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I’m Mari.
On Marivelous Me! you’ll find recipes, food gifts, food I’ve traveled for and food solutions. Poke around, maybe you’ll find inspiration for something you’re working on. Enjoy! 


Mom aka "Toshiko's Kitchen" Serves a Kaiseki Dinner

mom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki sashimiIt’s not like we won’t ever come back to the East Coast but going home to my parents’ home will be a much bigger ordeal after we head west. We won't be able just hop on the next express train to Stamford, which is kind of a bummer since with the exception of one or two Japanese restaurants in NYC, my mom’s food is the only Japanese food I eat.

mom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki lobster renkonmom toshiko's kitchen kaisekiThis past weekend, Mr. Mari, my aunt Sako and I went to my parents’ home for our last hurrah together before Mr. Mari and I move. Mom made a meal we won’t soon forget; she spent Friday preparing our seven-course “Toshiko’s Kitchen” kaiseki meal. Fantastic. Everything was beautiful, delicious and I know made with love. Are you ready? Got your drool bib on? There’s a detailed menu of our meal following the jump...

mom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki sake bottlemom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki sake bottleSince it was so cold outside, to accompany our meal Dad served hot sake. We used an antique bowl filled with hot water to keep our sake warm. 

mom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki osechi ryoriCourse 1 - A Mini Osechi (Mom was in Florida this year so she didn't make the traditional New Year’s Day meal; from left to right:)
Kazunoko - marinated herring roe
Tori no Hagoita Yaki - ground chicken formed into a Japanese “Badminton” paddle; topped with aonoriko (dried seaweed flakes)
Kimpira gobo - marinated burdock root
Kotobuki carrot - the kanji character means Congratulations
Kuromame - prized Sasayama black beans 

mom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki turnip potage lacquer bowlmom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki lacquer bowl lid hand paintedCourse 2 - Soup
Turnip potage with kaiwarena (daikon radish sprouts ) and grilled hanpen (ground fish and egg white cake)

Hand painted lacquer soup bowls with cute birds. They look pretty good for being over a hundred years old, right? 

mom toshiko's kitchen kaisekimom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki sashimiCourse 3 - Sashimi
Littleneck clams with grated daikon, scallion and lemon zest (zest added after I ate one of the clams)
Cucumber curl with wasabi
Seared tuna
Fluke fin
Ika Wasabizuke - raw squid in a grated wasabi/sake lees sauce 

mom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki tofu chrysanthemum shungikuCourse 4 - Vegetable
Shungiku no Shira-Ae - strained and ground tofu with chrysanthemum leaves

mom toshiko's kitchen kaisekimom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki broiled lobster renkon lotus rootCourse 5 - Cooked
Broiled lobster with Béchamel sauce, mayonnaise, chopped onion and scallion; pickled renkon (lotus root) as garnish

mom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki brown rice clams burdock root red miso soupCourse 6 - Rice
Brown rice with baby clams, burdock root, carrots and roasted daikon
Pickled kabu (baby Japanese turnip and greens) and takuan (pickled daikon radish) with sesame seeds 
Akadashi  - red miso soup with wakame, shimeji mushrooms and mitsuba (Japanese wild parsley)

This 100+ year old lacquered soup bowl set was my grandmother's. The lid was hand-carved and filled with gold paint.

mom toshiko's kitchen kaiseki dessert lemon sorbet candied orange peel baumkuchenCourse 7 - Dessert
Lemon sorbet with candied orange zest; baumkuchen (“tree ring” spiral cake) with Marscapone cheese 

So, as you can see, going home has a very different meaning for me. I’m going to miss my parents but remembering dinners like this will make me miss them even more!

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