Friday, December 9, 2011

Cooking With Teresa in Nagoya, Japan

My friend, Teresa, and her husband, Steve, packed up about four months ago and moved to Nagoya, Japan where Steve has a two-year assignment with his employer. Teresa regularly sends an email update on her latest Japanese adventures and I’d like to share a part of her email from December 6.

last week in preparation for our party, i decided to make some banana bread. well, low and behold it burned, and to make matters worse, about 10 minutes later, the oven broke. this was last thurs. and they finally fixed the oven this morning/by the way, i couldn't use the stove either.

i had to turn off the fuse because if it was on the oven made a noise that was deafening!!! so, today after the repairman left, i tried to make the pumpkin bread that i had tried making on sat. but couldn't because of the horrible sound, and guess what! it burned again!

i am discovering that this oven does not like anything baked with sugar on top-i do that for a nice crunchy crust. the house smelled so bad from the smoke that i had to open the windows and doors and go for a walk. i'm wondering if maybe i shouldn't have preheated the oven like the recipes call for. my flan, lasagne and porkchops have turned out fine so i don't know what happens with these breads.

i talked to 2 other women in the complex and turned the oven on to the setting they told me to use. if you'll recall from an earlier e-mail the darn oven has 6 different settings-no such thing as just turning the temp. on to 350. i just don't understand why these german appliances are so darn hard to use. i finally learned that in order to make the washer and dryer work, i have to slam the doors shut. no such thing as just pushing them gently. oh well, life goes on.

That really got me laughing! And Mike and I shared the same frustration with our oven in Guaymas. It had no temperature settings, in fact, no settings at all. We just turned the oven’s knob to the right and hoped for the best. Needless to say, we didn’t use our oven much. Ahhh…the joys of living in another country!

Thanks for sharing Teresa!


Anonymous said...

hi cynthia,

thanks for posting that. i think i jinxed myself because guess what-yesterday i burned a flan. i'm having a cuban cooking class tonight and since flans need to be refrigerated well in advance of being eaten, i made it yesterday. i had it on the exact same setting that i did the many times i've made flan here. i am really beginnning to think it's the oven and not me causing the problems. luckily the lasagne turned out just right but our neighbor was sick and couldn't join us so i took dinner to his place. ahh, as you say, the joys of living in a foreign country. still, regardless of these little aggravating problems with the appliances, we absolutely love it here. by the way i made flan and banana bread in mexico with one of those "just guess where to turn the dial ovens" and they turned out great! guess i got LUCKY!

my next newsletter will be about our trip to get our shots-ouch, i have 2 big red patches.

hope you and mike have a great weekend!


Mike Nickell and Cynthia Johnson said...

And how did your Cuban cooking class go??