HULA’S KITCHEN: PART 1

Every time we visit Japan, we always visit Aya’s friend Kio. They met way back in the fifth grade and have kept in contact all these years. She was even one of Aya’s bridesmaids in our wedding. I find that quite impressive considering the long distance between. It would have been very easy for them to lose touch with each other. Through their friendship I met Kio’s mom, Izumi, at our wedding party in Japan. And with the power of Facebook, her mom and I are now “friends.” She doesn’t speak very much English and I don’t speak Japanese, but we both understand the same language; FOOD.

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Kentucky Christmas!

In spirit of our trip to Japan this year, our Christmas card is a spoof on the “Kentucky Christmas” in Japan.

KFC opened in Japan in the early 70s (if my sources are correct, KFC came to Japan before McDonald’s did). In 1974 they started the Kentucky For Christmas marketing campaign, and because of the success of this campaign, it has become a cultural phenomenon. Each year you can buy the Christmas set complete with a collector’s plate. Other stores have caught on to the popularity too and promote chicken dinners as well. Due to the influence of KFC, chicken dinners have become synonymous with Christmas. Talk about good marketing!

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WRAP IT UP!

Are you tired of spending money on pretty wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows only to have them torn to shreds?

Are you sick of fighting the crowds and standing in line to purchase these wrapping paper?

Are you bored with the conventional way of wrapping presents?

Do you want to put a little fun into your gift giving celebrations?

Look no further!

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THANKSGIVING KOROKKE

One Japanese food that’s always good to eat is korokke (croquette). Korokkes are a mashed potato patty with a filling coated in panko and then deep fried. Fillings can vary. Meat, cheese, vegetables, and all the combinations. While it’s fun to eat, it’s not super fun to make because they are very labor intensive. That’s why I usually only make them once a year and make enough to keep in the freezer. And with a mountain of leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner, it’s the perfect time to make them.

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LEFT-OVER TURKEY RAMEN

Every year my wife “vulture-izes” (as my mom calls it) the turkey carcass. Every little bit of meat is scraped clean and either eaten during this process or saved aside for future use. With these scavenged bones, wings and legs, I make a hearty homemade turkey broth. This broth makes the perfect base to make turkey ramen! (Now, when I say ramen, I’m not talking about authentic Japanese ramen. So all you ramen purists out there, keep that in mind.)

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