03 August 2015

A Reading Challenge #MakeItHappenBlogHop

This month our Make It Happen Blog Hop challenge was reading.  I am a reader by nature, I have loved books since I was a little girl.  I read Heidi when I was ten, and have read it every year since then.  I also love to reread the Little House series, Hans and the Silver Skates, Grace Livingston Hill books, and several others from my childhood.  So you can imagine how strange it was to not be able to get motivated to do this challenge.  I couldn't figure out how to make reading a challenge for me, since I loved it so much.

I will read just about anything but I am not much into memoirs.  I don't know, they seem to be self indulgent to the point of bragging, or take on a tone of, I suffered through this, no one else suffers like I do... so I decided I would take on a memoir called Bento Box in the Heartland, after seeing it advertised at my favorite cooking school, Kitchen Conservatory.  They were having a book discussion on this book and a demonstration of Japanese cooking.  What a perfect combination for me!  Food and books!

Reading the book wasn't hard, the writing style was direct.  It is classified as a food memoir, which I didn't even know was a genre!  The author, Furiya, is around my age, maybe a bit younger, growing up in a small town in Indiana.  Food is central to her life, being a Japanese family that holds to their cultural traditions.  Buying that food was a challenge, they drove to Cincinnati or Chicago to pick up the essentials for their family's pantry.  The book identifies her struggles, one that hits particularly close to home for me, when a student in a history class remarks that all the Japanese should be killed (discussing Pearl Harbor) and when Furiya looks to the teacher for help, the teacher looks at her and nods, as in agreement with the student.  My heart broke into a thousand pieces thinking that teacher did not help her.

The book introduces several Japanese dishes at the end of each chapter.  In my cooking class/book discussion, we focused on those foods.  Our chef did a demonstration of food techniques and we were the lucky recipients of the dishes.  Each one was so delicious.

Steamed clams in saki.  Delicious.  Green onions are used daily in Japanese cooking, according to the author.

Potstickers with a ginger, soy, and rice vinegar dipping sauce.

Daikon radish slaw with steamed buns, grilled shrimp and scallop.
Go and visit these other lovely blogs and their selections this month!

Lauren Caris Cooks  Lauren made truffles using a German cookbook!

Tikkido  Nikki read 12 books this month!

Lauren Kim  Reviewed Stacy Risenmay's new book, "Natural Accents."

An Italian in my Kitchen  Read Inferno by Dan Brown and took inspiration to make a classic Italian dish.

A Good Life  Read Bento Box in the Heartland and cooked Japanese!

Come back next month when we take on photography!  

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