Friday, July 15, 2011

90 days

Yakiniku dinner and Rice flour cake

DSC_0362My son is now officially single. After only 2 years of marriage. His now ex-wife wanted out. He wandered in sadness, loneliness and embarrassment for 90 days and now the wait is over. He requested yakiniku dinner to acknowledge the point-of-no-return. He is not smiling but he is not in the deep sorrow that he was in before so this is good I guess. I wish this never happened but what can you do or say really. There was no fights, abuse, unfortunately no good communication either. Simply, love dissipated at her end. My son took her rejection very hard. Helpless is what we felt were too much and while packing his stuff in his apartment in April, I was bowled over and cried. While my husband was holding my shaking shoulder in a bear hug, my son apologized as if he doesn’t know what else to say. My daughter cried with me too. “What if” questions were useless yet my mind go there all the time. After my daughter and I fly separately to our homes, my husband and my son drove, pulling a tiny Uhaul trailer two days to get back home.

His suggestion of yakiniku is easy to make since I have painting class on Thursdays that means I usually home after 4 PM. In the morning however, my painting teacher called me to say that her daughter is in town from another state and that she wants to cancel class today. Suddenly I had all day to prepare meal yet I lost focus then wasted time doing nothing. I still needed to get some good yakiniku meat for tonight. I drove 25 minutes to Japanese market. I finally got home at 4 PM. Oh heck!

DSC_0350My son’s lovely friend joined us for moral support. Since she could not have gluten, I made rice flour cake. I made two mistakes though, I didn’t realize that the pan in the Japanese cook book was a lot smaller pan and that I should double the recipe to make up for the big sized one I was using. I should spray the pan too. I had a hard time taking cake out of the pan. OK, three mistakes. The end result was not pretty but it had good flavor and a light, soft, springy texture. I thought this paired well with sweet azuki beans. Covered with two big scoops of ice cream and strawberries from our garden, sprinkled on some nuts, then chocolate to dress it up for a photo opportunity. But darn Japanese cook book! No wonder there are lots of skinny people in Japan! Hmmm, if I live there, can I lose weight too?DSC_0360

For yakiniku, I chopped up vegetables I like. Peppers, pineapple, zucchini, erengi mushrooms, Japanese pumpkin (かぼちゃ)and satsuma sweet potatoes. I cooked the pumpkin and sweet potatoes slightly ahead of time so that won’t take as much time on the grill. With two kinds of store bought dipping sauce, leaf lettuce to wrap the meat in and cooked rice, dinner is ready. That pricy Kobe beef was good but is it really that much better? I don’t know but today is to celebrate his being a bachelor again. He needs to have good eats.DSC_0339

Rice Flour Cake

Make one 7 inch diameter angel food cake pan.*


  • 4 large egg white
  • Sugar 40g

Egg yolk batter

  • 4 egg yolk
  • Sugar 30g
  • Milk 4 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil 2 tablespoons
  • Vanilla essence 1 teaspoon
  • Salt 1/2 teaspoon
  • Rice flour  70g
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with whisk attached, put egg whites and scramble at medium speed about 30 seconds.
  2. Gradually add sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Put in another bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the same electric mixer bowl, put egg yolks and sugar then scramble at low speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Increased the speed to high and continue to mix for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Gradually add oil while still mixing on high speed.
  6. Lower the speed to low, add milk, vanilla and salt.
  7. Add rice flour a little at a time mixing till it is well incorporated, stopping  the mixer for each addition.
  8. Heat oven to 350F.
  9. Add 1/3 of  meringue into the egg mixture. Using a spatula, scrape up from bottom and cut in motion and mix evenly but don not over mix. Do the same for rest of meringue adding 1/3 at a time.DSC_0328(I did it backwards – put the batter into the meringue…)
  10. Spray the pan with non-sticking spray. Pour the mixture into the pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.DSC_0329
  11. Cool in pan over the cooling rack then remove from the pan.
  12. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if you like.

* I think you could use a 9x5 loaf pan but don’t quote me on that. I’ll experiment using it next time and I let you know.DSC_0358

My son is still coping with the loss and him being freeter (Japanese trendy word for a person who doesn’t have a job). It is like being lost in a thick fog. You don’t know which way to go or which way is out. I hope when the fog has cleared, he finds himself standing on the right path. I pray the he has enough faith to patiently wait for that time (and me as well).

DSC_0352I’m  grateful for his friends who are helping him in this difficult time. Especially this friend who he could talk about his feelings openly and make his healing process much faster. Despite it all, the pain may never go away but I want him to get married again and find a job that he enjoys. I dream of the day that I can I baby sit his children.  DSC_0382DSC_0385


  1. Lovely post. And thank you so much for the delicious dinner and dessert! So so good.

  2. oh I am so sorry what a sad story but your being a great Mum supporting him and cooking hugs

  3. What happened to my comment?

    I said,
    This is sad.
    I hope for a happy ending. Well, beginning.

  4. I really adore your Japanese recipes so much! We have a lot of Japanese food here in HK, in restaurants Ajisen Ramen and Beppu Ramen.
    This dish is new to me and really sounds delisshh!
    I envy how Japanese women maintain their figure so perfectly!

  5. ありがとう。ご馳走様でした。

  6. Emily, Thank you for coming. Thank you for being a great friend to my son.

  7. Dear Rebecca, Thank your for your kind comment. It was not easy last 90days but prayers helped plus I'm counting many other blessings everyday.

  8. Hi Akemi-san! Good luck to your son! (まさゆきさん、頑張って下さい!). Glad to hear you had a lovely evening. We had yakiniku today too. What a coincidence. My son loves Yakiniku so much... Akemi-san, you are a great mom! Your home cooked meals must be the best comfort. :-) p.s. You have a lovely home!

  9. I love your stories of food, family, feelings and healing! Also learning a little each time of Japanese culture or slang. Lovely "rosy" ending pictures!

  10. Mariko, Thank your for your support and love.

  11. Dear Purabi, Thanks! I wish I was that perfect figure woman. I love ramen. I have been to Beppu but I didn't know they are famous for ramen.

  12. Kegan,がんばってね。いつも君の為に祈ってます。Love.

  13. Namiちゃん、ありがとう。まさゆきの漢字は真幸と書きます。I bet your son is really cute! Are you having a good time with your mother?

    Karen, You are so kind. Thank you fro visiting my blog.

  14. Hi Nin, this is not my first marriage, and it's so much better that he is out of a relationship where the love isn't mutual anymore, than it be years and further down the road later, which can be much more painful. He will fall in love again, I know he doesn't believe that now, but he will. That is to be tough, losing a job & going through a divorce all at once, I hope all is resolved, the divorce proceedings are easy and not long and dragged out for years like mine was, but my ex-husband was physically abusive so it's an entirely different situation.

  15. Dear Elle Marie, Thank you for your encouragement. I really appreciate it. There no excuse for your ex husband's behavior. I never understand that violent act towered another human being, especially loved ones. I'm glad you are happy now.

  16. Hello. I stumbled onto your blog by searching for Japanese cakes and I'm so glad it lead me here. I can't wait to try to make your beautiful food. Your words are very sincere and it moved me to hear about your son. I pray everything goes well for you and your family!

  17. Dear Vee Fantastic, I loved that when people visit my old post. Thank you for your kind comment and well wishes.