Saturday 7 April 2007


It is still cold in the mornings, so the day starts by lighting the woodstove. Standing at the stone bench in the kitchen by the early morning light I grind the coffee. The fragrance fills the room as the espresso brews. I foam the milk, add the coffee and sprinkle the top with cocoa.
Ah, cappucino...
It's even better that I get to use my own cups. A chance to hold them, drink from them, enjoy them. Of my two designs I choose the newer curved design, giving Mika my traditional design. The shape is softer and more feminine than my regular mugs. Their position in the kiln has given them subtler colours and smoky carbon effects. The balance is comfortable in my hand as I raise the cup to my lips, my left hand gently touching the chattered texture beneath its curved hip. I drink.
Ah, Cappucino!

Friday 6 April 2007

Good Friday

Easter isn't a big event in Japan. Not such a big issue if it's just you and the missus, but if you're trying to raise children with the best of both cultures, what do you do? If there are no hot cross buns to be found within a thousand miles, then you make them yourself. No recipe? Invent one.

1.5 teaspoons of dry yeast
5 dessert spoons of sugar
400 grams of bakers flour
1.5 teaspoons of salt
40 grams of butter
1 teaspoon of mixed spice (my own blend of course, unavailable over the counter here!)
150 grams of raisins
30 grams of walnuts
280 millilitres of tepid water

Knead the lot together for 10 minutes (being a potter helps!), leave it covered with a damp cloth in a warm place to rise for an hour. Divide it into 12 peices and ball them up. Arrange these on a greased baking tray and leave covered as before to rise for another half hour.
Brush with beaten egg then drizzle crosses accross them with a mixture of flour and water.
Bake for twenty minutes at 200 degrees centigrade.

I made five dozen yesterday, the kids loved them.
There's no chocolate eggs in the supermarket either.
What shall the easter bunny do?!
Just wait till Sunday!