Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What is Thanksgiving without turkey...pilgrims...

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Japan. Which makes sense. It would be weird if it was, but maybe not surprising- America has a unique ability to make people want what they do not need. However, we decided we needed a Thanksgiving Feast. A smaller theme to the holiday is the eating of food native to America, right?. So there isn't turkey here- at least you have to go to extreme lengths and many Yen to get one, and frankly I am just not that big of a Turkey fan. Besides which our oven is the size of a small Microwave. It is in fact both an oven and a microwave. Possibly also a T.V. A Turkey simply would not fit inside it. (see exhibit A)

In other words we needed to improvise.
List of things we didn't have for Thanksgiving:
1. Turkey
2. Pilgrims
3. Pumpkin
4. Large Oven or Stove
5. Spices (though we found most in the end)
6. Extended Family
7. An actual holiday day

Here is a list of things we did have:
1. Chestnuts!!! lots of them Big Ones. For the best tasty, smoky, savory Chestnut stuffing.
2. Kabocha -a Japanese squash
(like acorn squash) which made the best pumpkin pie I've ever had. A more complex flavor. yum
click here for our recipes
3. Many strange and delicious vegtables which we ate without knowing exactly what they were.
4. Our little family, and honestly it was a great day with my husband an little ones around me. Laughing playing warm and cozy.
5. Butter, without which there is no point. To food.
6. Gratitude. There is an old Japanese coin that says on it something like "I have learned the value of contentment"
contentment . nice.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


A bit of fun this week. LOTs of sketching, so here are a few from my sketch book:

Geisha or actually Maiko

In the land that is Japan, I had a chance (rare) to draw a Geisha or Maiko- an apprentice Geisha. They are sort of like the Pork in the Pork n' Beans, because you just don't see them very often. Sometimes Foreigners have a little stereotype of being what you might call Geisha-obsessed. (whatever-like everyone isn't). I'm just saying I am not one of those people. :0

Tricky- to draw someone in full makeup
-to draw someone in such a rigid stagnant pose
-to draw all the fabulous textiles- which I gave up on in the end
Fun- to draw Geisha!!!

I can't say much about some of the other things in my sketchbook, legally speaking. Well, I'll speak very quietly so don't tell. fairies. and pirates.