I almost left my heart in San Francisco

No.208

 

Sunday December 10, 2017

 

 

 

My husband and I had a 3-week trip to USA in November.  We spent most of our time in Phoenix in Arizona to visit our family and friends but we managed to make a short trip to San Francisco. What a charming city she is, we really enjoyed our long weekend there and I would like to go back again soon.  It was a cooler climate in San Francisco compared to Phoenix, but we come from Norway, it was not too bad for us. We stayed at the Hilton Hotel Financial District which is located right by the China Town. The location was great, the room was clean and spacious, only I do not recommend you to eat

 

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breakfast at the hotel. (There are many good small breakfast places around the hotel)  Both my husband and I love walking and San Francisco was not so big as I imagined, we could walk or just take buses or the famous cable cars to our destinations.

 

If you have been following my Facebook or my blog for some time, you know how much I enjoy food in different countries.  When I travel, I am very much interested in their local food and experiencing their unique food culture. Visiting their local food market or super market stores are great as you can get a little glimpse of people’s life through food. As far as my 3-day trip could cover, I felt people in San Francisco are very interested in food and the city offers a lot of good, fresh and international food. They seem to like to have organic food, I saw wonderful variety of different organic vegetables, milk and milk products, coffee, textile and meat products there. It may not be so strange as California is

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a well know fertile land and having the world’s richest agricultural valley nearby must also support their rich food culture.

My husband and I really had good food for 3 full days.

 

The famous China Town is really right next to the district called Little Italy.  Around the corner from our hotel there was a little French-style cafe that served good breakfast too.  We had a croissant and a warm cup of cafe au lait for breakfast, visited a Chinese restaurant for lunch and had a pizza at an Italian pizzeria for dinner 🙂

Carts with yummy Dim Sum go around at the lunch time in the restaurant called City View 

We were shown to a table and as soon as we sat they came and offered fantastic Dim Sum.  All these freshly steamed dumplings and piping hot steamed vegetables from their kitchen were so tempting that we just kept eating! I wanted to try Gyoza but sometimes it was not easy to communicate with the ladies who come to us with the carts.  I asked for “Gyoza” and it seems that I could not make them understood what I wanted. I was wondering for awhile but realized that people call Gyoza “Potstickers” in USA! Right, I almost forgot about it.

As you can imagine my jeans were getting tight but we walked a lot everyday to burn off the excessive calories!  Before I forget, do visit Ferry Building, I had such a good soft serve ice cream at Gott’s Roadside in there, oh boy it was so good! Next time when I come to San Francisco, I will probably go and eat their ice cream everyday as it is the food I miss most from San Francisco.

It was a fun and yummy trip.
Thanks for reading!

xxx Rie

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Chikyu Radio on NHK

No.207

Thursday December 7, 2017

 

 

I want to share some good news with you today.

There is a radio program called “Chikyu Radio” on NHK (The one and only Japan’s national public broadcasting organization), it is a long-running talk show going since 1999. The main focus of this radio program is international people, both Japanese people living abroad and non-Japanese people living in Japan. I was invited to participate in their show for the first time in January 2010. Since that time I have been invited to participate 5 times and I will be on air again in January 2018.  The last 5 times I spoke about my life in Norway and briefly compared Norwegian culture and Japanese culture. My remarks were not formal in any way. I spoke about some everyday life, for example how Norwegian people like to eat cod (There is one very special dish in Norway made with cod, it is called Lutefisk……..) and how different it is from Japanese way and my finding of the similarity that both countries share the love of smelly way of preparing fish! ha ha

Chikyu Radio’s Chikyu means Mother Earth, so if I translate it will be “Mother Earth Radio Talk Show”.  There are no borders and divisions, only some cultural differences in people around the world. This radio program aims at introducing people in different parts of the world to each other’s everyday lives.  I think it is a great program!

This time I will not speak about fish Lol.  Instead, for the first time on Chikyu Radio, I will talk about Bento. Bento has been known to be spreading internationally for sometime and it is a brand new cultural theme to speak about anymore. The talk show in January will focus on myself as a Japanese woman who has been able to connect with many people around this Mother Earth through bento. So in a way I think you who shared with me your passion in cooking Japanese food and making Bentos also will be featured with me on this radio show.  I will talk about all of you and will make the Japanese audience aware how knowledgeable you are and how passionate you are about cooking Japanese food and Bentos!

Unfortunately the radio show is only in Japanese.  Sorry. I wish it could be dubbed into English or you can get translation of the program.  NHK has English programs too on NHK World but Chikyu Radio is an Japanese program.

I have been in contact with Chikyu Radio’s producer for now a week or so, she is a wonderful person to talk to. As we went through my activities as a Bento specialist since 2011, I wrote down what I really have been doing. On my Facebook page I get to know in which countries my followers live.  I have counted to find that I have followers living in 43 different countries!! It was a delightful surprise!! I went on and dug into my past years on my Facebook pages, I read your comments and my old postings…. They all made me realize how blessed I have been, I really felt I am connected with people on Mother Earth and I wanted to embrace it again. I can say this was one of the main reasons why I came back to doing Bentos.  After stopping and taking a pause, I am now able to see what I have been doing from a new and fidderent perspective. Keep going is great if you can continue being refreshed and inspired, but for me to stop and pause was good, at least I could realize the value and blessings making bentos have given me.

Anyway, the exact date and time is Saturday January 13 from 17:05 (Japanese Time) and it is a live show.  If you understand Japanese you can also listen on their web site (on demand broadcasting live).  I hope I can convey through radio waves my love and gratefulness, my passion and cooking enthusiasm, to listeners…

Thanks for reading!

xxx Rie

Coming back to Bento

No.206

 

Wednesday December 6, 2017

 

I have been on a hiatus since this summer, my blogs, Facebook pages and Instagram all stopped at the same time and maybe you wondered, “Where is Rie?”

I received some messages from people who were wondering if I was ok, or alive, or not eating way too much Lol.  Thank you for your lovery thought, I am perfectly ok but have been just too busy to sit down to write blog or to keep up my bento/cooking activity. My husband and I have started downsizing from a single family home with 4 bedrooms and we bought an apartment in Oslo in August.  We have not moved into it yet but today I went there and took some snap shots. The location of my new home is right by the sea and I see boats, birds, waves and winds going by.  It is very pretty. Oh, it snowed last night, so white snow was on the ground, and we have lots of Christmas lights all around the shore. Winter is a pretty time.

 

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It has been a busy time in connection with selling our house and purchasing an apartment. If you have gone through the property selling process you may know what I am talking about. If you are also thinking about downsizing or embracing more minimalism in your daily life, my advise is, “start it early! don’t accumulate too much stuff!”  Anyway, so this was what I have been up to and I have tons of more projects from next year.

But today I have come back here, to my blog with my bento.

Today I made 3 bento for my family.  One for my husband, one for our daughter and one for me.

 

 

 

My husband had to be waiting between 09:00 to 16:00 for a delivery of our new washing machine and a dryer in the new but empty apartment and so I sent him with his bento.  Our daughter is working now in a building just 2 minutes away from our apartment, so I made a bento for her too and Dad and Daughter ate their bento in the apartment together.

 

 

 

 

 

Okazu today were Tamagoyaki, Japanese Korokke, butter sauteed brown mushroom and spinach, sausage, pickled mini cucumber and tomato.  Umeboshi and Shiso Furikake on the rice, Japanese Bancha tea in the bottle.

My 3 bentos today!

 

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However, I have said this before, I could tell it again on my first day back: If you are back to your bento after a hiatus you will need some rehabilitation. I mean I just could tell I used to cook and pack bento much faster, I did not use so much time to see what food item should be packed how in my bento box! Now that I am returning to my bento routine, this will be going on like a kind of rehabilitation for awhile. I believe all my bento packing technique and cooking had not completely left me and I am fairly easy about it. I think I will be coming back to my old routine. Slowly but surely….

I am back to bento.
And thank you very much for your warm welcome.
I am very touched ❤

oh, I have to tell you about my next radio broadcast program about bento on NHK Radio from Tokyo. It is coming very soon. I will write in the next post!

xxx Rie