Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tis the Season

Happy December everyone! Isn't it a wonderful feeling to be guilt-free about listening to Christmas music? James and I set up our tiny Christmas tree and simple dollar-store decorations this week and we are ready to celebrate! 

As I write, James is on his way home from Fukushima City, where he went early this morning to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. He took the level two test (one is the highest), and I'm sure he did great on it, so we will be celebrating that achievement later tonight with some yummy brownies! On December 19, I am taking the GRE in Tokyo so I can apply for grad school. Then, either to celebrate the end of the test season, or to drown our sorrows over bad scores, we are going to Tokyo Disneyland! Stay tuned and we will share all of the fun adventures in the next couple weeks of posts.

Below are some of the fun snapshots I got of this week's adventures. Enjoy!

These two are pictures I snapped from the train on my way to Kawaguchi - one of the schools I got to visit. This is the first snow I have seen in a couple years, so it was pretty exciting. It hasn't snowed in our city yet, but I am hoping for a white Christmas.

At one of the schools I visit, I got to learn how to make soba noodles this week. This is my soba-making sensei and me in the goofy hat. 

First you mix buckwheat flour and water together with your hands until it forms a dough. Then you knead it to remove the air bubbles.

Then you roll it out into a very thin circle. This was the hardest part. I am so challenged when it comes to rolling out circles. My pie crusts, tortillas, etc. never turn out to be circle-shaped. Fortunately, I had my sensei there to compensate for my horrible rolling skills.

Then you fold the dough into quarters and use a special knife and cutting board to cut really thin noodles.

Then you roll the noodles in wax paper....

And voila! You have soba! They let me take this box home with me, so James and I were able to enjoy some yummy fresh soba for dinner. So awesome!
This is December's bulletin board. It took all day but was so fun to do. My friend Tomomi and I worked on it together. When we finally finished, we stood back to admire our work. All she could say was, "Wow. Christmas." I thought that summed it up pretty well :)

This sad looking tree is a game  piece for my Christmas lessons, which start tomorrow (wish me luck!). We will be playing a game like the old Super Password game show (click the link to figure out how it works). Should be entertaining, if nothing else!


  1. Looks like you are having some great adventures! Good luck on the GRE!