HandmadeCozyLife

料理を中心に、手作りや少しの工夫で自分らしく、お得でややレトロで、ちょっぴり豊かな普段を公開していきます。

Sweetpotatoes Stewed in Lemon Juice with Cinnamon

Autumn is the harvest season, in which sweetpotatoes and pumpkins come to night. Sweetpotatoes in particular can be made into a rather sweet dish, so you won't need dessert (right?).

 

1.Wash an ordinary sweetpotato. Never mind whether Japanese sweetpotatoes are true sweetpotatoes or actually yams. If you know you are going to cram your finished sweetpotatos into a small lunchbox, select a skinny one.

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2.Slice the sweetpotato into rings and soak to minimize the natural toxins.

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3.Add the sweetpotatoes, "mirin" sweet cooking wine, a few drops of regular salty cooking wine, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a skillet. I always use real "mirin," never imitation. This is because my mother taught me to go for the real deal every time. I also like to add a touch of coconut butter for added flavor. I love coconut!

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4.Put on the lid and cook on medium. If you leave the burner on high, the sweetpotatoes will disintegrate.

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5.Once the liquid has boiled off it's ready to serve!

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☆A Little Extra!☆

You can stew pumpkin (OK, Japanese kabocha squash) in lemon juice as well. Squash doesn't need to have the toxins soaked out, so it's even easier to cook.

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See how quick and easy it is?

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This year promote the star vegetables of the fall season to the main part of your meal, instead of banishing them to dessert!

サツマイモのシナモンレモン煮

食欲の秋。秋といえばサツマイモやカボチャの季節です。サツマイモはちょっと甘いおかずにできるので、デザート代わりになりますね(そのはずだよね...)

 

1.普通のサツマイモを洗います。私のように小さなお弁当箱に詰め込むことが前提で作るのなら細い芋がベストです。

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2.サツマイモを輪切りにして水にさらします。はい、アク抜きです。

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3.サツマイモ、みりん、料理酒数滴、レモン汁、シナモンとナツメグをフライパンに入れます。私はみりん風ではなく本みりんを使います。母に「~風はダメ。本物じゃないと」と教わったからです。あと、私は隠し味としてココナッツバターを少し入れる時もあります。とにかくココナッツ大好き!

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4.蓋をして中火で煮ます。ずっと強火のままだと崩れてしまうので。

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5.汁気が飛んだら出来上がり。

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☆おまけ☆

実は同じ方法でカボチャもシナモン煮にできます。カボチャはアクを抜かなくてもいいので楽です。

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ほら、こんなに楽にできちゃう。

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今年こそスイーツではなくおかずで秋の主役級野菜サツマイモとカボチャを楽しみましょう!

Plum Burdock

My best dish, that I take to every potluck, is my "Plum Burdock." It's similar to classic stewed burdock, but I flavor it with plum sauce. The burdock dish in my family's New Year feast is my plum burdock. (That's because I make the whole feast myself.) Plum is festive for New Year's, since it's one of the three lucky trees (pine, bamboo, plum), but it also works well as an everyday dish, especially in lunch boxes. Its pink color complements any table.

 

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I use ordinary burdock root like this.

 

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Obviously I have to clean the mud off. If it's the first burdock root of the season I scour it with a scouring pad and leave the skin on.

 

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But this time around I'm going to peel them so this is clean enough.

 

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I peel them with a vegetable peeler and cut off the discolored ends.

 

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Cutting the burdock root small makes it easier to fit into a lunchbox. I stew the burdock root in apple vinegar to add flavor and to soften the burdock root.

 

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Let it stew in the apple vinegar.

 

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Once the apple vinegar-water solution has boiled down, it's time to add the seasonings and finish the stewing process. This time I add cooking wine.

 

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This is dried shiso furikake sold as a topping for rice, but I use it in my Plum Burdock.

 

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Increase the plum quotient by adding plum paste.

 

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Just stew it.

 

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All done!

 

Cabbage and clams au vin

One of the cheapest vegetables at the supermarket is probably cabbage. Cabbage can be heavenly when it's in season, especially in the spring. Having a cabbage dish on hand is also pretty convenient, since you can serve it as a side with your main meal, you can put it in your lunch box, and you can use it as a topping for spaghetti. Cabbage may be humble but it packs a hefty punch of vitamins and is good for you (but you knew that!).

 

I use cabbage in a dish that's easy and cheap to make but still feels somewhat highfalutin: cabbage and clams stewed in a wine(-ish) sauce.

 

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1.First cut up the cabbage into manageable chunks to wash. This is easiest if you soak the cabbage.

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Just chop it up! It fits better in my tiny sink tub that way.

 

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Just soak the cabbage in this state.

 

2.While the cabbage is soaking, prepare the clams.

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You can use canned, frozen, or fresh clams--whatever you can get easily is OK. As long as you watch out for food poisoning, it doesn't really matter what sort of packaging the clams come in.

 

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Start to stew them with cooking wine, black pepper, garlic, and water. I never add salt to seafood, since it usually still has sea salt in it already.

 

3.Add the cabbage.

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Just pile it up on top.

 

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Force the lid on if necessary and stew.

 

4.When the cabbage starts to soften you know it's done.

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This is the finished product. It's hard to beat this dish for being cheap and easy while still letting me pretend it's fancy!

キャベツとアサリのワイン煮風

スーパーで安い野菜といえばキャベツ。特に春はおいしいですね。常備菜としてキャベツ料理があると単独のおかずとして使えるだけでなく、お弁当の具にしたり、スパゲッティのトッピングにしたり、と便利です。キャベツは意外と栄養も豊富だし、体にいい。

 

そんなキャペツを利用した安いけれどちょっとおしゃれな気分になれる料理にキャベツとアサリの煮物があります。

 

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1.まずはキャベツを切って洗います。水につけておくと楽です。

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切っちゃえ。その方が水につけやすいし。

 

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こんな感じで水につけると楽ちん。

 

2.その間にアサリの準備をします。

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缶詰でも冷凍でも新鮮なアサリでも、手に入るものでOK。衛生面さえ気をつければ大丈夫。

 

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料理酒、胡椒、ニンニクと水で煮始めます。魚介はもともと塩水である海から来て、まだ十分塩分を含んでいるので塩を振ったりしません。

 

3.キャペツを加えます。

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キャベツを上から乗せていくだけ。

 

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無理にでも蓋を上に載せて煮る。

 

4.キャベツが軟らかくなってきたら出来上がり。

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こんな出来上がりです。どうでしょう、思いっきり安いのにそれらしいでしょ?

Embroidered Tea Towels

Here are some recent examples of my embroidery. I embroidered two tea towels in the traditional sashiko style for the church bazaar. The average age of the ladies in the handicrafts posse, of which I am a member, is about 70, and as I am the only member who is not retired, they kindly reduced my quota. Even then the leader is every bit an authority to be as obeyed as a CEO. She is a little old lady around 140cm tall, but she was a master at getting monthly progress reports out of me to gage whether I was likely to reach my production goal, and certainly knew how to motivate me to meet my quota. Even though I've always loved handicrafts, it was all I could do to embroider just two tea towels. When I was in college I was sure that I was busy, and that college students had a lot less free time than what older folks assumed, but I still had time for handicrafts. I was certainly busy as a student, but it's not the same as the busy-ness of a working professional, I must admit.

 

The first one is a stylized shamrock, done as a traditional Celtic design. This complicated design took some time to embroider.

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The other is a gnome sitting on a toadstool, grinning as he holds a flower. Whimsical, yes? (Of course that's my tablecloth in the background.)

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Thus, my handmade efforts extend beyond cooking. I also do embroidery and other handicrafts. Oh, and by the way, both tea towels sold at the bazaar.

マイカー

あなたのアピールポイントはなんですか。都内在住でマイカー持ち、と婚活男性からアピールされたら、私は間違いなくドン引きします。これは特にバブリーな感覚の持ち主にありがちなことだが、「こんなに贅沢できるオレってカッケー」なんて思っていることがバレバレです。

 

でも少しもかっこよく映っていません。むしろ「オレは無駄遣いの達人だ」、さらには「歩行者に迷惑かけることも平気」アピールしているように映っています。見栄を張れば張るほどダサいのです。堅実さをアピールされたらぐっとくるのにもったいない。そもそも私は小さい頃から車酔いしてきたせいか車が苦手で知識も興味もあまりないので、「で?何がどうすごいのかわからないし、資源がもったいないし、感心しない」と反応してしまいます。ただし、マイカーを持っているのが見栄を張るためではなく、田舎の実家に帰って介護を手伝うためであったり、辺鄙なところにいる高齢の親戚を病院に連れて行けるためであったりすれば、印象が変わります。

 

そういう自動車のマイカー目線ではなく、車いすのマイカー目線で街を見られるとどうなるか。私は介護時代に車いすを押していたので、街中の段差や車いすの方の視線や手の位置をまったく考慮していない設備に気付くのです。わざわざバリアフリーにするためにランプを取り付けたのはいいけど、その先にある肝心の自動券売機、自動販売機、洗面台などが高いと、手が届きません。今は多くの方がイヤホンを入れているので周囲の音が聞こえていない、という状況を想像することが容易になったと思いますが、目が見えていないとどうなるのでしょうか。段差が多く、人や車、自転車の流れなどが不規則的だと正直視覚障害がなくても怖いです。しかし、一口で「目が不自由」と言ってもいろいろあり、わずかにでも見えている場合、明暗しか判別できない場合、動きは捉えられる場合、まったく見えない場合、などがあります。私もメガネを外すと近眼+乱視のおかげでほとんど見えないので、温泉や銭湯が昭和丸出しな多色使いをしてくれると段差が分りやすく、大変助かります。

 

「オレはこんな車を持っているんだ、すごいだろ」は感心しませんが、気遣いができるような想像力を持っていれば感心します。