Midwinter Soup

November 18th, Tuesday:

DSCN4094

  • Midwinter Soup (Kabocha Squash, Chestnut, Rice Cake, Adzuki Beans)
  • Chicken Vegetable Salad (Chicken, Wakame Seaweed, Cucumber, Cabbage, Bean Sprout, Carrot)
  • Cabbage and Mince Breaded Patty
  • Side Sliced Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 908

It is a tradition eating kabocha on Winter Solstice will help against bad luck and sickness. The kabocha we use were grown by everyone at Jukai Intermediate School.  Please enjoy it!

If you have read my “about” page, you will know that my favourite school lunch item is today’s touji shiruko (Midwinter Soup). They don’t serve it every year, so I am so happy I can eat again. Anyway, shiruko is a sweet adzuki soup with mochi in it, and on touji, kabocha is added to the soup as well. It is really quite sweet so while many girls like it, some of the boys finding it too cloying to eat. Today it was served with bread, which is a little unusual, but many of the students in my class said bread was better than rice. Eating bread with shiruko made it just like eating anpan. I don’t especially like anpan, so maybe I would have preferred rice.

The rest of school lunch was tasty too. The mince patty had a light taste of chives, which was nice and the salad was not a Western-style raw salad, but rather the Japanese-style salad consisting of blanched veggies and dressed in a white sesame sauce. Speaking of salads, I’ve finally realized that raw foods–be they meat, fish, or vegetables–and I are not meant for each other. Not only do I just not like foods raw, but they tend to upset my stomach as well.  So yeah, I was happy eating today’s Japanese-style salad.

A close up of today's Toji Shiruko. You can see some adzuki, mochi, and kabocha resting on my spoon.

A close up of today’s Toji Shiruko. You can see some adzuki, mochi, and kabocha resting on my spoon.

  • 冬至しるこ
  • 野菜とチキンのサラダ
  • キャベツ入りメンチカツ
  • よこ割りぱん
  • 牛乳
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Baked Chestnut Croquette

November 29th, Thursday:

  • Veggie Shoyu Ramen (Pork, Bean Sprout, Chinese Cabbage, Bamboo Shoot, Green Onion, Carrot)
  • Milk
  • Baked Chestnut Croquette
  • Japanese Pear Jelly
  • Kcal: 791

The chestnut croquette was made using chestnuts, which are a symbol of Autumn. Besides sweet chestnuts, we used potatoes and sweet potatoes  to give it a slightly sweet taste. Also, since it is shaped like a chestnut, it makes  a very cute croquette.

I think I have talked about this before, but Japanese pears and western pears (La France Pears) are very different, the former somewhat resembling an apple in taste and appearance. But they are still delicious.

  • しょうゆ野菜ラーメン
  • 牛乳
  • 焼き栗コロッケ
  • 和なしゼリー

Autumn Full Stew

November 13th, Tuesday:

  • Autumn Full Stew (Salmon, Chestnut, Shimeji Mushroom, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Parsley)
  • German Potato (Potato, Bacon)
  • Breaded Sausage
  • Top Sliced Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 820

Today’s stew uses Autumn ingredients. Everyone, when you hear of Autumn ingredients, what do you think of? Modern times are when foods are plentiful and we can get any food regardless of the season. This extravagance is also saddening.

This time of year, the market I always go is selling many delicious and very inexpensive vegetables grown in my town. Indeed, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the wonderful of this. When I notice all this abundance of the Autumn, I also think of the amazing extravagance that characterizes modern times. Even in the middle of winter, I can eat papaya and pineapples. Even in the middle of summer, I can indulge in as much shave ice as I want. This makes life so easy to live, but it has become easy to lose the seasonal awareness and gratitude that plays an important part in making us correct persons. So as our school lunch menu reminds us: Food is plentiful, but the extravagance is also saddening. So let’s make an effort of eat seasonal and local foods!

That said, today’s Autumn stew was really tasty!! Yum! Yum!

秋いっぱいシチュー
ジャーマンポテト
ソーセージかつ
背割りパン
牛乳

Chestnut Squash

November 8th, Thursday:

  • Wakame Udon (Chicken, Wakame Seaweed, Naruto Surimi, Onion, Bean Curd, Carrot, Green Onion)
  • Milk
  • Fried Chestnut Squash Roll
  • Orange Jelly
  • Kcal: 734

This the first time we’ve had Chestnut Squash Roll. Using chestnut squash that we can enjoy the sweetness of kabocha with, it is then wrapped with surimi and fried.

I wanted to eat Chestnut  Squash Roll, but instead I was very sick. 😦

わかめうどん
牛乳
栗かぼちゃロールフライ
オレンジゼリー

Creamy Chestnut Stew

September 25th, Tuesday:

  • Creamy Chestnut Stew (Pork, Chestnut, Corn, Carrot, Onion, Broccoli)
  • Chinese Salad (Tuna, Daikon Radish, Cucumber, Wakame Seaweed)
  • Lemon Basil Chick Bake
  • Butter Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 852

Chestnuts originate from Japan and the southern part of the Korean peninsula. Chestnuts that grow wild are called shibakuri (brush chestnuts) or yamakuri (mountain chestnuts).

Today’s Chinese salad had a cool, healthy taste that was surprisingly good, but I am not sure what makes it Chinese.  I have never been to China and know nothing about Chinese food, but at most the chinese-style restaurants I have been to, there have been an abundance of  dishes coated with a sort of slimy sauce. (I apologise to Chinese people for making such a mean statement.) Today’s salad didn’t have a sauce like that at all, which was a good thing. Also while I don’t like meat/poultry, for being a chicken, the Lemon Basil Chicken was pretty good. Finally, the name of today’s stew is actually a sort of pun in Japanese. “Kuri” means chestnut and “kurimu” means cream: So the name of the stew was actually “kuriiiiimu stew”.  Yum! Yum!

So, I grew up on an tropical island and there were no chestnuts there. I had never eaten a chestnut, never even seen a chestnut, until I came to Japan. But that is natural. The weird part is that even as a child I was fairly well acquainted with what a chestnut was. Because there is that Christmas song: “Chestnuts roasting on a open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose….” Why do I know that song? It’s about snow and cold weather. My hometown is 20 degrees away from the equator! The answer: globalization. Or colonialism. They are actually pretty similar things. The fact that I can know about chestnuts even having grown up in the tropics is pretty awesome, until I considered what sort of native culture was crushed to make room for this alien information….

  • 栗ぃ~むシチュー
  • 中華サラダ
  • 若鶏のレモンバジル焼き
  • バターパン
  • 牛乳