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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Self portrait and Tempura lunch

Hi, everyone. It was a busy day yesterday, After work, I had spent six hours glazing bisque pieces until eleven o'clock at night. Mike started the kiln early this morning for glaze firing. It's a summer day with blue sly without a hint of cloud, today. it was a perfect day for our kiln firing as it is on solar power. It is still about 200 C, so we have to wait until tomorrow morning.

This Kokeshi-like figure is a self portrait. I found an old photo of myself a couple of months ago. It was taken just after starting a postgraduate course here in Kent. This is me who done;t know what will happen in future. I decorated her body with green glazes. They resemble a pair of wings folded, and also two little leaves emerged from a seed. This is me I had forgotten for twenty years. She was fired a week ago, and has been on our bedroom window sill since then. I greet her every morning. I need to communicate with her much more before I let her go. You can see her before firing here.

We had tempura at lunch today. Mike took a day off, so we had plenty time to enjoy our lunch. We always do frying in the garden, I hate frying smell remains indoor. We have plenty of vegetables from the garden. Mike grew them with loving tender care. He is remarkable!
Harvest from the garden
This plant is called Shiso in Japan. It looks very similar to stinging nettle, but it doesn't have stings. It is delicious and very fragrant. Japanese people use it for fish, meat, pickles, sushi and all other cooking. The easiest way to eat is to use large leaves as Nori in sushi. It goes very well with anything fishy. We often use them to roll sardine.  
Shiso, Japanese herb that I grow every year.
Vegetables are cut. They are ready to be battered and fried. The secrets of crispy delicious Tempura are; 1) use flour/potato starch at 50/50, 2) icy clod water (bubbly water is better), 3)  don't stir batter too much.

Runner beans are most delicious when they were tempura-ed in my view. We found it by chance one year. Since then, I refuse to eat any runner beans unless they are tempura-ed!

How to make Tempura batter
Beat an egg lightly in a large measuring cup. Add icy cold water up to 200cc. Add a half cup flour and a half cup potato starch  into the liquid. Lightly quickly mix it. Fry them at 160C for four-six minutes. 
Everything is from the garden except for the red pepper.


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