Summer in a Glass: Homemade Umeshu (Plum Wine)

Umeshu as seen in Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou Episode 12It’s been a year in the making, but I finally cracked open my jars of homemade umeshu (plum wine) a couple months ago, and I am pleased to say that it was sweet with a wonderful sourness, incredibly fragrant and deliciously alcoholic. Basically, summer in a glass.

Umeshu isn’t a drink that’s commonly seen in anime, maybe because most anime is set in high school and minors can’t technically drink on TV… But, I did see it once (ONCE!!) on an episode of Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, and since then, I’ve been obsessed with trying to make it myself.

Have you ever seen umeshu/plum wine in anime before? Or, have you ever tried it in real life? Continue reading

Sometimes you just have to wait for the best things in life: Sesame Miso Kogomi (Fiddlehead Ferns)

I have literally been waiting an entire year to make this recipe… Ever since I watched Flying Witch in spring 2016, I have wanted to try a taste of the seasoned fiddlehead dish that was featured in episode 7… (actually, I want to eat every single food featured in this anime, but I digress…) unfortunately, fiddleheads are very seasonal and when the episode aired, they weren’t available! Imagine my disappointment… And so, I waited and waited and waited… and an entire year later, here we are: it’s finally time to make sesame miso kogomi! Continue reading

This Day in Anime: Hanami

Hanami - Toradora Bentou no Gokui - 02

Hanami – Toradora Bentou no Gokui

Hanami is the traditional Japanese activity of flowering viewing, in which one enjoys and contemplates the transient beauty of flowers. And, while the word literally means “flower viewing” (“to look” (miru ) + “flower” (hana )), in practically every case, hanami refers specifically to the viewing of sakura (cherry blossoms), though in some cases, its meaning is extended to ume (plum) blossoms, which bloom around the same time. Continue reading

12 Days of Anime: 2016 Food Edition – Day 12 – Sweetness and Lightning: A Lesson in Food, Family, and Friendship

0hiyashi-chuuka-amaama-to-inazuma-05Getting good at something doesn’t happen overnight, and no matter how good you are at something now, everyone once had to start at the very beginning, sometime or somewhere.

Expertise comes from hours of practice, the guidance of others, and a whole lot of persistence. You have to work hard, and even though you’ll fail a lot, it’s okay. You have to have the drive and courage to bounce back and learn from your mistakes. You have to be willing to try again and again, no matter what anyone else (or your discouraged self) might say…. Continue reading

12 Days of Anime: 2016 Food Edition – Day 11 – Flying Witch and the Simple Magic of the Everyday

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Seasoned fiddlehead ferns from Flying Witch, Episode 7!

Satisfyingly sweet and wonderfully relaxing to watch, Flying Witch was a charming slice of life anime that brought out the magic of everyday life. I loved how simple and gentle the series was, and appreciated the way the supernatural was incorpoarated into the story without it being a major focal point or it feeling out of place from the rest of the world.

But, even more than that, I loved the food. Maybe it’s because I think food is a bit like magic itself, in the way you combine various ingredients (sometimes into a pot over fire!) to create a whole new product, but there was always something so special about the meals in Flying Witch. I really liked the rural farming/foraging aspects of a lot of the meals and how it showed the way raw ingredients make it from the farm and forest to the dinner table. The beautiful settings they ate in were also a lovely treat… Continue reading

12 Days of Anime: 2016 Food Edition – Day 10 – Home is where the heart is: the Home Cooked Meals of March Comes in like a Lion

0shiojake-salad-nabe-dish-3-gatsu-no-lion-04There’s something special about sharing a meal with family: it can be an intimate affair as well as one full of boisterous laughter and cheer; it can be gentle and subdued or rife with tension…. but despite it all, there’s the food and the company to get you through anything life throws at you. Which is why, for my 10th day of the 12 Days of Anime, my pick is the heartwarming meals of March Comes in like a Lion. Continue reading