A Weekend with Friends

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Beach near bills Shichirigahama

So you’ve probably been wondering why I’ve been MIA. I’ve been slowly trying to get myself back into the groove of work, household chores, exploring Japan, and transitioning back to reality after the Camino. It hasn’t been an easy transition and there are days when I just want to hop the next plane back to Europe!

This weekend, however, was not one of those times. My good friends from Iwakuni came up to visit me. It’s always great fun catching up with friends but we also had a pretty epic weekend! We checked two major Japan to-do’s off my friends’ list; Kamakura and Mt. Fuji.

On Friday, we headed to Kamakura to see the Great Buddha and Hase-dera Temple. We stumbled upon an awesome macrobiotic/hemp café where I had some  delicious hemp curry in this groovy little spot. In the evening, we headed to the coast between Kamakura and Enoshima to enjoy dinner at bills. My friends are foodies too so we ooh’d and ahh’d over the meal.  We all got different main dishes so we were able to sample the menu as much as possible. We also followed it up with his famous ricotta hotcakes with bananas and honeycomb butter. Delicious! (It is also noteworthy that we all walked away with one of his cookbooks to continue recreating his dishes at home!)

The following day, we hiked Mt. Fuji. It was a nasty day with typhoon-level winds, clouds obscuring any views, and rain. It was the epitome of my husband’s phrase, a “memory maker,” which basically means probably not the most enjoyable hike but one that you will forever tell stories about! Our friends and family will hear stories of being pulled off our feet by these winds, getting our “exfoliating” scrub by lava rocks with each gust, and walking in the clouds.

So with that, I’m going to share my attempt at bills’ wonderful Rosewater Lemonade. I had it for the first time over a year ago and have tried to recreate it several times. It’s delicious and a little bit of rosewater goes a long way. An easy way to dress up a simple lemonade!

Rosewater Lemonade
inspired by bills restaurant

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 5-6)
3 cups water
½ TBSP rosewater
Simple syrup, to taste

Simple Syrup
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar

To make simple syrup, place water and sugar in pan on stove top. Bring to a slight boil until all sugar has dissolved. Cool.

Squeeze lemons and place in pitcher. Add water and rosewater. Mix well and add as much simple syrup as desired. I typically like tart lemonade but I find with the rosewater, a sweeter lemonade works better. Add ice and lemon slices for garnish. Enjoy!

Rebujitos & World Sherry Day

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A taste of Andalusia!

Oh, rebujitos!

It’s early May and that has me dreaming (again) of Spain. Partially because I’m heading back in a few days for vacation but mainly due to several of my (evil) friends who are posting all their feria pictures on Facebook. The brightly-colored ruffled dresses, young men on horses, dancers stomping and clapping, tapas, and general merriment with good friends.

Rebujitos are the drink of feria season. The drink was simple, requiring only manzanilla and 7-Up. It was served by the glass; or for those sharing, by the pitcher. It’s a great introduction to sherry wine. Manzanilla is slightly sweeter and you can temper its intensity with 7-Up. The taste of sherry is unique. It tastes of sunshine, the chalky yellow soil of the area, and the salty sea air that blows over the vineyards. For me, it’s Andalusia in a glass!

It also seems fitting that this year, there will be the first ever World Sherry Day  on Sunday, May 26. There are events around the world from Andalusia all the way to Japan! They vary from gatherings with friends to large events put on by restaurants and bodegas. I am sad that I won’t be able to attend an event here in Japan but believe me, I will find my way to some sherry along the Camino de Santiago to toast this wonderful wine with everyone around the world!

¡Salud!

Courtney

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Enjoy a rebujito this year in honor of World Sherry Day!

Rebujitos
La Gitana manzanilla
7-Up (or Sprite) soda
Ice

Fill glass with ice. Pour as much manzanilla as you want. Top off with 7-Up.

The above is the traditional form served at feria. You can dressed it up by adding an orange/lemon slice or  lemon/orange juice. I once served it in a champagne flute with a blood orange slices.

 

Welcome to My Table

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Hello my foodie friends!

I decided it was time to take the plunge and start my blog. I’m always asked if I have a blog to share my adventures in the kitchen and abroad.  To be honest, I was scared after my first blog attempt. I started it in 2010 when we first moved to Japan but I think I took on more than I could handle at that time. A new culture, house, way of life, food, language, etc…..the list went on and on. I needed some time to figure my way around my new “home” and of course, that started in the food department. Did you expect anything less from me??

Join me as I share my adventures around Asia and in the kitchen. I will also be sharing memories, travel recommendations and recipes that remind me of my time in Europe. In between, there will be a few kitchen disasters and fun. That’s a guarantee!

xxCourt