29 April, 2014

White Asparagus Season & Recipe 白アスパラガス in ドイツ

The season of white asparagus has come. 
You start to see many signboards of white asparagus sell when Easter season begins around in the beginning of April.
The price of asparagus is usually €3 to €10 per 1kg but varies from the producing district and German one is basically pricey (I'm talking about only German market because I live in Germany.).
Foreign while asparaguses such as Greek or Spanish ones are also sold in supermarkets here and they're inexpensive. BUT they can't beat German one that tastes and smells better and stronger. 
You can tell when you try it. 
70% of white asparagus in market comes from Germany and most people tend to buy domestic (German) one even though it's more expensive. 

I thought that white asparagus must be a sign and one of symbols of Spring as well as Easter event after long and dark Winter time of Europe and it seems special to people here more than green asparagus.
You might wonder why they eat and love white one, not green one which is a lot cheaper, and wouldn't get any specific reason. 
But it's apparently special because of its production process that they spend time and effort to keep the asparagus white all the time by covering mud over it.
As you have seasonal vegetables in your country, we have ones in Japan. 
Some plants or vegetables might not exist where you live but I list some seasonal food here.

In Spring : edible flower bud of the fuki (Petasites japonicus) plant called Fuki-noto, rape blossom, Spring cabbage.
In Summer : pumpkin, bitter gourd from Okinawa, beefsteak plant.
In Fall : sweet potatoes, matsutake mushroom.
In Winter : root crops, Chinese cabbage. 

I've heard that you can eat fresh white asparagus in Hokkaido (Japan), we hardly see those fresh ones and have glass-bottled ones at supermarkets, we can't imagine how good they taste and why they're so popular. 
Also when I first had white asparagus, though it was in Germany, they were bottled ones and had almost zero taste. I didn't understand why people love this food.
Make sure to try fresh one!

If you get a chance to fly to Germany in this season, enjoying white asparagus must be in your plan list! :D 


Read more to see how we cooked and ate them this time ☟☟☟

27 April, 2014

Easter 2014 How we celebrated it イースター(復活祭)とごはん

Last Sunday we celebrated Easter as everyone else.
You see rabbits and eggs when it comes to Easter. 
Although I'd been always wondering why eggs and rabbits should be appearing for the season, I couldn't help asking people the reason since I came to Germany and got to experience it. 
This time it was the first time that I searched for easter tradition because I couldn't get any convincing  answers from anyone and Jan didn't also know it.
It can be the same thing that I can't answer every single thing of events related to Shinto and Buddhism. (I even belong to neither Shinto nor Buddhism.)

 First of all, do you know why they call it Easter? It doesn't derive from a point of the compass but from an old story that in time of Spring, ancient European had presented and worshiped goddess Ostera (also called Easter: Easter is called "Ostern" in German).

Chocolate eggs and colored eggs are very popular for easter and you can find many tables with eggs on it or decorated with eggs.
In the morning parents are hiding colored eggs and sweets in the gardens or homes and children have to search for them. Parents are telling their kids that the " Easter Rabbit " came and hide the eggs and sweets. Its like the fairy tail of Santa Claus. 
But the story of the Easter Rabbit comes from the ancient german time. The fairy tale says that a grandma was hiding easter eggs in the garden and there was a rabbit at the same time. 
The kids saw the rabbit and thought that the rabbit is hiding the eggs. 
Because of that fairy tale the story of the Easter Rabbit came up and is still popular with young children.

A common dish for easter lunch is lamb. The reason for eating lamb is that a lamb has always been characterized as symbol of pureness and innocence of Jesus for many years. In the old Testament you find the story that the ancient christians and jewish killed and worshiped the lamb and served the meat on the day after he came back from the death. 
For many people nowadays the lamb isn't so popular anymore for easter but for greek orthodox for example it still means a lot for them to worship a lamb for the third day of easter.
I find it's a bit funny that even though the lamb is regarded as Jesus people still eat it.

まず"イースター"という名前です。Easterだから方角の東が関係あるのかというとそうではなく春の訪れるこの季節に、古代ヨーロッパ人は女神Ostera (Easterとも言う:ドイツ語でイースターはOstern)を崇め奉ったことに始まります。​​​​




More Photos!☟

23 April, 2014

Cochem-Beautiful City by Mosel River コッヘム-モーゼル川沿いの街

The next day on 17th, we drove to Cochem.
We could fully enjoy this Easter week as Jan fortunately got to have vacation off.

Cochem is one of beautiful sightseeing areas in Germany where Imperial castle (Reichsburg) stately located on the top of the hill and the city lies on the side of the Moselle river.
This city is in the Cochem-Zell district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany and known for the Moselle wine.
There are still a large number of historical buildings such as Town Hall, St. Martin's Church in the Old Town, and Imperial castle of the late Gothic style.

I thought that Cochem is a pretty smaller then Rothenburg the day before, where you can walk through and enjoy the highlights in a day.
All streets are stone pavements and there are many souvenir shops, Moselle wine stores, bakeries, cafés, and restaurants on the both side of them.

翌日17日は再び車を走らせてコヘム(Cochem: 日本語ではコッヘムの様ですが、ドイツ人のじょんはコヘム(コヘンにも聞こえる)と発音しています。)へ来ました。


All Photos ☟

22 April, 2014

Romantic Street- Rothenburg Photo Diary ロマンティック街道-写真集

On 16th we visited Rothenburg. Since it was right before Easter,  I had more fun taking photos because all stores were nicely decorated for it.
Rothenburg is one of 28 cities that belong to the Romantic Road and attracts tourists from all over the world. Although I'm also a foreigner in Germany, I was surprised how crowded the main street was.
Until Jan planned to drive to the Romantic Road this time, I was only thinking that the Romantic Road is a street of a town somewhere in Germany and famous for some reason. lol

Here you see the townscape of the Middle Ages, castles and churches in the big nature of the Alps like you turn pages of a book of fairy tale.
The Romantic Road is scenic Routes that longitudinally cross center of southern Germany.
There are 28 towns from north to south over the road which is about 350km (220mi) length comparable to between Tokyo and Osaka.
Romantic Road celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010 from its inauguration, though, since the 19th century it continues to attract travelers for the nostalgic towns.
Because it is a very long road, the towns have many faces in the north and south. Famous Neuschwanstein Castle which is a model of Cinderella Castle is located at the foot of the German Alps of southward Romantic Road.
Small towns of Middle Ages range stretch the wide plain of the north half.
It is a good idea to go to the north side if you would like to see lovely towns and for the south side if you aim for beautiful castles

ロマンティック街道は、南ドイツの真ん中を縦断する観光街道。東京~大阪間に匹敵する約350Km の街道上に、28ヶ所の町々が南北に連なっています。

*If it doesn't load photos correctly, please reload this blog. 画像が読み込めないときは再読み込みをしてください。*

☟All Photos and More to Read! もっと写真を楽しんでくださいね!☟

04 April, 2014

Squats for Nice Buns! スクワットと最近の写真

It's been pretty warm in Germany and the temperatures almost reach 30℃ (86°F) in this beginning of April!
Are you ready for Summer that's coming in a few months?? 
Every year people talk about how to make your upper arms, thighs, waist thinner, or remove cellulite and so on. 
They probably talk or you hear less about how to lift your butt though, in case you aren't sure what's good for nice buns, I declare that squats work the best. 
I've been squatting too since last 3 months and my butt's gotten up and off fat! I will 100% continue as long as possible, preferably until I become an old lady!, and keep it in fit as well as other workouts for total body exercise. 
This first picture is me. I don't look as good as I expect to look and need more trainings but no fake. 
I put my favorite squats video from fitness blender down below and you can start it out when you click the image.  Please enjoy and let's have a nice bikini body!

☟Click the video! ビデオをクリック☟

02 April, 2014

Happy Birthday for Jan's Dad - Maccha Cake 抹茶シフォンケーキ

On 25th. March, it was a birthday of Jan's dad and I made this full Maccha (≒ green tea) chiffon cake with a filling of Anko (red bean paste) mousse as everyone loves Maccha flavor.
It took me 3 hours to make Anko from dry beans which was longer than I thought.
For the cream outside the cake, I used drained soy yogurt with sugar and maccha powder. It turned out amazing taste without high calorie cream.
The healthier, the better!

It's actually easier for me to use normal yogurt but Jan' mom has lactose intolerance that causes her stomachache and some problems from milk product.
You might probably think that I could've still use one because it was his dad's birthday though, one time she told me that she had my cake after removing all whipped cream with a fork and I thought I should make a cake that everyone feels comfortable to eat.
For this reason I bought soy yogurts for this cake.