Spiced Persimmon Cake

桃栗三年柿八年 (momo kuri sannen kaki hachinen): it takes time to reap the fruit of one’s actions (lit. [It takes] three years for [planted] peach and chestnut trees, eight for persimmons [to bear fruit]) (ことわざ学習室) In late autumn and early winter (mid-Nov. to New Year), Omicho Market is awash in reds and oranges: strawberries, crabs, mikan,…

Tricks of the Trade: Oatmeal Banana Bread

Although this site is called I’ll Make it Myself!, a lot of the baking I do is less recreating restaurant meals I liked and more reinventing recipes to make them healthier and to make them work in a Japanese kitchen. Health-wise, my philosophy with baking is that almost any bread can be made over with…

Mangosteens and the Allergy Hipster

“Are those plums? Wait, what’s a マンゴ…ス..チ…ン?” “Oh, mangosteens!”  “Do you think it’s safe for me to eat?” Ask me about my various strange allergies and I will give you a Cyrano-esque list of jokes I’ve thought up to make myself feel better. One of these is that I am a food allergy hipster–I was…

A Taste of Summer: Konatsu

柑橘類 (kankitsurui): citrus fruit When I go grocery shopping, I always check the discounted produce cart for deals. Sometimes the fruit there is overripe or about to expire; sometimes it’s just a bit bruised. Last week, I found a few bags of 小夏 (konatsu; literally little summer) that seemed to be in great shape but just…

The Apple Chronicles, Part 3: Very Lemony Apple Jam

手作り (tezukuri): homemade I was a bit wary of posting my jam recipes, because I don’t feel like I’ve perfected the jam-making process. This jam, adapted from Food in Jars‘ “Honey Lemon Apple Jam,” tastes amazing, and I think the recipe is fairly solid. That said, I’m not an expert on making preserves in Japan,…

The Apple Chronicles, Part 1: Applesauce

「しゃきっとみずみずしい果肉をしている」(shakitto mizumizushii kaniku wo shiteiru): to have a crispy and juicy flesh (of fruit)(alc.co.jp) One of my favorite apples grown in Japan is the Jonagold. The flesh is crisp and sweet, and the skin is a gorgeous gradation of reds and yellows. This week, however, I have been pushed to the culinary limit by my…