July 31, 2011

✿Natural Medicine

Loquat is a magical plant !  
Leaves are great for tea (dry the leaves for a while until it gets brown) and the loquat leave essence can be medicine for many symptoms such as burnt skin, scarring, back pain, sore throat, tooth pain, bitten by insect, stomach pain and more.   
It's simply delicious to eat the fruits as is and I was lucky to have lots of loquats this year so I made jam.  I had 5 times more loquats than the photo this year... How lucky !


Loquats are small fruits and it has really big seeds. It can be 1 to 3 seeds, or sometime even 4 seeds in one small fruit.  You can make loquat seeds essence very easy.  This seeds essence is much stronger than leave essence so you can't take too much at a time.
Peal the brown skin, rinse with water and dry it.  Mix loquat seeds and white liquor higher than 30% together in the bottle and store it for several months.
After several months, take out the seeds and start using essence for various symptoms and essence can be stored for a long time. 
Stomach burn : drink the essence 1tbs with 5tbs water together.
Cold, tooth pain : gaggle 
Back or Neck pain : put 1tbs essence on wet towel, apply it as poultice.
Scarring, burnt skin : apply the essence to cuts and sores.


A friend of my friend is using loquat plant (seeds, leaves) for cancer treatment as well.
How magical plant, loquat is !!

July 29, 2011

✿Shall we Dance ?

My friend, Serra and I went out to dance with 1920's French music about 3 weeks ago.  
This Bay Area band Baguette Quartette played music which was heard in Paris between 1920 ~ 1940 in cafes, dance halls or on street at that time...

Before the actual party started, there were little dance lesson to dance like French back in 1920's.  It's all about making small steps.  Cafe in Paris is much smaller so it requires little steps, the lady who thought us dance said.

While they played beautiful live music, Serra and I dance with so many different partners and It recalls my father's favorite movie " Shall we Dance? " the original Japanese version from 1996.  By the way, my father loved ballroom dance and he went to dance almost every weekend and it was his favorite movie.  

I danced in different kinds of style like waltz, French little steps and other styles and some people were even dancing tango because the band played different types of music.  Also, each partner dance different than other so it was fun to dance with many partners !!  It's like male dancer put their hand towards you and ask your hand... silently asking, shall we dance ? .... so classic !!

You can check the band's website for their repertoire.  

I wore the cloche hat I made and beautiful vintage cream color silk dress which was very light so every time I turned, it flared so beautifully.  The lady who taught us dance earlier that night was a vintage costume designer and she really loved my dress !  

July 27, 2011

✿Chez Alicia

My friend, Alicia lives in North Beach in SF and I went to visit her.
I feel like North Beach is a Montmartre of San Francisco.  It has hills and narrow streets, many cute apartments and European feeling since it's a Italian area...
(Chez Alicia means Alicia's place in French)
This was not her entrance door but maybe it was next to it.  I love old shabby chic doors like this.


She shares her apartment with 2 other girls and they decorated whole apartment in white.  They have lots of day light and really pretty place.

She found this chest at Alameda Antique Market when we went together a while ago.   This chest and beautiful framed mirror reminds me of her apartment in Paris but the one in Paris was much older vintage.   When I visited Paris in 2006, she was living in Paris and we hang out at cafe, restaurants and enjoyed just strolling the beautiful streets.

Her bed room is very sweet.  I love the Mexican embroidery pillow cases that her sister, Serra got from Mexico.
Alicia and Serra prepared the dinner and they surprised me and celebrated my birthday a few days before my actual birthday with these cute cupcakes. 


There were edible gold paper (kinpun) toppings that Alicia's mother got from Japan.  Since there were 7 cakes, I wish 7 wishes and one of the wish was Alicia and Serra's happiness !

Merci pour tout.


July 24, 2011

✿Jasko's Birthday

2 days after my birthday was Jasko's birthday.  
I made this really big cake for him.  It was a strawberry sponge cake in 2 layers of strawberries and cream in the middle.  I spent 5 hours and half in the kitchen to make this cake since it was huge and I had to bake the sponge cake in 2 separate times because I didn't have a large mixing bowl to put all the ingredients together since the recipe was 4 times bigger than normal cake size.  

Also I had to consider how to carry it out and had to drive to the park.  I asked Jasko to drive nice and smooth, imagine like a new born baby in the car without seat belt.

After Jasko played soccer in the park, we sang the birthday song and had this cake with about 30 people.  I think it came out really good !!

While I was watching Jasko playing soccer, I made this flower wreath.  I used to make this wreath all the time when I was a child and I remember it was much bigger so that I could wear it around the head.

July 21, 2011

✿Shio-koji

Back in March, I made Shio-Koji. (塩麹)
~ceramic cup I made~

This photo' s Shio-koji has been over 3 months after I made so it's even more fermented nicely and looks little brownish.  Shio meams salt. Shio-koji tastes milder and sweeter salt.


You are maybe wondering what is Koji ?   It's a culture to make soy sauce, miso, sake, rice vinegar, mirin (sweet vinegar), amazake (sweet sake) and pickels.   Here is a website I found that explain about Koji.


It's very easy to make Shio-Koji.
Simply mix Rice-Koji 300g,  sea salt 60g,  water 300g ~350g in a clean jar and mix it.  Everyday, for 1 ~ 2 weeks, open the rid and mix it.  (It needs fresh air so open once a day)
and then... its ready to taste it.  Keep it in the fridge after that.
In East Bay, Berkeley area, you can find Koji in Tokyo Fish Market and Berkeley bowl in miso section.

Cut tempe and mix with 2~3 tbs of Shio-Kouji and leave it for over night in fridge, take the  tempe and put some Kuzu starch (or corn starch) and grill it on the pan with olive oil. 
Cut fresh 1 carrot (or eggplant, cucumber or any other vegetables) and mix with 2 tbs Shio-Kouji for over night to taste it. Very easy Tsukemono (pickles).


I often add little bit of Shio-Kouji in my salad dressing and it's taste great !



July 20, 2011

✿I Had A Happy Birthday !

Last Tuesday was my birthday and after I had my ballet lesson, my friends made birthday lunch for me.  They all love cooking and they treated me very nicely.
They were all delicious and I had really great time with them.
Thank you so much !!

In the evening, I went out with my husband for my birthday dinner.  Since I was way too full to eat something heavy, we went to Cafe Gratitude and I had raw soup.  I love raw food so I go there sometime... I love sweets from Cafe Gratitude.

Since it was my birthday, they gave me a cup of ice cream with a candle. 
I had my favorite cake, Bliss.  I have the recipe and I make it sometime and it's my favorite sweet !!
Happy birthday to myself !

and then...
after the dinner, we went to watch a movie.
" Midnight in Paris "  wow... I love this movie so much.  I relate to the main character a lot that I am a dreamy person and love Paris, I love 1920's fashion and culture.  In the beginning, he repeats, " let's move to Paris... " it's something I say to my husband all the time...  
I highly recommend this movie to someone who love Paris or who admire vintage style of life !!

I had a happy birthday !


July 10, 2011

✿Plum & July 4th

My friend Mariko-san has some plum trees at her house and my friend Same-chan and I picked some plums after we had lunch together.  Same-chan was on the latter and try so hard to pick as many plums possible and I was on the ground picking the plums that fall.  I wasn't expecting to pick plums that day so I was wearing a white dress so I had to watch out not to make dirt mark on my dress.
3 of us shared the plums but I had 2 times more amount of plums than this photo.

Since there were lots of plums so I was planing to make some jams but I changed mind and made plum tart and that was one of the best tart I ever made.  Sourness from the plums and sweetness of almond paste matched really well.







I knew my husband and I could easily finish the whole tart ourselves but I thought it's better not to eat all so I shared it with 4 other friends.
I made it with plums, almond, maple syrup, vanilla essence, whole wheat and soy milk.


I made plum loquat tart for July 4th when I went to a big party in Oakland hill where my Japanese Tea Ceremony Master had  this amazing party.  This plum loquat tart was good enough but this plum tart I made a few days ago was 10 time better.

On July 4th party, there were ton's of fun event at her house.





Well, she is quite well known and she knows ton's of interesting people, and there were over 50 or 60 people at her party.

It was Usato's premire sale event in U.S. that day and they are quite popular clothing company in Japan.  They use only natural fiver and cotton and hemp. 
Also, Toshikazu Kusaba Inochi no matsuri best selling children's book in Japan and he gave us a talk about his book and his profession of Tosaiga (art work on ceramic) which he invented.
Last but not least, a dancer Takuji and singer Susan Osborn collaborated music and dance together as well as berry dance by Sawa.

Usato produce their natural fiver clothing in Thailand and village ladies seeds cotton and hemp, harvest them themselves, they do the process of making the yarn, dye the fabric.  They do all the process and it's been very popular in Japan.  Take a look of their website which is on English as well.  

Everyone brought a dish to share and ton's of BBQ as well as vegetable dish.  I met many cool people and I really had an amazing time at this party.  yay 







July 03, 2011

✿Adidas x Momoca

so... on June 25th 2011, it was the first day introducing 
"BLUE " line from Adidas in entire North America as well as Adidas x Momoca collaboration pieces.  Here are some of the works I worked on for this season.
I've only used Japanese silk and cotton for this collection and some of them were vintage Kimono fabric.
Also, all the hats you see on these photos are Momoca hats.








photos by : Suzy Poling   www.suzypolingphoto.com
100% of the proceeds will be donated to Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.




Momoca has been working on collaboration with Adidas since 2006, if you would like to see some of the past pieces, please, visit www.momoca.com 
Thank you.