Onigiri, Omusubi and a sometimes good Hapa

This article (thanks Rf Koda!) inspired me to create a new Pinterest board. Good Hapa/Bad Hapa which is a phrase I've been kicking around a while. Hapa is a term for half Japanese and used to be derogatory. Now hapas (of many Asian stripes) have relcaimed it as a positive. In my own life, many times I hear an internal voice scolding me for being unJapanese in some small way. Food is one of the best ways in to a culture. I'll collect some things there.

Rice Balls

Onigiri and Omusubi ("O" is feminine honorific, many drop it. In the past, one could tell when a service man learned his Japanese from a woman during the war if he used the feminine expressions of words. In Japan, men do not use these prefixes.)

So "onigiri or omusubi" are two regional words for the same thing: rice balls. Usually, but not always covered in nori. Unilke sushi rice, it is not vinegared rice but just salted. Inside is a filling of some sort, usually pickled or preserved plum or vegetables or some simmered or stewed fish.

So ends our Good Hapa/Bad Hapa lesson for the day. *bows*Final Onigiri collage

Check out this excellent article Around Japan in 47 RiceBalls. Thanks to Rf Koda for flagging this article for me. Her family grows the most excellent Japanese heirloom varietal rices. Check them out - Koda Farms!

* Tea Do in Chinatown makes great onigiri to order! Delicious treat.

Just in time for Halloween - Chocolate Sundrops

I was thrilled to add PASCHA Chocolates to my roster of clients and delighted to work with them. I learned about their fine chocolates at the Food Allergy Research and Education conference where I was a speaker last June in Chicago. I enjoyed meeting Courtenay Vuchnich and her chocolates so much, I had to tell EVERYONE to try them!

Now you can make these delicious cookies at home. Because they're free of the top 8 allergens (tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, dairy, fish, shellfish, wheat) they're also safe for lunchbox or classroom treats that might get shared. Take a batch to your next Halloween party and watch them disappear. The recipe appears here on the PASCHA Chocolates website. Thanks Roz for the name!

drops_FIN 009

The Oyster Century Club Presents: iPhonography with Brian Samuels - Shoot + Slurp = Success

Don't you love pulling off the impossible? Pull an event together in no time? Drop it right between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Shows you what a few dedicated oyster lovers can do - Thanks to Ashton and Brian and many thanks to Maré for opening early so we could benefit from the great light in the restaurant. Nature cooperated with a good sunny day in the middle of weeks of gray. Hundreds and hundreds of views on EventBrite, social media full court press and we filled our seats and had a blast.

Eight new members, some oyster trivia, half-price oysters and nearly two hours of hands on iphone photography from the fabulous Brian Samuels of A Thought for Food.

And one lucky new member won a gift certificate to Maré! Congrats Gloria!



Social Media Contest

During the class we announced that a prize for most photos posted during and following the class would be tallied at noon Monday and the results are in:

Congratulations Jessica (AKA Little Miss Runshine) in addition to her blog post, Learning How to Shoot Better iPhone Photos with Brian Samuels and the Oyster Century Club at Mare Oyster Bar, she properly tagged and posted the most photos on social media. Go Little Miss Runshine! A set of William Sonoma "Grand Tour" dipping bowls are yours - just in time for holiday entertaining. Reach out and let me know when and where I can drop them off, maybe over a platter of oysters?


Stout Granita Oysters - Come Shoot and Slurp with the Oyster Century Club this Saturday at Mare Oyster Bar!

Pairing stout with oysters isn't a bad idea, here's a granita made with Guinness. What works in this photo? What doesn't? Come learn how to shoot dead sexy food photos from a pro: Brian Samuels.

Join the Oyster Century Club© and award-winning photographer Brian Samuels this Saturday, December 7th from 12:00 - 2:00 for a very special slurp and learn. Did you see Brian on CBS Sunday Morning?!

  • Get tips on creating and shooting great food with our smart phones culled from Brian's sold out classes.
  • OCC members enjoy half price oysters at this event and special appetizers on the house.
  • Be ready to shoot and share your sexy food pics on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. #oyster100 @MyFoodThoughts @LDGourmet @MareChef.
Oyster Century Club© members claim your early bird tickets today - Join the OCC - seats are limited at this event.  Register now! 
UPDATE: BONUS - Oyster Century Club members get free admission to the Eat Boutique Holiday Market! When you sign up for our class, we'll email you a special code for free admission. After our tasting, we'll head over to the market together.

Summer of Love - Yvette Van Boven's Boston Tour Stops

In celebration of the warm weather (don't worry we're losing it soon enough) I decided to make a batch of Mint Lemmo. It's already gone. I want to make more and try it with elderflower liquor and a couple blueberries...and gin.

Today's was Lillet Blanc, splash and soda water.

Here's the recipe:



As we round out Yvette's Boston tour, making lists of last minute logistics and details, we dip again and again into this beautiful book.

As do others --  like the Huffington Post Books writer Nicki Richesin:

  • "Her cookbooks give the reader a sense of a life well-lived and the abundant joy delicious meals offer when shared with friends and loved ones."

And Food & Wine who interviewed Yvette to get an insider's tour of Amsterdam, drawing on both her design background and her restaurant/catering/cookbook experience.

  • "...the cultural poverty it (simultaneous closing of top two museums) created stimulated an underground scene that was really approachable and fresh.” Read on to learn about this "punk food movement" in Amsterdam.

Home Made Summer Mint Lemmo Ah...

Schedule of Events

April 13 @ 12 -2 have lunch with Yvette at the ICA on Saturday - check with Eat Boutique here.

April 13 @ 4 - Brookline BookSmith - tasting and chat.

April 14 @ 2 - 5 - Stop by KitchenWares for a nibble and a book. (public, stop in, EventBrite info here.)

April 16 @ 12-2 - Media Luncheon - chefs at Les Zygomates will be cooking from the book!

April 16 @7 PM - Trident Bookstore on Newbury - tasting and chat. (public, stop in)

Bonus: her award-winning photographer and husband Oof Verschuren is coming, too!