Although summer officially is picnic season, I love to eat outdoors so much that I begin in the spring. Whether it’s a homemade bento or drive-thru meal in a bag, it tastes best when enjoyed in fresh air and sunshine. I feel fortunate to be able to eat even the quickest meals next to a trickling brook that tumbles into a duck pond, on a sunny pier over the Pacific Ocean surf or in my grassy backyard with its spots of red geraniums and young, fragrant herbs. The beauty of nature nourishes my spirit and I nearly forget to eat!
Why wait for the summer to have impromptu mini-picnics, even if it is just for one? Summer brings suffocating heat and throngs of vacationers that crowd the nicest vistas. And keep the food simple. Good food usually is. Once my picnic meals had to be elaborate spreads and my husband disdained the season of dragging along two-ton ice chests, charcoal and the hibachi grill, but today I appreciate simpler foods that allow us to rest and take in the scenery.
A requisite for my homemade picnics is musubi, also called onigiri or Japanese rice balls. They can be simple or seasoned with a variety of ingredients. My Caucasian husband did not care for plain musubi until I came up with a special version just for him: Sweet Bacon Musubi. That one can be a light meal in itself. Plain musubi can be served with other okazu like kara age (fried chicken) or teriyaki beef sticks but always, always with tsukemono like my favorite Sweet Takuan.
Here are this week’s articles:
How to Make a Rice Ball Onigiri Musubi
Some things seem so simple that they need no explanation. But this isn’t the case with the humble rice ball.
Happy Hubby Sweet Bacon Musubi Recipe
My Caucasian husband does not like plain musubi or onigiri (white rice ball) which made me sad until I made him this version that satisfies his love of bacon.
Homemade Sweet Takuan Recipe
Make your own sweet pickled Japanese daikon radish instead of buying the packaged version.
Your Japanese food vocabulary of the week: Ima tabeta bakari desu. (ee-mah tah-beh-tah bah-kah-ree deh-soo) This means “I have just eaten.”
“I think we’re here for each other.” ~Carol Burnett, comedienne
Until next time,
BellaOnline.com Japanese Food Site Editor