Lunch in the Office

March 5th, Tuesday:

DSCN4354

  • Creamed Corn Soup (Corn, Onion, Parsley)
  • Healthy Salad (Burdock, Carrot, Water Mustard, Goa’uld Babies)
  • Oven Baked Chicken
  • Milk Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 861

The flesh of onions is soft and includes much water. Also, the spicy part of the onion that agitates the eyes helps our blood flow well, and thus is useful for prevent lifestyle diseases.

I didn’t eat school lunch today, so above is a picture of the bento I brought to work. It consists of local “Star Dream” (星の夢) rice topped with furikake my friend gave me, with a side dish of some tuna mixed with corn and miso pickles I made from carrot and daikon. Lately I’ve been really in love with me miso pickles, being they are cheap, easy to make, and delicious. For dessert, I had half a diamond rice cake, not pictured. It’s a tradition to eat diamond rice cakes during the Festival of the Peaches, which was last Sunday. This means that when I went shopping on Monday, the leftover rice cakes were half off! so I bought one.

When I was growing up, we didn’t go to the store that often. My mother is a fan of costco, which meant we bought in bulk and used it for awhile. Similarly  my grandfather lived rather rural so in a similar manner, he would drive into town, buy necessities for a month or two and then drive back. I have a theory that this American habit stems from pioneer days when the closest store was a day or two wagon ride away. But in Japan, it is common to go to the store often, a housewife might go everyday or even more than once a day. The sale system in Japanese stores encourages this: Often they have timed sales, where an item is on sale but only for a couple hours. So you must go then to get those items. Also, there is a stronger culture of walking/ public transportation in Japan, so your strength limits how much you can buy in a single trip, although I have seen some grandmothers riding tricycles or pulling sleds filled with groceries before. And finally, I think a buying-in-bulk culture was prevented from developing by merchants directly visiting the house, which even common today.

クリームコーンスープ
健康サラダ
チキンオーブン焼き
ミルクパン
牛乳

Water Mustard

November 7th, Wednesday:

  • North Furano Raised Pork Curry and Rice (Pork, Potato, Carrot, Onion)
  • Milk
  • Healthy Salad (Burdock, Carrot, Water Mustard, Sardines)
  • Fried Dumplings
  • Kcal: 1043

Today is the beginning of the showing off of the school lunch curries of the 3 towns in the greater Furano area. To start, we have “North Furano Raised Pork Curry and Rice” of North Furano. Please relish that town’s curry.

Water Mustard is of course 水菜 (Mizuna, lit. Water Veggie).

上富良野地養豚カレーライス
牛乳
健康サラダ
焼きギョウザ

Squash Tempura

September 14th, Friday:

  • Potato Dumpling Soup (Potato, Chicken, Burdock, Trefoil, Bean Curd)
  • Minced Salmon with Spinach and Jaco Fish (Salmon, Mustard Spinach, Chinese Cabbage, Dried Sardine Babies)
  • Squash Tempura
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal:851

Seasonal food is much more delicious. Looking around you, can you feel the plenty of Autumn? Autumn may be the most delicious season of them all.

  1. Potato dumplings: Very Yummy!
  2. Jaco Fish: 😦
  3. Squash: Yummy!
  4. Rice: Always Yummy and Sweet!

A strong awareness of the seasons is part of the Japanese national character. The modern incarnation of this includes associating certain activities with the seasons. In the case of Autumn, it is usually associated with eating, sports, and reading. Eating is hardly surprising, given it’s harvest time. Sports can also be logically explained as the cool but not yet cold weather of Autumn is most suitable for physical activity. Reading doesn’t have a particular reason to my knowledge, but if you have passed your Sunday in the park reading while gold and crimson fall gently about you, I think you should be able to understand.

  • 芋団子汁
  • 小松菜とジャコの鮭そぼろ
  • かぼちゃ天ぷら
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳

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

Sugar Simmered Sardine!

May 30th, Wednesday:

  • Scallop Soup (Scallop, Tofu, Chinese Cabbage, Burdock)
  • Chinese-style Meat and Potatoes (Potato, Pork, Onion, Shimeji Mushroom, Konnyaku)
  • Sugar Simmered Sardine
  • Rice
  • Milk

As usual, the soup was delicious. I really adore soup. In fact, if I could take all my nutritional input in liquid form, I probably couldn’t be happier.  On the other hand, I am not a fan of sardines. Heian women used to blacken their teeth because the bone like quality of teeth was considered repulsive. I want to say that contact with bone was even one of the major tsumi (sins) listed in the Kojiki. The ancient Japanese knew what they were talking about. Bones are exceedingly repulsive. The time I want to come deal with bones is when summoning monsters from the abyss during unholy rites. Thus sardines, being filled with tons of irremovable tiny bones and lacking in monstrous qualities, are fish I cannot enjoy eating.

Squid Fry

May 7th, Friday:

  • Sweet Potato Soup (Chicken, Sweet Potato, Daikon Radish, Carrot, Konnyaku, Green Onions, Burdock)
  • Healthy Salad (Burdock, Carrot, Dried Sardines)
  • Squid Fry
  • Rice
  • Milk

Squid has lots of taurine. Taurine has the effect of lowing cholesterol and helping the liver work well.

Editor’s note: I personally detest the jaco (sardines) found in the Healthy Salad, but I should learn to eat them.  However, I didn’t feel too bad today because the mayonnaise drenching the salad made it not so healthy, I think.

Chicken Katsu

April 27th, Friday:

  • Country Soup (Fried Tofu, Daikon Radish, Carrot, Shiitake Mushroom, Konnyaku, Burdock)
  • Dressed Minced Salmon with Jaco and Spinach (Salmon, Spinach, Chinese Cabbage, Dried Sardines)
  • Chicken Katsu
  • Rice
  • Milk

Note: Those who are growing, especially thos who exercise a lot, easily have a shortage of blood and become anemic. Today’s spinach includes lots of iron, which a sufficiency in prevents anaemia.