じゃがいものスープ
ビーフン炒め
星のハンバーグ
バターパン
牛乳

Qingjiao Rousi

November 30th, Friday:

DSCN4071

  • Slightly Thickened Egg Soup (Egg, Imitation Crab, Shiitake Mushroom, Trefoil)
  • Qingjiao Rousi (Pork, Green Bell Pepper, Bamboo Shoot)
  • Shrimp Crystalline Dumpling
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 841

Egg Usukuzu Soup is a soup that has a thin viscosity. There is also a simmered dish with the same name (usukuzu). 

Lately, it seem like we have been having Chinese-style lunches on Friday. Dishes like dumplings are generally served on Thursday (with Chinese noodles of course), so I was surprised to see it on today’s menu. Qingjiao rousi is a dish characterized by green peppers and meat. As awesome as crystalline wrapped shrimp sound, my favourite today was of course the soup. Mostly, because I really love soup. And I also really love imitation crab. Yum! Yum! “Ususkuzu” is literally “thin-starch”, so it means a soup whose broth is thickened slightly with kudzu starch. I was asking my friend about precisely what it was, and she mentioned that while they never ate usukuzu soup in her hometown in Okayama, she thinks of Kyoto when hearing the term. So it might be a somewhat locallized dish.

Soba Party

November 21st, Wednesday:

  • Furano Wine and Cheese Curry Rice (Pork, Potato, Carrot, Onion)
  • Milk
  • Boiled Vegetables Salad (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Red and Yellow Bell Pepper)
  • Omelet
  • Kcal:961

The third and last entry in the Pride of the School Lunch Centre’s Curry Rice Contest is “Furano Wine and Cheese Curry Rice” from Furano City. Please savour this curry we are proud of.

Two main agricultural enterprises of Furano city are wine and dairy products, you I am sure you can see where this curry’s inspiration comes from. That said, I didn’t actually eat school lunch today. Instead, I went to an elementary school. The 老人クラブ (Grandparent’s Club) was invited to the school and everyone made soba, inari sushi, and tsukemono together. You can see the soba made pictured above. The soba used was grown by the students at school, so over all it was a culmination of a project began last spring. The student I worked with was a tiny boy in third grade, but was very enthusiastic. When I asked him if he might want to become a soba chef, he said he would like that. He also remarked how soba was rather hard to make, but very easy to eat. So it made me happy that he understood how much work and effort goes into the food we so carelessly consume everyday.

Oh also, if you didn’t know, the origin of the term “inari sushi”. Obviously, sushi is the vinegared rice stuffed inside the bean curd pocket. Inari is the name an agricultural kami (god) whose servants are said to be foxes. Foxes (and thus Inari-sama himself) are said to be very fond of bean curd. Thus dishes which are characterized by their use of bean curd often use the word “Inari” or “Kitsune (Fox)”.

Inari sushi and many varieties of tsukemono

 

麓郷小の二宮尊徳の像
二宮様のファンだから O(≧▽≦)O

  • ふらのウィンチーズカレーライス
  • 牛乳
  • ボイル(ゆで)野菜のサラダ
  • オムレツ

 

Root Veggie Croquette

November 6th, Tuesday:

  • Consommé (Chinese Cabbage, Onion, Carrot, Pork)
  • Spaghetti Napolitan (Spaghetti, Pork, Sausage, Onion, Green Pepper)
  • Root Veggie Croquette
  • Brown Sugar Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 766

How many types of vegetables are there? Also, upon eating it, what vegetable is it? Now here’s a question: What root vegetables were used in today’s croquette?

My guess is: A base of potato with carrots, burdock, and lotsu root. However, it is slightly frightening having to guess what is in my food…

コンソメスープ
スパゲッティナポリタン
根菜コロッケ
黒糖パン
牛乳

Naupi!!!

October 12th, Friday:

  • Furano Pork Bowl (Pork, Onion, Bell Pepper)
  • Milk
  • Black Bean Tofu Miso Soup (Black Bean Tofu, Daikon Radish, Carrot)
  • Furano Veggies Namul (Bean Sprout, Carrot, Spinach)
  • Naupi
  • Kcal: 802

The last furusato kyuushoku! I generally say I don’t like Korean food, but today’s namul was really good. It was like lightly boiled veggies dressed in ground sesame. I hope they serve it again. Most my students seemed to eat it too. The tofu in today’s soup was a tasty treat too. Naupi, also called nappi, is like a monaka sweet, except instead of being filled with sweet anko, it’s filled with natto. Not enjoying the sticky texture of natto, I don’t like it so much. But naupi seems to be a very emblematic food of old Hokkaido. I feel like I should make more of an effort to develop a taste for it. I hate to say, but I think half the students in my class didn’t eat their naupi (although one boy ate like five of them, so that pretty awesome). However,  despite this waste, I still think it is good to serve in school lunch once or twice a year to remind student–or introduce them!–to their cultural heritage.

  • ふらの豚丼
  • 牛乳
  • 黒豆豆腐のみそ汁
  • ふらの野菜のナムル風
  • ナゥピー

今日の日本語:冷気あいつのり候所、ますますご成熟慶賀奉り候 Did I choose the write kanji, I wonder….