Monku! Monku! Monku!

complain complain complain

Growing up it was a contest between me and my brother who could be the biggest monkutare!!

Well he won this contest.  Maybe being the baby of the family gave him extra monku powers, but he sure was cute!   Mom and dad couldn’t stay annoyed with him for too long.  Me and our sister Kris?  We pretended to stay annoyed.

Got to get this surprise box in the mail to him 🐒🐵

Some of the surprise I didn’t include in the picture in case he reads this post 🙊🙈

Broiled Miso Salmon and Blushing Baked Salmon Recipes

The tastiest salmon dishes from Jane who made enough for over 100 people for a recent luncheon at my church, enjoy!

Broiled Miso Salmon

¼ C white (shiro) miso paste*

3 T mirin

2 T sake

1 T sugar

1 T soy sauce

4 salmon fillets

  • Whisk all the ingredients, except the salmon, together in a bowl.
  • Turn the salmon fillets in the marinade to coat, cover and refrigerate overnight.
    • If you are doing an entire half a salmon, after placing it skin side down in a pan, just spread the marinade over the fish, cover and refrigerate overnight. If you only have about an hour to marinate, after coating the fillets, you can place them skin side up so that the flesh is sitting in the marinade and soaks in.
  • To cook the fish, turn on the oven to high heat.
  • Place salmon skin side down in a pan, pat off a some of the excess marinade and cook for about 10 minutes. Check to see how it flakes to see how done it is and to make sure the marinade still on the fish is not burning.  Some people like the salmon barely cooked through and still a little translucent near the middle.  If it is a thicker fillet, it might take more than 10 minutes to have it cook all the way through.
    • For ease of clean-up, use some aluminum foil in the pan since the marinade on the pan instead of the fish will probably burn due to its high sugar content.
    • If you like a little “crispiness” to the outside of the fish, you can cook it on broil instead, but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
  • Can garnish with thinly sliced scallions or thinly sliced scallions and either black or white goma.

*Shiro or white miso paste is a mild miso paste and recommended for this recipe to let the salmon shine through, but you could also use Awase miso, a mix of white and red miso if that was what you had.

 

Blushing Baked Salmon

6 salmon fillets

3 T fresh lime juice*

3 T honey

2 T olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Mint springs and 2 limes sliced in thick wedges for garnish

  • Remove fillets from fridge.
  • Combine lime juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper in a marinade
  • Divide the marinade over the salmon fillets and let marinate for about 30 minutes to an hour. Do NOT marinate overnight because the citrus-y lime juice will “cook” the fish like in a ceviche.  After coating the fillets, you can place them skin side up so that the flesh is sitting in the marinade and soaks in.   You can also do a half a salmon, but then I would double the marinade.
  • Turn on the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place salmon skin side down in an oven proof dish or a pan and cook for about 10 minutes or until done to your liking.
    • Can also put the oven on broil if you like a little “crispiness” to the outside of the fish, but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
  • Garnish each fillet with a mint spring and a lime wedge.
    • Alternatively, you can save back a about a tablespoon of marinade, and use a citrus zester (not a microplaner) to peel off lime strips and put them in the marinade along with some thinly sliced mint. Garnish each fish fillet with a little of that mixture along with a lime slice or lime wedge.

* Wash the lime and microwave for about 15-20 seconds to help it release more juice.  How many limes you need will depend on how “juicy” the lime is.  I find a lime will usually give me a little more than 1 T of juice.

 

Memorial Day 2017 Colorado Thank You to Our Military

 

You are likely to find me in one of two places on Memorial Day.   Either way I will be honoring my father and his service to his country in the United States Military during World War II.

Sam Y. Matsumoto

In odd number years you will find me at the Nisei War Memorial at Fairmont Cemetery in Denver, Colorado singing with the choir for the annual Memorial Day service.

 

The Memorial is engraved with the names of Japanese American Nisei veterans from the Rocky Mountain region who served in the United States Armed Forces and who are now at rest.

In even number years you will find me at the Bolder Boulder, an annual Memorial Day 10K  honoring United States military.   This is a run, jog or walk race.

About 50,000 people participate every year.

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The race finishes in Folsum Field in Boulder, Colorado. As you complete the race you enter the stadium where those who completed the race before you and other supporters cheer you over the finish line!

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Many participants wear a bib on their back with the name of the person they want to honor.

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Next year is the 40th anniversary.  Yes, I have been running since the beginning but those 40 year old race t-shirts are long gone.

I am grateful for my country and the freedoms granted to its citizens which are protected by brave men and women like my dad.

Message to My Generous Uncle Sam – You Saved My Bacon

Henry here with an update to the latest lesson learned by a 7 month old puppy.

As you may recall, I went into another dimension and chewed my Mom’s expensive lymphedema glove making it useless.

My Uncle Sam in a fit of ESP (we have a special bond and he felt my distress upon learning that chewing the expensive glove made my Mom turn into a lecture mistress) purchased an extremely generous gift certificate for my Mom.

The gift certificate was lost in e-mail hell for awhile but that was good fortune because the LympheDivas company just started and awesome sale and Mom got extra stuff!

Mom was able to not only replace the destroyed glove but buy all of the following:

Hummingbirds, magical tiny creatures that have boundless energy,  this sleeve and glove will make her arm feel light and airy. 

The Koi are powerful fish that can easily swim against currents and upstream.  This sleeve and glove will bring my Mom good fortune and help her be courageous.

The puppy glove to remind her of me and my brothers.

A miniature secret garden glove, perfecting for a quick meditation to uplift spirits.

Really, Uncle Sam was very thoughtful and generous with this gift.  Having these extra garments sure helps with laundry as they need different handling then the rest of the laundry and especially helps Mom feel more cheerful with options on what to wear in the morning.

Well Uncle Sam me and Mom voted and you are definitely winning as Uncle and Brother of the Year.

The Beast and the Monk

The beast leaned into him, huffing it’s warm breath over his cheek.  He leaned into the beast, taking in the sweet musty smell of the animal. The smell of tea shrubs and fragrant white flowers.

Alone he had removed the rocks and debris from the field. Raked the earth smooth until it was finally ready for the beast.

The beast stepped forward, it’s great hoof covering his bare foot. The sharp sound of bones breaking and the intense pain lifted his spirits. A sign that it was time to begin.

Stepping into the field the beast followed him. The hooves of this son and grandson of great Samurai warrior horses left deep indentations as he followed the limping monk back and forth across the field.  Finally the field appeared as though filled with gentle waves  of the ocean coming into high tide. The beast nodded it’s head as if to bow to the monk sensing it’s duty was done.

A simple meal of boiled millet and pickled vegetables was eaten with the hashi (chopsticks) he kept in his sleeve. Tying the hashi together with a small length of  red silk cord from the beast’s armor he was ready for the next task.

Into the middle of each hoof print he pushed his hashi into the earth. Into that hole he dropped one tea seed. Covering each seed with the rich soil he moved to the next hoof print and continued until the entire field was planted.

In the fall of the third year the plants were shoulder height. The monk knew the first harvest would occur the coming spring.  The monk also knew that harvest would produce the finest tea, honcha, the real tea.   Those worthy of this scarce treasure, and who could afford the cost, would enjoy a tea ceremony attaining ultimate understanding, good fortune and good health.

As the monk limped through the field he allowed simple pleasures to fill his heart, taking in the familiar musty smell of tea shrubs and white fragrant flowers and the great beast.

 

 

 

Jason at 2017 Hina Matsuri Festival

Jason 2017
Jason 2017

Meet Jason.  We worked the doll room together at our Hina Matsuri Festival.

Jason knows more about the dolls than almost anybody at our church. Here he is entertaining some people describing a life-size Samurai armor replica.

Jason outgrew his boy’s kimono he wore last year but I include it here because it is amazing.  A gift from his Aunt and Uncle who live in Japan.
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A formal Kimono, not for casual wear.  A real family heirloom that he can pass down to his son one day along with his knowledge of Japanese dolls.

Continue reading Jason at 2017 Hina Matsuri Festival

Tea Ceremony at 2017 Hina Matsuri Festaval

2017 tea ceremony SUMC

The tea ceremony evolving from the scarce availability of green tea in Japan blossomed into a truly wonderful experience.

Tea ceremony 2017 SUMC

The rituals of the ceremony focus on the guest.  Every small detail of the room and utensils leads the guest to serenity and appreciation.

Samurai at 2017 Hina Matsuri Festival

 

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The armor of the samurai.   Labor intensive, intricate,  beautiful and full of meaning.  Rows of leather and plates of metal woven together with silk cord to make formidable protection.  Functional yet mesmerizing.

Dazzling helmets designed to strike apprehension into opponents upon recognition.

Join us this Saturday or Sunday, March 4th and 5th, at Simpson United Methodist Church, 6001 Wolff St. in Arvada, Colorado for the 49th Annual Hina Matsuri Festival. Hours are 11:30am to 4pm and this is a free event.

Enjoy the doll room, tea ceremony,  bonsai displays, ikebana (flower arranging) display, nonstop entertainment  including music and martial arts or have your name written in Japanese characters.

Here are a couple more displays you will be able to appreciate:

Lion Cub Doll from Hina Matsuri Festival

Suiseki Display From The Hina Matsuri Festival

2017 Hina Matsuri Festival at Simpson

2017-hina-matsuri

Doll’s Day or Girls’ Day.  In Japan it is held every March 3rd.  At Simpson our Festival is held the first full weekend of every March, this year March 4th and 5th.

The Festival is open to the public and free of charge.

The families in the Japanese community display their amazing dolls, many of which have been in their families for generations.  A few posts on dolls:  Kokeshi DollsOtafuku-SanPictures from Past Hina Matsuri Festivals

Also on display are Bonsai (miniature plants and trees) Bonsai at Hina Matsuri Festival and Ikebana (flower arranging) Ikebana at Hina Matsuri Festival.  Very welcome as we wait for spring to finally replace winter.

The ladies prepare Bento Boxes for lunch each day which are extremely popular and are sold out quickly.

A constant parade of activity on the stage in the gymnasium including Taiko Drums, Martial Arts and variety of music.  Taiko with Toni 2015 Hina Matsuri Festival

Other interesting displays are the Kimonos Wedding Kimono, Gaman Art from Internment Camp The Art of Gaman in Internment Camps, a Display at Hina Matsuri Festival

Hope you can join us!  6001 Wolff Street in Arvada, Colorado (just off of Sheridan & 60th).