I’m Calling the Spelling Police!

I'm Calling the Spelling Police!

We always chuckle about signs or packaging in Japan that have some off crazy English on it and wonder, doesn’t anyone proof these things before they are printed? And then I walked into a local wine & spirits store here in NJ and I see this. sorry Japan – I guess we do it too….

Crepes!

Crepes!

What do you do on a snow day after a long day of sledding? It’s a family crepe party! We’re still working on our plating… But the crepe will be wrapped and then really, how it tastes is the only thing that counts! Strawberries, bananas, nutella, and sour cream mixed with a little sugar on top of crepes hot off the pan. That’s good stuff. Looking for more crepe filling recipes!

Post-Thanksgiving Post

It’s been a while since we posted anything on our blog!

The old saying about the cobbler’s children having no shoes is how I would describe our dishes at home.  We basically had the most mismatched group of bowls and plates one can imagine.  Why?  Because we bring home the samples, the leftover items from broken sets and the discontinued pieces that have been sitting around for years.  When Bob and I got married, I wanted to register for china but apparently, that would have been akin to Mr. Toyota buying a Mini Cooper to tool around town.

So for Thanksgiving, we decided to bring home some actual pieces that were not discontinued or mismatched so that we can show them off!  We spend so much time figuring out which pieces we want to add to our product lines, imagining what would go well in them and how great they would look together.   But then, we don’t really get to appreciate them until we’ve discontinued them and taken some pieces home.

So here are some of our current products being utilized in real life….

IMG_3842Our 9-year old daughter’s Deviled Eggs that she put on one of our Omakase spoons.   Not perfect but she’s 9!  Master Chef Junior, here she comes!

 

IMG_3874

Brie En Croute with raspberries on a Sendan Tokusa plate.  As you can see, I have not mastered the art of plating beautifully!

 

IMG_3845Cranberry Sauce still steaming in our Blue Post 5.25″ Bowl.

 

IMG_3847Some more Omakase items – Large White Serving Bowls.  (The Kimbap is from my mom –  in her own foil tray.  Apparently, she did not get the memo about using a Miya piece!  I mean, thank you Mom!)

 

IMG_3849Another shot of the Blue Post bowl and also the Sendan Tokusa serving bowl holding  Sweet Potato Mash (paleo style!)

Of course, we meant to take more pictures or our plates and bowls but it’s hard to keep a hungry bunch waiting while we try to line up the dishes and find the right lighting.  Luckily, there are a couple more holidays coming up where we stuff ourselves like there’s no tomorrow to show off some other pieces.

We hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday feast too.  Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Tanabata – July 7th

Did you pay attention to stars last night? If not, you missed out on the most romantic night sky of the year.

July 7th in Japan is called Tanabata (七夕).  This is the one night that you can see the two beautiful and bright stars, Vega and Altair, with the Milky Way as a backdrop. This legend originated from China and spread to Japan in the early Nara era.

Can you find two bright starts across the Milky Way?
image 1
Can you find two bright starts across the Milky Way?

According to this legend, Orihime was the beautiful daughter of Tentai, the Sky King, and she dedicated every day to weave beautiful clothes for her father. As Tentai contemplated about his precious daughter’s future, he found a famous farmer in another village located on the other side of the Amanogawa River that be believed would be suitable as Orihime’s future husband. They fell in love with each other right after her father’s arrangement, but they stopped working hard like they used to as soon as they got married. After seeing the two of them slowly become less and less responsible, Tentai finally decided to separate them by putting them on opposite sides of the Amanogawa River and allowed them to meet only once a year on July 7th.

Amanogawa, is what the Japanese call the Milky Way and Orihime and Hikoboshi are represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively in this legend. According to the story, if it rains on this day, these two lovers have to wait another year before they can meet.

tanzaku
image 2
a girl hanging tanzaku on bamboo leaves.

In Japan, there are many local festivals to celebrate these lovers meeting once a year. Many schools also offer events for the students by giving them time to write down a wish on a piece of paper called Tanzaku and hang it on bamboo leaves in hopes that their wishes would come true.

Tanabata Festival
image 3
Tanabata Festival

You cannot help to look up other people’s wishes on bamboo leaves because there is a wide variety of wishes…from cute and funny to sad wishes:

image 4 "wish Orihime and Hicoboshi could meet tonight."
image 4
“wish Orihime and Hicoboshi could meet tonight.”
image 5 "please give me big boos."
image 5
“please give me big boos.”
image 6 "wish my dad would break up with that bad woman soon."
image 6
“wish my dad would break up with the bad woman soon.”

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Image Sources:

1. http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/pi_hyarara2003/15577320.html

2. http://www.city.daito.lg.jp/photonews/1279609153474.html

3. http://duarcain.blogspot.com/2012/05/tanzaku.html

4. http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/aroamtic/9828772.html

5. http://plaza.rakuten.co.jp/2ndorijin/diary/200807060000/

6. http://ameblo.jp/shikao-blog/entry2-10587054166.html

CPR AED Training for the Staff at Miya

Our fearless leader, Bob, had a pretty frightening experience a couple of weeks back.  He regularly plays basketball at an open gym in our town with other guys in the neighborhood.  It was business as usual a couple of weeks ago when one of the guys collapsed just five minutes into a game.

Most of the guys didn’t know what to do.  They pulled out their phones to call 911 but this guy needed help.  He wasn’t breathing.

Luckily, one of Bob’s friends knew CPR.  He quickly grabbed the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and got to work.  He administered CPR for 15 minutes until the paramedics came.  Bob felt helpless while this was happening but he was impressed with his friend’s quick thinking and action.  The paramedics thought that Bob’s friend saved this guy’s life.

So when we decided that we would put Health and Wellness as one of our company’s core values, Bob called his friend, Bob Stickel, at LifeSavers Inc.  LifeSavers is a training center with classes in CPR, Defibrillation, and First Aid.   Because health and wellness becomes rather useless if you’re dead.

They sent one of their wonderful trainers, Maryann, to our office and we all participated in a CPR AED training session.  Now we are all certified to administer CPR.  And we have an AED in our office just in case.  Knock on wood that we never need to but we should all be ready if we do.

Thank you LifeSavers!

cpr

Ramen in Ikebukuro

It’s April and it’s still cold…  Yoko helps warm us up with her blog about ramen!

Ramen is one of  iconic foods in Japan, which has different types of flavor and taste depending on the area.  Sapporo ramen is a miso based ramen in Hokkaido (北海道), while Hakata ramen is a pork-based, tonkotsu ramen originating in Kyushu (九州).

In the past 5 years, tsukemen has become popular in Tokyo.  Tsukemen is ramen served with soup on the side. How do you eat it? – Dip some noodles in the broth and eat!  After you finish the noodles, add soba-yu (water you used to boil soba) into the soup and drink.

Although Tokyo-style ramen is actually a soy sauce based soup, people from all prefectures in Japan gather in Tokyo so many different flavors are available to its residents. If you want to try various regional specialty ramen in Tokyo, ikebukuro is the right place to go.

2. Ramen Map
Some ramen restaurants from west exit in Ikebukuro station.

ikebukuro (池袋) is a commercial and gourmet district which is sometimes referred to as the ‘ramen battleground’ in Tokyo. ikebukuro station is one of the main commuter hubs and second busiest station in Japan. Both the west and east exits of the station are home to famous ramen shops. People are always standing in long lines in front of these famous ramen restaurants which exceed even the most famous ramen restaurants in the US such as  ippudo in New York.

Some ramen noodle restaurants have automated ticket dispenser that entertain tourists.

This dispenser stands in front of the entrance of restaurants and customers can customize ramen by buying tickets for toppings as well as for soup bases such as miso-based, pork-based soup (tonkotu), salt-based, or  soy sauce based. You also can see this dispenser is in curry or soba/udon restaurants.

Do you feel like visiting ikebukuro now? I know it’s hard to make a trip just for ramen, so what can you do?  – Our ramen bowls bring you there!

ramen bowl

From the left: J3021A, J3021B, J3021C, and J3021D.
Size: 6.75″ x 3.5″

Have ramen at home.  Feel Japan.

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image source:

1. Tsukemen: http://tsukemen-sharin.com/
2. Ramen Map: http://antidote.sakura.ne.jp/ike_ra-men_nishi.html
3. Ramen Dispenser: http://ikemen.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2011-05-31