Archive for December, 2006
In the 1960s, a spoof on the typical industrial films of the era was created. It was called The Your Name Here Story. It shows Americans facing struggles and problems and then all of a sudden scientists in the laboratories of some company come along with the ultimate chemical or product to solve all those problems!
It pulls together all the different industrial cinema cliches—”humans from the very beginning of time,” freedom and democracy, scenes of growing cities and freeways, the melodramatic couple in twin beds, the great scientists, the listing off of every known advantage you could ever hope to get from a product—well-trained, obedient pets; making friends; leisure time for travel; scientic progress; space travel; etc.
Here, it has been turned into The IMF Story. Have fun:
Here’s a recipe from my hometown. In Klosters — in the mountains of the Canton Graubuenden in Switzerland — we savour these wonderful cookies once a year. Christmas isn’t Christmas without Bruensli.
These cookies have to be prepared the day before, but so easy to make. I hope you get a chance to try these with your family — it may become a tradition. When you eat them, think of my beautiful hometown, nestled amongst the tall mountains.
Kirsch is used in this recipe. It is a clear liquor made from cherries that we drink quite often with a coffee in Switzerland. It is also a required drink with cheese fondue. In Japan, unfortunately, I can only get the inferior German Kirschwasser — but it suffices for cookies.
Almonds (sliced, slivered, or powdered) 150 grams (wee bit over 5 oz)
Sugar 3/4 cup
Cocoa powder 1/4 cup
Cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp
Clove powder 1 big pinch
Egg white 1 egg
Kirsch (or Kirschwasser) 1 tbsp
Granular sugar As needed
Step 1. In a food processor, chop up the almond until coarse powder.
Step 2. In a large bowl, combine the almond powder, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and clove.
Step 3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white for half a minute.
Step 4. Add the egg and kirsch to the cocoa mixture. Mix in well, until all of the dry ingredients are wetted.
Step 5. Bring the mixture together into a ball.
Step 6. On a board or counter, sprinkle granular sugar. Place the cookie dough on top and pat down to about 10-12 cm (1/2 inch). Sprinkle granular sugar over the top.
Step 7. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.
Step 8. Place the cookies on a lightly buttered baking tray. Place the tray somewhere overnight — let the cookies dry out slightly (don’t cover).
Step 9. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (360 F).
Step 10. Bake for 12-13 minutes.
Step 11. Let the cookies cool for 1-2 minutes on the baking tray, then remove to a cooling rack.
Now, Rieko and I are off to Universal Studios Japan to see the big Christmas tree. Also, get to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what a good boy I’ve been.
Please let me know if you make these delicious treats.
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night”
Rieko and I went to Jigoku Meguri (Hell Tour) over the weekend. About an hour’s flight from Osaka is Oita in Kyu-shu. We first went to the Valley of Hell and toured the bubbling, boiling mud and shooting geysers of steam.
Then, we went to a great Ryokan (a fancy kind of inn) and ate Fugu (the poisonous blowfish). We’ve eaten it many times in Osaka, but here in Kyu-shu — even better.
Then, after a number of soaks in the Ryokan’s hot springs bath, it was time to start the day of slowly with a cup of green tea on the veranda.
We headed to Yufuin for a wander about — shopping and eating. Rieko made friends with some goats. According to the signs in the background, this is the Alps. And the old guy — he might be Heidi’s grandfather.
And time for more tea and goodies.