Liebster Questions and Nominations


I received a food-related Liebster of these last year from The JWs Do Japan. This year, my friends over at Comparative Geeks nominated I’ll Make It Myself for another! Sankyu! 


The questions they asked are more about my taste in geekdom than food, so if you ever wondered what I do when I’m not contemplating my next meal, read away!



  1. List 11 facts about myself
  2. Nominate 11 bloggers for the award (YAY!)
  3. Let them know about the nomination
  4. Answer the 11 questions I was asked when nominated
  5. Ask 11 questions for the new award winners to answer.

Facts about Me

1.  As a part-timing student, I once managed the manga section (among others) of a bookstore. It was one shelf.

2.  The first cookbook I owned was The Healthy College Cookbook. I made that orange chicken recipe more times than I care to remember.

3. The last cookbook I bought was Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking Everyday.

4. I really want to make a Hannibal-themed cake (or meal) but am concerned no one will want to eat it because it’s a show about a cannibal.

5. I’m also considering a Sleepy Hollow (new series or general legend) dessert.

6. I love Cara McGee’s fandom tea blends with all my heart, and I’m mildly disturbed how much I like “Watson’s Mustache.” Why, Cara, why?!

7. Fall food I miss the most from Japan: lotus root.

8. New food I’m exploring post-return to the US: varieties of goat cheese.

9. Plans for winter holidays: build Mordor out of gingerbread.

10. Favorite pumpkin beer (thus far): Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale. It actually tastes like pumpkin and the spice and hops are lovely.

11. Latest food fail: made an American strawberry cake according to the directions and could only taste the sugar. Welp.



Doing this always makes me anxious because who even reads this blog? Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to do the questions, I really like your blog!

1. Daily Nibbles

2. Tuscan Foodie

3. Super Happy Awesome 

4. Oh My Veggies

5. Kitchen Treaty

6. Eat Already!

7. The Food Librarian

8. A Man with Tea

9. San’in Monogatari

10. Tokyo Tom Baker

11. Kitchen Retro

Questions from Comparative Geeks

1. If you could live in one fictional universe which would it be and why? 

I think I’d enjoy living in the Howl’s Moving Castle universe (book version). I love Diana Wynne Jones’s world-building and the magical elements of the story. I also place very little stock in my surviving in my favorite dystopic worlds, so I think Market Chipping would suit me better than, say, Galactica or Yoshinaga’s alternate-history Edo.

2. What movie do you wish more people would see?

I think that Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta) is Miyazaki’s most underrated film. It was the last one he made without any computer animation, and it’s aged a lot better than other animated films that did use computer animation at the time. It’s a mix of action and introspection that I really love, and I really like the tone of the love story as well.

3. What book do you wish more people would read?

Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ôoku. It’s my current favorite sci-fi/fantasy/alternate history book. I think her discussion of contemporary topics of gender studies through this the politics of gender-swapped Edo is really profound. I read all of it in the original Japanese, which is written in 16th-17th c. language, so both the original and the weird faux-Shakespearean language of the translation are off-putting for some people…

4. What is a book, movie, tv show, comic, etc from your childhood that has stuck with you?

I didn’t really hit my media stride until I was in middle school and high school, but I loved Daria, especially when I watched it again in high school and in college. Also, although the overall story of Sailor Moon didn’t really stick with me as much, the character of Haruka Tenoh (Sailor Uranus) in the manga did, and she definitely had an influence on the kind of characters I wanted to read about and my personal aesthetic as an adult.

5. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three books would you want to have? Also, you already have the complete works of Shakespeare and the religious text of your choice.

The complete set (can I do that?) of The Rose of Versailles (ベルサイユのバラ), a complete volume of Ryôkan’s poetry, and Howl’s Moving Castle.

6. What are you most anticipating right now? 

Sherlock series 3. Don’t even get me started.

7. Why did you start blogging? And what keeps you going?

A friend suggested I start a food blog since I was always talking about how to recreate food I liked while in Japan. At the time, the cookbook project I was working on for Ishikawa JET was coming to an end, so it seemed like a natural transition. If you go back to the absolute beginning of it all, it was because I was dissatisfied with the quality of recipes in cookbooks written about cooking Japanese food, since those tend to be geared toward people living in the US,* and about cooking in Japan. The format of my blog is largely a reaction to the issues I had–finding items in my rural grocery store, using metric measurements, cooking for 1-2 people, owning a tiny fridge, discussing Japanese terminology, and eating healthy food. (For blogs/resources I do like, see the blogroll.)

My secondary focus was writing about the intersection of food and gender. It troubles me how little narratives have changed about food and gender in the last 60 years.  Advertisers, corporations, and a number of food bloggers ranging from celebrity chefs to home cooks continue to perpetuate problematic gender stereotypes about food preparation, creation, and consumption, and it’s just ridiculous. “Man-approved meals” can go burn in the bottom of the fire pit along with “light beers women love.” Food is for everyone.

Recently, I’ve really enjoyed baking fandom birthday cakes and exploring the nerdy side of food.

8. If you could have one technology exist now that doesn’t, what would it be and why? 

A teleporter. It would make working my field a lot easier if I didn’t have to take a 12-hour flight whenever I wanted to travel to Japan.

9. If you could vacation anywhere (anywhere), where would it be?

Hyrule. I totally just ran around in Ocarina of Time just to see the world.

10. Do you have any pets, and if so, what are they and what are they called? If you don’t, what would you want and what would you name it? 

I have two cats, Hanners and Snowball.

11. What’s your favorite album? Or favorite band. Or both.

I have really diverse taste in music. I’d say my most-listened-to album is Takarazuka’s Elisabeth (Hanagumi 2002), but I also really love Tosca, P!nk’s Funhouse, and The Decemberists, especially The Crane Wife and The King is Dead (don’t disown me, David, “January Hymn” is one of their best songs).

*You cannot make authentic jibuni, a duck stew, with chicken. It’s just not right.

Questions for Nominees

I know not all of you are food bloggers, but here we are…

1. If you could pick any decade to dine in in your region of choice, where would you go?

2. Favorite food-related TV show/film/book/comic?

3. What prompted you to start your blog? What keeps you writing now?

4. What food did you hate as a child but love now?

5. Favorite underrated song?

6. Tell me about your favorite coffee mug or tea cup.

7. Are you in any fandoms? If so, what was your first, and what are you into now?

8. Tell me about a film, piece of literature, song, etc. that changed your life.

9. The spice you would take with you when moving abroad. (Example: chipotle powder to Japan)

10. Do you collect anything? (Figurines, wine corks, stamps, retro kitsch)

11. The cookbook or site you use most often if you cook, or the restaurant/yatai/cafe you eat at the most if you don’t?



7 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for the shout out! I love what you said about food and gender. I get a lot of, “…and you’re husband, he’s vegetarian too? He eats what you make???” Which: UGH. What a stupid stereotype. Other than that, I have to admit I haven’t thought about food and gender that much, but I often think about how food relates to class. I actually wrote a big long post about it over the weekend, but I became convinced it would give people the angries and I hate dealing with drama so I decided not to publish it. :P

    1. Leah says:

      I like to joke that I have a two-track mind: food and gender. Obviously your blog is your business and you should post what you’re comfortable posting, but I wish more bloggers would talk about this, especially since lots of people still seem to think vegetarian food is for women. >_< I really liked this gender-neutral post on The Kitchen Treaty about omnivores and vegetarians living together. :)

  2. Buri-chan says:

    Thank you for the nomination! I noticed it by chance, and had no idea you had such a helpful food blog. I’ve only briefly looked over the content, but a lot of this looks exactly like the food situation I’ve walked into here and exactly the kinds of recipes and substitutions I had been looking for. Hummus with tahini flavor, here I come.

    Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll have a chance to get to these very intriguing questions any time soon, but I do appreciate the nomination. I can answer a handful of them without much thought, though:

    4. Fruit! I was always very picky about textures, and for years I only liked ruby red grapefruits and the occasional strawberry.

    5. “Someone in a Tree” from “Pacific Overtures” (an entirely underappreciated musical!).

    7. I’m involved in far too many fandoms, but it’s thanks to Digimon that I originally became interested in Japan 13 years ago!

    1. Leah says:


      1. Buri-chan says:

        Huzzah! I’m thrilled to hear that it’s not just me, there is a world out there that appreciates that kind of brilliance!

  3. Brittany says:

    It’s taken me forever, but I finally have some answers posted! Thanks again for nominating me!

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