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

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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

The first bento

No. 157

This post is also available in Japanese はじめて作るお弁当

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Now I have 2 blog sites, one is here in English and I started one in Japanese 4 days ago. To my happy surprise, my Japanese blog has been visited by more than 1,000 people in last 4 days. I was wondering where in the world these people were coming from?? It is always nice to get a good communication through blogs and today I received a wonderful comment from Canada! She is Anna, a Japanese girl studying there, and I want to share it with you :

Hello Rie-san (* ^^ *)
I am writing a comment for the first time. I am now in Canada studying at an University, soon my first year will end. The most painful thing to me in this first year was food. I really missed my Japanese food. I realized that my ordinary food I was eating in Japan was such a great treat and I did not know it until I left Japan and came here. I missed Japanese food so much that I lost weight in the beginning but now I have found delicious food here as well, I am very healthy! Lol

Recently I was looking at great food photos on Instagram and I found you! The food you create looks so beautiful and healthy, it is really amazing! Now I am living in the schools dormitory and can not cook as there is no kitchen attached in my room. But I will move into an apartment from this coming spring and I am looking forward to cooking. Then I will refer to your recipes♡

Your photos reminded me again bento is great! Thank you!
Anna

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Thank you! I was so happy to receive such a nice comment! Maybe some of you may know I have 1 daughter, she is also an university student studying in the United States. As another Japanese-food-lover and as a mom, I could understand Anna’s feelings and her missing Japanese food. My daughter is in the senior year now but I remember she had the same problem in her first year. She then just realized that she had to cook it by herself if she wanted to eat something she liked. 3 1/2 years have passed and now my daughter is cooking and baking very much.

I think there are things you can only see when you leave your home nest and take a look at it from outside. Especially in a country like Japan, there are so many convenient and useful things around you and people take them for granted. But I believe those things you rediscovered while you were away will certainly change your point of view when you come back and make you appreciate more things you have not normally been paying attention to before. What a great living study!

If my bento or cooking can be of any help, I am very glad. Please take good care of yourself and have a wonderful student life in Canada, Anna-san.

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Soon it is March (time flies!). In Japan a school year ends in March. Graduation ceremonies are many, people start a new life with the arrival of cherry blossoms. Those who will leave home and start living on their own are preparing their new life, a cute cooking pot, 1 mug cup and 1 plate, a small electric rice cooker for 1 person. There are school cafeterias and company cantinas, but why not try a bento time to time?

Norwegian universities do have school cafeterias too but I heard from my daughter that it was very expensive. A dinner costs more than 100 NOK (13 US dollars/11.6 Euro) and it is not the best taste. The school she is attending now in US has larger selection, they have pizza, chinese food and even sushi but you get tired of them if you eat it every single day and the portion is rather large and you have to watch your weight! There are many good things about bento and I think one of the most important one is that you can control both the amount and the quality of the food you eat.

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This photo shows you my daughter’s bento box collection. Right, she loves Hello Kitty.

In order to enjoy a good bento life, I think choosing a right bento box for you is very important. If it is too small for you, you will still be hungry and end up buying something. If it is too large you may find you spending time and money to fill the box unnecessarily. If you are a women with normal appetite, I think a box with a volume around 600-700 ml might serve well. Like this set of 3 boxes in different sizes is also very convenient as you can combine and be flexible.

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If you are a beginner of cooking, it might be hard to begin with. But what I want to recommend you is that you try anyway and start with a food ingredient that is very familiar with you. Ham, tuna, I think it is not such a bad idea to use sometimes frozen food or ready-made food. Most people have eggs in the fridge? You can make scrambled eggs with butter and add green onions, a sunny side up on a hot frying pan is good, you can put a slice of cheese on top and melt it. When you master Tamagoyaki in Japanese way, you are getting very good! When you fry an egg on a frying pan, you can sautee green peppers and ham beside the egg. Another dish will be completed in a minute! (It goes very fast so don’t forget salt and pepper!)

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Don’t be discouraged by mistakes. Never mind and just keep on going. Some people may be so good and can make a successful bento on the first day but if you are getting better gradually through your failures and mistakes I think you will be a person with rich experiences.

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Your first bento. Are you wondering when you will start?
I hope you will give a try!

xxx Rie