Baked Pudding Tart

February 21st, Thursday:
  • Kenchin Udon (Udon, Bamboo Shoot, Spinach, Shimeji Mushrooms, Bean Curd, Carrot, Daikon Radishes, Green Onion, Plum Gluten, Konnyaku)
  • Milk
  • Local Squash and Mincemeat Fry
  • Baked Pudding Tart
  • Kcal: 724
The much anticipated dessert of today, precisely because it is so rare, is Baked Pudding Tart! It is very often requested. Is the secret to its popularity the suitability between the tart shell and the baked pudding?
Udon is pretty much always delicious, which its yummy vegetables, light broth, and fat noodles. Nom, nom, nom. The kabocha squash Fry was rather sweet, so I was surprised to know it had mincemeat in it. It seamed mostly kabocha. And of course, the Baked Pudding Tart was chosen as today’s favourite dish during the student radio program during lunch.
Excepting elementary schools, I visit seven schools. However all these schools are under the same board of education so the school lunch is the same. But normal teachers must change schools every six years or so. I was speaking to one of my teachers about school lunch and she said that she felt the school lunch in this area was rather on the lower end of school lunch quality, she felt the lunches in Asahikawa and other districts were better. So I thought it was interesting to hear her opinion.


Penne Eating Contest!

December 29th, Tuesday:


  • 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.



January 17th, Thursday:


  • Kashiwa Udon (Chicken, Naruto Surimi, Egg, Carrot, Onion, Bean Curd)
  • Milk
  • Squash Dumpling
  • Yogurt
  • Kcal: 755

“Kashiwa Udon” is udon with chicken meat in it. An udon dish from Nothern Kyuushuu, chicken meat is called “kashiwa” there.

I like udon a lot. It has a delicious fairly light broth and the noodles are wonderfully soft and chewy. It is just a pleasent food to eat. The other day, I was reading a historical recipe that called for うどん粉 or udon flour. Looking at the market, all the flour was marked soft, medium, or hard protein: none of it was marked “udon”. So I turned to that infallible font of knowledge: wikipedia. And here is what I found out.

Soft flour was unknown in Japan before the Meiji period and it wasn’t used much until after the war. Hard flour, on the other hand, was mostly used in ramen making. The most popular wheat flour was medium flour (in haole language we call that “all purpose flour”) and since the most common wheat-using dish was udon, this is called “udon flour”.

Also of interest was the difference between “udon flour” and “meriken flour”. They are both medium flours, but udon flour is grown in Japan and whiter in colour, while merikan flour is an off-white and of course, imported from America.


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. 😦


Mountain Veggies!

October 11th, Thursday:

  • Udon with Meat and Mountain Veggies Sent from Shimukappu (Butterbur, Fernbrake, Bamboo Shoot, Winter Mushroom, Signorina Mushroom, Green Onion, Pork)
  • Milk
  • Furano Minced Meat Dumplings
  • Furano Wheat Kabocha Cookies
  • Kcal: 708

Again, “furusato kyuushoku”. Warabi (fernbrake) is more commonly translated as “bracken” in English, but since the term bracken immediately brings up the image of “bracken water”–not a good thing–I feel fernbrake has a more appetising sound. Signorina Mushrooms are “maitake” in Japanese, which means something like twirling mushroom. The cookies were handmade apparently… they skipped the factory.

  • 占冠から届いた山菜とお肉のうどん
  • 牛乳
  • ふらの荒挽き肉しゅうまい
  • ふらの小麦のかぼちゃクッキー

Carrot Jelly

October 9th, Tuesday:

  • Jukai JHS Plenny’o Squash Soup (Kabocha Squash, Onion)
  • Pork Chops (Pork, Onion, Carrot, Shiitake Mushroom)
  • Furano Colourful Vegetables Salad (Cabbage, Onion, Bell Pepper, Yellow Pepper, Carrot, Cucumber)
  • Carrot Jelly
  • Furano Wheat Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 741
 This week is “furusato kyuushoku” or local school lunch. What this means is that the ingredients mainly come from the local area, rather than being brought in from who knows where. For example, today’s soup was made with pumpkins that were grown by the students I taught today in the field behind the school. From what I understand, back in the day school lunch used always be made with very local ingredients, but an increasingly integrated world has made this no longer cost effective. Of course, back in the day, students also had to bring their own coal to school to power the furnace….
Anyway, Jukai’s kabocha program is pretty awesome. Every year, the students have classes where they plant, grow, and then harvest the kabocha themselves. And it is a lot of kabocha: not just a token couple for each student, but a serious agricultural enterprise  They then sell them at a local produce stand or other places. One year they made up kabocha dumplings, decided the size and price, and sold them at Furano Marche. I think it is a really good program, especially for a rural school, since it not only gives them an awareness of how  the food they eat everyday gets to them, but also gives them useful experience and skills. I hate to say it, but learning to grow and market kabocha is probably going to be more useful to my students than English will be when they are adults.
But back to school lunch. Of course, I enjoyed the kabocha soup. There were a few students for whom I think the taste was a little strong, but over all the students ate it.  Today’s dish was pork in a oil and tomato based similar to Japanese style spaghetti. I am sad today, I am a fan of neither pork nor that spaghetti sauce, so it wasn’t my favourite. I liked the salad. Rather than being the crunchy lettuce based salad that most foreigners think of, it was more similar to veggies pickled in vinegar. Since I like vinegar and pickles, this was a good thing. Speaking of salad, I read in a book once that before WWII, Japanese did not really eat vegetables raw, as the west often does. Instead vegetables were usually eaten dressed, pickled, or has hitashi: very quickly boiled.

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

Coupe Roll

August 21st, Tuesday:

  • Creamed Corn Soup (Corn, Onion, Parsley)
  • Penne Dressed with Meat Sauce (Penne Noodle, Pork, Onion, Carrot, Green Bean, Bell Pepper)
  • Kabocha Croquette
  • Coupe Roll
  • Milk
  • (Cal: 1001)

“Pasta” means “dough” in Italian. It is made from a hard wheat flour with lots of protein called Durum Semolina.


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