Green Tea

4 Jan

This evening was a bit harder. There was chilled beer in the fridge – on the highly unlike off-chance that eldest son and family would actually coordinate things and stay for an amount of time favorable to sharing a beer with his brother.  That hasn’t happened for a good few years though – in fact, come to think of it, the last time they stayed over New Year was when the European Stylist was here for another Arashi concert and eldest brother brought some fresh squid and I quite seriously just about choked on a bit as it sucked its tentacle over that bit in my throat where like the air goes in an out and shit. Scary, scary.

But I digress. The beer did not get consumed and it looked all lonely in the fridge and perfect to crack open in front of the warm fire whilst playing UNO round ten thousand with the kids.

But I didn’t, I refrained, and here I am, sipping on hot green tea given to me by an English class student whose grandparents grow tea. I used to hate the stuff – but my first ever home stay in Japan when I was 17 was at a family whose secondary income was from growing tea. I don’t buy it but I do have a freezer drawer full of it.

And now when I drink it I try and pretend am some high supreme buddhisty type (or hundred year old Japanese vestling with no teeth and also sucking on pickled plums and eating goya chanpuru or similar), and that am purifying my body with heavenly green tea, from the alps of Kunimi. Not that Kunimi has any Alps per se, but am sure the road to a healthier life is part mental training and repeating the mantra that I am what I eat.

And today that would be vegemite on toast, coffee, four takoyaki octopus balls, three mikan, a piece of pizza toast, Ryu’s left over noodles and now, the holy grail of health drinks, green tea.

I have just finished watching what was I think a BBC (had all these British people in it) program called something like 50 shocking facts about health and fitness. Was very interesting and basically said alcohol in moderation is fine, running is bad for your health, as is going to the gym full stop really, and that if you lift too many weights and do too many squats your womb might end up falling out your vagina.

Riveting stuff.

I have however decided, after watching it, that am never buying margarine again and ditto white bread. Perhaps investing in that bread maker isn’t such a bad idea. Always wanted one but never wanted it to clutter the bench. Anyone have any old school knead with your hands, bread recipes that wont require me to import monks to hand grind wheat imported from the Himalayas and fertilized with hundred year old yak shit?

Fuck it, just got a mail reminding us about first dance class of the year tomorrow – to be followed by a light meal which I imagine means bags of snacks and chips and the teacher, after telling the older girls who needs to go on a diet, encouraging Marina to eat up or she wont be able to dance at the recital on Monday. Huurah. Gotta love me some dance.

See you all after that then.





8 Responses to “Green Tea”

  1. katinkyoto January 5, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    Hi there.

    Pre-cooled beer. Hard one to ignore. Go you. Can you use it for baking a batter or some other recipe?

    Last night I was thinking a wine would go down quite nicely but decided to have a bath and read a book instead of putting a bottle in the fridge.

    I drink green tea when it’s offered to me outside. At home I have lemon and ginger or peppermint tea. Have started making vege soups too.

    How’s your ‘Must-buy/do-in-NZ’ list coming along?

    • gaijinwife January 5, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

      Fortunately hub has finished the last of the NY beer and from today is stopping too – at home. Of course tonight he just happens to have his first day back at work for the NY dinner after work. Sigh. Nevermind. Better than drinking in front of me 🙂 But I am surprising myself. Last night there was no longing as I watched him crack open his drink. Huurah. If I make it through tonight then I have officially done my longest no booze stint in 3.5 years. Wow. Thats scary. My poor body. My must do NZ list isn’t very long at all. Have a surprising amount of visitors and friends, hens nights and weddings in the space of ten days. Not much time for leisurely shopping. But DEFINITELY a trip or two to the supermarket. Via the kebab shop if possible 🙂

      • katinkyoto January 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

        Sounds good. Say hi to Tash and Ange for me:)

  2. Heda504 January 5, 2014 at 4:58 am #

    Good luck. Been on the wagon since May but alas Christmas and New Year combined with a house full of visitors have been my downfall. So I’ll be joining you in giving up the demon drink all over again starting…tomorrow!

    • gaijinwife January 5, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

      Starting today – good luck 🙂

  3. L. (formerly from Homesick Home) January 6, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Pasting this — I swear by it:

    3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
    ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
    1¼ teaspoons salt
    Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

    1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

    2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

    3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

    4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

    • gaijinwife January 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

      Oooh, thank you L. I will have to give this a go. I reckon leaving it the sitting room with the fire cooling overnight will be about normal ‘room temp’. Is a Terry Towel a tea towel? I think the only least in the local shop is dry yeast and not instant but I’ll have another scout round and see. Thank you 🙂

      • L. (formerly from Homesick Home) January 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

        I pasted it (from NY Times, a few years ago), and I have a few variations of my own — for instance, I don’t pre-heat the oven, I start it cold, to not waste the heat, etc. Also, I line my pot with baking paper so it doesn’t stick.
        They mean NOT a terry cloth towel, which means not a fuzzy one — a smooth one makes a nice smooth crust. You can always improvise with an old shirt or sheet or some other cotton thing, whatever you have on hand. It’s all about experimentation and finding out what works best on your kitchen.
        I think dry yeast IS instant yeast? I don’t know, maybe there’s a difference, but I sure don’t know it. I buy it in those little packets.

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