Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tougan (winter melon) Soup Recipe

Happy Halloween!  Today I’m bringing you a special autumn soup featuring a seasonal ingredient: Tougan.  Tougan is also known as winter melon and is in the cucumber family. It’s a popular ingredient in Chinese soups and we often have it in our School Lunches. Since I was in the States for two weeks this month, I wasn’t able to order any pumpkins, so I decided to celebrate my Halloween with a Tougan-O’lantern.  But why waste?  I’ve never made Tougan Soup

My You’ve Gotten Fat or Isn’t Japan Supposed to be Polite?

For those of you who don’t know, I spent my first three years in Japan living on Kitadaito Island.  Kitadaito is a small island 320km east of the mainland of Okinawa.  While I was there, I experienced the close community of rural Japan, and started writing.  A bit over a year ago, I moved to Kumejima which his far larger.  Since this is my last year with the JET Programme, I decided to visit Kitadaito during their annual Daitogusai Festival.

School Lunch in Okinawa October 1-4

Monday October 1 Menu: Milk, barley rice, cabbage chanpuru, baked miso fish fillet, clear broth root vegetable soup Review: Its been about three weeks since I’ve had any of these meals.  Normally, I’d have expected two weeks of American food to wash away any true memory of the dishes.  Strangely, this trip I was disappointed by food I ate.  I went and searched out all the foods that had strong memory ties, yet they all felt flat compared to my memories,

2012 Kitadaito Festival Day 2

The 2012 Kitadaito Festival was a two-day event in September marking an important time of community inclusion and tradition. The second day of the Festival was on the 23rd and, as in years past, featured sumo competitions as a traditional Japanese offering to the kami and ancestors of the village. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my post on day one. Below is a video showing excerpts from the day, with more information and photos farther down.

School Lunch in Japan for Sept 10-28

Things have been interesting around here for the last few weeks.  My novel is out, we got hit with typhoon 1216 and 1217 and there was a sports festival thrown in.  Why does any of this matter in a School Lunch post?  Well in Japan, or at least on my island, all of this tends to mess with 1. my ability to get a school lunch,  2. My ability to remember to take pictures of them, and 3. My ability to actually