We just got together for our discussion about Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu. It was a great afternoon with some food loving friends and unpolitical correct Kamikazies. We had a pretty thorough discussion about our likes and dislikes of the book-
We all agree that it was beautifully photographed and that the recipes were somewhat easy to follow and to cook. We also appreciated her recommendations in brands of ingredients. There were also a lot of vegetable recipes. That was great since most books focus more on proteins and starches.
We would have liked to have had a bit more instruction as far as cooking times go in the book. Not only what it should feel or look like, but more approximations around how long things take to cook- especially since we are dealing with ingredients that are generally unfamiliar. Another hiccup was the difficulty in finding ingredients outside of Seattle proper. In the city- no problem, everything was at the neighborhood grocer- but get 20 minutes outside of town, a different story. Also, although we found that nearly everything we tried we enjoyed, there wasn’t the overwhelming desire to make something out of the book every time we opened it. The food was good- but not the comfort food that we crave. We also collectively felt that although the author came across as interesting and relatively amicable, she didn’t seem like someone you want to throw back a bottle of sake with and become fast friends. There was some speculation as to whether our ambivalence to her personality translated to our general ambivalence in the food.
At any rate, we had a fun afternoon with some pretty great food. A lot we hadn’t tried before, and mostly, were glad we did!
Zucchini coins with Roasted Sesame
Salt Massaged Cucumbers with Miso and Sesame
Carrot and Mitsuba Salad with Citrus
Foil Wrapped Broiled Salmon with Butter
Cauliflower with Miso and Sesame
Tomato Wedges Drizzled with Soy Sauce
Pound Cake with Blackberry Ice Cream
Next up? Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. We’re going from mostly vegetables… to mostly not. Here is our before picture… Not sure how chubby we will be after, but I think we’ll be happy munching our way through!