If you like pineapple, this kitchen gadget works great. I am surprised. Seriously – great. End of message
Tokyo is filled with great restaurants, the most Michelin stars in the world. But it isn’t all about expensive places, there are amazing small restaurants for all budgets and as the Japanese BMI demonstrates, very few western style fast food places.
I took a couple quick snaps of my favourite “fast food” take-out sushi place near Hiroo station. Great prices (I think it might be lower cost than North America) and super fresh.
Y380 for 4 pieces maguro (tuna). I could eat sushi everyday.
I am a big coffee fan. Not really the Starbucks kind, more of the ‘hanging out at home using my machine’ kind.
Last week I made a big upgrade purchase – a Jura C9 – as my old Jura (circa 2007) has a UK power supply and when we move, I am not sure I can jerry-rig a solution. My impression? Amazing. I bought my first Jura for the automatic milk frother. Personally, I find frothing milk an arduous task that rarely turns our right and I am not about to get a part-time job at Starbucks so that I can learn to do it the right way on their $20,000 machine.
Not so with a Jura, it is a no brainer. Place the tube into a milk container, turn the dial and voila – a perfectly made cappuccino. The C9 takes it a step further; simply press the button and it froths the milk and then drops in the shot of espresso, following it up with an automatic clean cycle. Doesn’t get much easier than that.
Along the way I came across another find – Bodum double walled glasses. The issue with a traditional coffee mug is that the porcelain absorbs the heat from the coffee – cooling it quickly. The new double wall mugs keep the heat just like a thermos – no loss from a cold hand or from the side wall materials. I bought the espresso and the Pavina glasses/mugs – a cappuccino through a clear glass mug looks fantastic.
Now, where is that guilty pleasure – the Guardian – lying? (smile)
The summer has finally arrived in Canada and 30C weather is here this week. We are not big drinkers at home, but when the summer hits I admit that we do have a few favourites; a good German Riesling and two distinctly English favourites:
- The first is PIMM’s. Distinctly English and enjoyed at a good polo match, the race track or by the pool. My first lessons with PIMM’s is that you must follow the recipe or it will turn out too ‘syrupy’ and that to the English – lemonade is 7UP or Sprite. I prefer a good sparkling lemonade, it isn’t quite as sweet. We have 6 pots with herbs and one has 4 types of mint in it, so I am prepared for the summer.
- The second is a good G&T. And not all G&T’s are the same. While in England, I came across a Scottish gin (I know, it seems odd) while out shopping one Saturday. As only the English do, the store manager was running a tasting of Hendrick’s. Nothing like a small G&T at 10:30 on a Saturday morning. After one taste, I was hooked (and have converted a few friends in the process). The only problem was that in Canada there is only one type of tonic – Schweppes, which is just too sweet for me. I finally found the tonic that I use to find in Waitrose at the local health food store, Fever Tree. Natural, not sugared to death and a perfect match for a unique gin that is not for everyone .. especially when you ask the tender to ensure that it is garnished with a cucumber.
Let the summer begin.
While in Crete a while back (quite a while now) we stayed in a little fishing village, and enjoyed the coast. While at dinner one night the waiter offered us an after dinner drink. Not the local Raki (which is pretty hard to digest), and not the customary Greek ouzo. It was called Mastiha and came from a local tree. Very unique tasting and one I really enjoyed (I am not one to drink very often).
Mastiha starts as a semi-transparent sap from lentisk trees (actually evergreen bushes) found only in certain areas of the Greek island of Chios. As resinous granules, it was the original chewing gum, and the name "mastiha" is the root word of "masticate," meaning "to chew."
At the market, look for "mastiha," "mastihi," or "mastic tears" and it might also be available in powdered form.
Mastiha is used as a spice in sweets and cooking, as a flavoring for liqueurs, and in soap-making, cosmetics, and toothpaste, among others. Recent evidence of its positive effect on ulcers has resulted in a boom in purchases by large pharmaceutical companies.
Before we left I stopped at the local liquor store but could not find it. In fact, since then I have been unable to find it despite inquiring at the local speciality spirits shop while in the UK or in Canada, until now. Last week when I happened across it in the LCBO.
A Greek company has revived the mass appeal and is spreading the drink around the world under the brand Skinos, and it is exactly as I remember it. Enjoy.