In preparation for a trip to the Caribbean this Christmas, I am posting recipes for a few of Bean’s favourite foods. Today, Ratatouille. I got the recipe from Annabel Karmel and added corn

  • 2 tbs olive oild
  • 1 red onion (i used white)
  • 1 garlic clove (i used 2)
  • 1 small red pepper and one small green seeded and diced
  • 1 courgette trimmed and diced
  • 14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • s&p

Heat oil in large saucepan. cook oion and garlic 1-2 mins. Add peppers and courgette cook 4-5 mins. Add aubergine and cook 5 mins. Stir in tomatoes sugar and red wine vinegar, bring to simmer and then cook 10 min.

I served it once on it’s own and once over pasta with some grated Parmesan cheese. Yum.


Paddling Pool in Meguro

July 13, 2008

Today we raced out after Bean’s nap to go swimming in Meguro. There is a 25 m indoor pool, a 50 m outdoor pool and a paddling pool for toddlers. It costs 200 yen (about 2$) to get into the big pool and 100 yen to get into the paddling pool. One attendant is free with a child, so for Bean, Kook and me it was 200 yen. There’s a lovely slide and there are two parts depths in the pool. Bean was able to crawl around in the shallow area and could stand in the deep area.

Sorry no pics as I forgot my camera at a friend’s place. But here is a link to details on the pool…

Bean’s Favourite Foods

July 10, 2008

We are preparing for a trip home and so I need to make note of and share our little Bean’s favourite foods.

Miso Soup – We make the dashi using Bonito flakes and Kombu and cook carrots, pumpkin, potato, zucchini and onion to cook in the broth. At the end, add the miso paste, tofu and seaweed.

Grilled fish- miso cod, sea bream (tai), cod (tara), sea bass (suzuki).

Fish fingers in cornflakes (not Japanese, but yummy) – marinate the fish in lemon juice, oil and chopped shallot, dip in egg and milk, then cornflakes. Fry in butter (don’t overcook). She likes the chopped into small pieces.

Pumpkin, broccoli, carrot and zucchini in a cheese sauce (melt butter, add flour, fry then add cheese).

Quinoa and pumpkin balls – steam pumpkin (and carrot), fry onions and garlic, add to quinoa with some tofu. Make balls for finger food (can be baked to harden the balls).

Brown rice with hijiki seaweed, green onions, carrot and fried tofu simmered in dashi.


We went to Shimoda this weekend, a beach area just 2 and half hours south of Tokyo. We took the Superview Odoriko which has a play area for kids. (Get your ticket for a seat in car 9 or 10 (green car)). The play area is in car 10. It is a bit run down but great for kids to run around and have space to move. There’s also a nursing room and a changing table.

We stayed at the Sakuraya Pension in Shirahama. The owner is fantastic and speaks perfect English. He had loads of suggestions for us on what to do during our stay and was incredibly kind to us. The pension is up a steep hill. We took a taxi from the station (10 minutes and about 2000 yen). The pension was 5800 yen a night per person including breakfast.

Everywhere we ate we had tatami mat seating which is much easier for kids and they staff always came out to entertain our bean and also gave us a bowl and spoon for her to use.

We spent Saturday morning on the beach and our bean slept 2 hours! We swam and lay in the sun and relaxed. Heaven. The water was too cold for her but we enjoyed it. The Japanese think we’re crazy to go swimming already. We were there in late June and the season doesn’t start until mid-July. Be warned – it’s a short season – August the waters are full of jellyfish!

We went for a nice walk to an old lighthouse. A nice 2-3 hour walk. Not rigourous and well marked. Not stroller friendly but easy for a confident walker or a baby in a carrier

Banana Holder Japan

September 25, 2007

When we moved to Tokyo, we received a book of useless inventions from Japan. We came across our very own useless invention at the grocery store recently – a plastic banana holder. Somehow the item seems a bit rude…
Banana Holder Japan

Happo-en Horn Hider

September 20, 2007

We visited the lovely Happo-en gardens recently. After a wonderful lunch, we visited the tea room for some whipped ocha and sweets and wandered around the gardens. Weddings are big business in Tokyo and Happoen is a popular spot for celebrations. We asked our Japanese hosts the significance of the womans hat. The story is too good… It’s called “tsuno kakushi” or “horn hider”. As you’d expect – it is a hat to hide the woman’s horns from her betrothed until after the ink is dry.

The gardens feature bonsai that are hundreds of years old sprinkle the pathways (see picture of Kenn and bonsai below). Being from Canada I always think of ancient trees as being enormous. Of course, not so with bonsai. The pond features enormous yellow, white and orange carp.

BonsaiĀ Happo-en

Charlotte Lois Hanako Cukier

September 2, 2007

Thursday morning at 4 AM Tokyo time, Charlotte Lois Hanako Cukier made a rapid arrival in the world. Weighing 3.96 kilos and 52 cm long, she is lovely and healthy and we are all doing fine. Kenn’s website has some more photos as well as an explanation of her Japanese name, Hanako.