Tuesday, November 19, 2013


O tanjō-bi omedetōgozaimasu
or as we in the Western world say "Happy Birthday"
to my darling Japanese daughter, Ayaka.

One of the birthday traditions in my house has always been to eat whatever you want on your birthday:  you choose the meal and the cake, and I make it for you.  A labor of delicious love. And I've never changed that tradition for my international daughters.  It gives me an awesome opportunity to try some recipes that I've never done before.

Ayaka requested Tonkgatsu for her birthday meal -- Panko-breaded, fried pork cutlets.   I never fry food ..... but that doesn't mean I don't like it!

As it's a special occasion, we use the "good" dishes.
My new found love of Asian food, frequent trips to Value Village and gifts from my Asian children enabled me to set a pretty table.
I served the tonkgatsu as it's done in Japan:  with steamed rice, simple shredded Chinese cabbage and a homemade sauce.  I also prepared a miso soup.

The tonkgatsu was so delicious!  It was juicy and tender; and the sauce (consisting of ketchup, soy sauce, Mirin, Worchestershire and grated ginger) added just enough zing without being overpowering to the delicate Panko breading. Definitely a dish to do again.

After much discussion among the 3 of us, and despite Elly's best attempts to convince her to have a cheesecake (Elly's answer to EVERY dessert issue!), Ayaka chose this: 
 A light and airy orange chiffon cake, tunneled out and filled with fruit and whipped cream.  Another excellent selection!  

We then crawled to the living room, groaning with contentment, for the opening of gifts.

Here is a happy 17 year old!

And behind the camera, unseen by you all, are a happy, bulging Korean sister and Canadian mother.

Yeah ....... tomorrow ...... 
It's back to salads, walking and healthier choices.  
But today sure was fun.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Looks like a wonderful celebration.

Jack said...

You are one awesome lady! Happy birthday to your lovely daughter.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Looks like a very happy birthday girl there ! So glad you could make it a special day for her. Everything looks wonderful !

sabine said...

Happy Birthdy to your daughter and have a fine time together.

My Kurves said...

CONGRATS to the Birthday Girl. You make a nice spread on the dinner table and it all looks delish!

Pamela Gordon said...

You are such a wonderful and caring mom to these students Sandy. God bless you for all that you do for them. The meal you made looks delicious, especially that cake!