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Swaping words & morsels

Sunday, May 21, 2006

8:47AM - Word Lesson Numba 7

Raven's gonna learn people in the family next.

Day 1: Otoosan (Father)
Day 2: Okaasan (Mother)
Day 3: Imooto (little sister)
Day 4: Obasan (aunt)
Day 5: Ojisan (uncle)
Day 6: Obaasan (Granmother)
Day 7: Ojiisan (Grandfather)

Please note the difference between uncle and grandpa / aunt and grandma is a longer vowell. You just hold it out longer. I made the mistake of calling Nao's uncle "grandpa" to his face, because the words are so similar....

Love you guys. Keep up the fun.

Monday, May 15, 2006

7:55AM - Raven's 6th word lesson

Are you guys all caught up? Here we go!

Raven now has her numbers 1-20,
6 politeness words,
5 animals,
7 body parts words,
4 edible things,
3 feeling words,
and 2 useful phrases (I'm hungry, I'm thirsty).

How 'bout this week we do colors and animals?

red - akai
blue - aoi
black - kuroi
white - shiroi
(those are the 4 most important colors. Does she want to learn others?)

horse - uma
cow -  ushi
pig - buta 
That's 8 animals! She has 2 more to go in the curriculum, and if she wants to learn more, it'll be by request and for bonus. With those animal names we can begin to learn meat names next :)  Another thing we should do for fun is go over what noises the animals make when they speak animal Japanese.  For instance, pigs say "buu buuu" not oink oink.  Hehehe.  More fun stuff to come.

BONUS word this week:  subarashii!   (It means 'wonderful!!')

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

11:10PM - What's in the fridge, etc.

Sorry I forgot this.

We gots:

milk, eggs, cheese (monty, cheddar, parmesian), half n half, butter

peas, lentils, peanut butter

spaghetti, manicotti, rice, oats, 4 kinds of cereal, hamburger buns
flour, rye flour, buttermilk pancake flour

avocado, strawberries, apples, lemons, oranges,
sprouts, komatsuna (japanese spinache), cabbage, daikon greens, fava beans
yellow onions, green (spring) onions, garlic, daikon, ginger

meat is nao's department

a ton of condaments, oils, and spices I'm no going to name

so what can I make?

Current mood: hungry

Sunday, April 30, 2006

11:40AM - Raven's weekly word lesson

you're welcome - iie (ee-yay). Literally it means "no," like the spanish equivalent "de nada," it's nothing.
In other words, Arigatoo / Iie are like  Thanks! / Oh, don't mention it.
frog kaeru
sad kanashii
mad is a verb, not an adjective. People "get mad." okoru.
silly - how about omoshiroi ? That means "interesting" but also "funny." If you mean absurd, bakabakashii.
stomach onaka
(hungry) You have to say stomach-subject got empty. Onaka ga suita. "ga" marks the subject of the sentence.
"suita" is past tense of get-empty.
throat nodo
(thirsty) You have to say "throat sbj got dry" which is Nodo ga kawaita.

Current mood: stuffy

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

7:48AM - been slacking...

ok, so i quite obviously haven't been keeping up my end of the bargain, and i haven't been keeping up with raven's japaense at home either.. though she remembers all the words she has learned so far rather well. but i think that we need a week to catch up on the words you gave us already. also, these are the words raven wants to learn:

you're welcome

please give me a food list and i will make you an assignment by friday for the next week. bear with me please, its difficult for me to build new habits, but i DO really want to do this (both parts)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

9:32PM - Japanese Lesson, 4th week April

Sunday: kyuu (nine)
Monday: juu (ten)
Does Raven know all her numbers?? If so, Yay! That concludes our numbers goal for the year.

Tuesday: Tada-ima! ("I'm home!") You yell this whenever you walk in the front door. .
Wednesday: mushi (bug)
Thursday: tori (bird)
Maybe do a bug-bird quiz.  Mushi? Tori? 

Friday: kami
("hair" and "paper") You get two words here for the price of one!
Saturday: ringo (apple)

Current mood: and hungry

Sunday, April 16, 2006

5:17PM - Raven's new words , Third Week April

Ok, Raven! Time for 7 new words!!

Sun: roku (six)
Review all six numbers!

Mon: nana (seven)
Review your seven numbers!

Tues: hachi (eight)
Review your numbers!

Wed: inu (dog)

Thur: ha (tooth)

Fri: mizu (water)

Sat: juusu (juice - a loan word from english)

Current mood: nerdy

Saturday, April 8, 2006

1:53PM - New ingredients list

Ingredients missing from last week: pennette, pears, cilantro. New ingredients below are in CAPS.

Grains: oats, multigrain baking/pancake mix, white rice, dried split peas, LENTILS, self-rising flour, bread flour, dark rye flour, panko (bread crumbs), spaghetti, canned black beans, HI-FIBER CEREAL

***fresh stuff***
fruit: apple
veggies: garlic, ginger, daikon radish, yellow onion, red leaf lettuce, green cabbage, beet greens, chard, jalapeño, carrots.
**frozen** peas, 100% fruit juice

jack, sharp cheddar, and parmesian cheese
yogurt (plain, homemade)

incomplete list of condaments: white pepper, salt, honey, molasses, rice vinegar, wine, sake, canola & olive oil, nutmeg, cloves, SALSA, PESTO, CHOCOLATE, COCO powder, TARTER SAUCE, ...

Current mood: thankful

1:38PM - Mission Accomplished.

Okee dokey, I made lunch today with the -- what's it called? mornay over pennette. It took about 30 minutes...is that too long? Nao ate it up too. He added salt & white pepper to his, and I had to admit, though the subtle flavor was really nice, it was a little bland due to my shyness about adding too much salt or pepper. Other than that, I like it's lightness as opposed to greasyness. Since no appropriate veggies were present, I added a spopon of fresh salsa (is that offensive?). I like the fresh veggie taste with the sauce.

Ready for my homework for next week. Check out ingredients change listed next.

Current mood: calm

Friday, April 7, 2006

8:01PM - Raven's new words for a new week

saturday: shi (four)
REVIEW ALL NUMBERS w/ different games

sunday: gomen-nasai (apology)

monday: me (eye)

tues: kuchi (mouth)

weds: hana (nose; also means flower - can teach them both at once)

thurs: go (five)

fri: gyooza (the food, potstickers. This should be taught with the reccipe, so call before friday to get it from Nao)

SO! how did raven do on last week's words??

I'll be cooking up your mother french sauce tomorrow...or bust!

10:10AM - i guess i should have made this a new post...

ok... so what you do is take about 1 cup of milk, put 1/4 onion (whole) for every cup of milk and a pinch of cloves (and 1/2 bay leaf if you've got it), and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. simmer about 10 minutes. while you're doing that, heat 1 tbsp butter or olive oil (on LOW) in a pan with 1 1/2 tbsp flour (not self rising) to make a paste. cook till the flour bubbles or just barely starts to turn a blonde color (to get rid of raw flour taste) if a weird milk skin develops on the milk, remove it at this point.
whisk the flour/fat paste (aka roux) into the milk (after removing onion) and bring back to a simmer. season with a little salt, some white pepper, and a teeny tiny pinch of nutmeg if you have it. stir in 1/4 cup parmesan (grated) and 1/4 cup chedder or other (non mozzerella) cheese. toss with cooked pennette and any suitable veggies on hand, like brocolli, peas, tomatoes (diced), carrots (diced & cooked long enough to take the crunch out) etc etc
ooh ooh spinach. spinach is good in that. bell peppers. parsley. zucchini. summer squash. anything like that.

without the cheese added, you've made bechamel, one of the five french mother sauces. with the cheese, its mornay. bechamel can be made into hundreds of different sauces, for meats, veggies, and pastas. its a great start for stovetop mac & cheese. the nutmeg goes really good with brocolli too. the traditional bechamel is made by pinning a bay leaf to an onion with whole cloves, so the whole thing can be removed easily. normally if you used ground cloves, you would strain it through a super fine strainer so that no detectable specks were there, but its not really that big of a deal for general cooking.

i wanted to teach you this sauce because it is SO versatile. you can pretty much take any fresh herb to change its primary flavors, or change it slightly to fit any meat, veggie, or pasta. or root veggie. sort of like a au gratin subsitute wihout all the butter and heavy cream. good on baked leeks and potatoes. you can make a batch of bechamel, refrigerate it, and use a scoop with some freshly made pasta and veggies for an easy lunch. it will keep about a week in the fridge.

let me know if i missed any details. if it comes out seeming too thick for pasta sauce, just whisk in a little more milk.

side note.
when you mix the roux into the milk, it will mix less lumpy if the roux is cool/room temp and the milk is hot. at first it will look like its going to be terribly lumpy, but dont lose heart, continue whisking for say.. less than a minute, and it will be silky smooth. i always strain my bechamel (made with the cold roux/hot milk method) through a fine mesh seive and i get very few tiny lumps in the strainer.

roux is used to thicken a lot of sauces (and soups) in french/italian/english/german cooking. if the roux is hot, the liquid should be cold, and vice versa, to achieve the least lumps. just an fyi, if you wanted it.

Thursday, April 6, 2006


alright, so i lied. the next day i spent most of the day installing the new sink & faucet, and all the new plumbing to go with it. yesterday i went to marcel's for the interview. so finally i am making time for mi hermana. maybe you should teach us how to apologize next...

by the way, one word a day is working well.

for your first assignment, i need make sure you have the following:

onion *
whole cloves
flour *
butter or olive oil *
parmesan *
pennette *

let me know if this ingrediant list is ok. if not, i can try again. i noticed most of your veggies are leafy greens. good for you, certainly, but i wont be able to give you many tips for cabbage, beet greens, or chard, having only minor experience with the first, and none with the latter two.

if the rest of that list is ok, let me know, and i will post instructions (TODAY for sure, i have no real plans except giong to the gym)

Monday, April 3, 2006

9:40PM - minor plumbing emergency immediately precedes breakdown in marital nicities

i'm going to have to do this tomorrow. so sorry. we have to figure out what to do about a kitchen sink that works perfectly except for the running water detail. i will i will do this tomorrow.
so sorry.

3:38PM - My ingredients for the week

Grains: oats, multigrain baking & pancake mix, white rice, dried split peas, self-rising flour, bread flour, dark rye flour, panko (bread crumbs), spaghetti, pennette, canned black beans

fruit: apple, pear
veggies: garlic, ginger, daikon radish, yellow onion, red leaf lettuce, green cabbage, cilantro, beet greens, chard, jalapeño, carrots.

jack, sharp cheddar, and parmesian cheese
yogurt (plain, homemade)

incomplete list of condaments: white pepper, honey, molasses, rice vinegar, wine, sake, canola & olive oil, ...other stuff. just ask.

Farmers market is Tues, Thurs, and Fri, if there's some emergency need. Weekly shopping comes thurs or fri. But boy, if you can think of something from the ingredients I got, woo hoo.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

12:18PM - Raven's words for the week

sat: ichi (1)

sun: ni (2)

mon: san (3)

tues: kudasai (please [give me])

wed: doozo (please [take/try this])

thurs: arigatoo (thanks)

fri: neko (cat)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

6:35PM - made salsa; Emotional Food Episode #1

We walked to the farmer's market where I had to use spanish to buy tomatoes, jalapeños, onions, etc. Also bought cilantro from the hmong lady, but didn't know enough hmong to ask for it properly. Ran out of change before I could buy a lemon.

At home spent time washing and dicing everything up, realizing that I make cooking out to be out-of-my-reach by imagining it as something entirely too brainy and creative, when it's more of a daily discipline: am i willing to wash, chop, etc?? Am i willing to cook a LITTLE and learn a LITTLE?

Emotional food episode #1 (for this record).
So it's the church potluck (every sunday) at my pastor's house. It's not really like a church, more of like a big japanese family, and fitting into a japanese family is an emotionally touchy subject with me, on two accounts: lack of language, and lack of cooking skills. I could use therapy for this from my sister...
summary in brief since i have to get off computer:
1. i brought my homemade salsa and 1/2 loaf french bread w/nutella
2. Nao said the bread and nutella thing wasn't a good idea, since the loaf was half eaten
3. i took it too personally, like my offering wasn't good enough, and thought maybe my salsa wasn't good enough either cause i didn't make tortillas or bring chips to go with it...this actually made me cry.
4. the bread & nutella stayed in the car, the salsa came in (because i rebelliously thought, jesus accepted some bread and a few fish...my salsa IS good enough...)
5. a few people praised the salsa, which I ignored because food is always praised and not just sincerely
6. but i secretly spied one guy go back for seconds of salsa, and he ate it like a salad, on nothing, just with chopsticks.
The End.

Monday, March 20, 2006

7:46AM - Defining Goals # 1

Welcome to two sisters sharing their respective interests (language and cooking) in hopes that they become mutual interests as well as benefits...

So do we really need to wait to begin our recipee-for-language swap? Let' start working on defining goals.

You want to teach Raven Japanese (and I want ye to), and I want to cook. More often. As a lifestyle. As an offering to whatever community I'm a part of. So you help me define my goals.

Here's the curriculum I suggested for R: For the rest of this year, beginning April 1st, simply learn one word a day. The trick is to learn the same word in multiple ways (tactile, kinesthetic, sound, image)--so it's rooted in the brain and at the end of the year Raven can use at least 220 words out of 275 (that's 80%).

Sneak preview at first week's assignment:
2 politeness words; numbers 1-5

What might my first week's assignment look like?

Current mood: artistic