Sunday, January 1, 2012

Skiing & Coffee Jelly


Watching a trail of crying five year olds ski down a mountain in perfect pizza formation behind a ski instructor, my husband and I wearing wet jeans and massaging our sorry behinds vowed we would teach our (future) children to ski. We also promptly bought some ski clothes at an outlet mall. We live in a beach town now, but misssing winter's snow, we headed north to Hokkaido and sent our real life children to ski school, again. At last they were able to ski down the mountain with us- including a blue run!

None of us are particularly athletic, we do walk, swim, and bike in the course of daily life, but skiing came to my husband and I as adults with a fair amount of determination. We lived in Seattle long enough to appreciate the snow for relieving the greyness of fall-winter-spring there. From time to time our daughter will ask, "Who's the best sleeper in the family?" or "Who listens to Mama the most?" a child's rouse to obtain praise. Our son, lacking the competitive gene, has not once asked about being best or first and is not motivated or shamed into getting anywhere fast. The kid is genial and focused on other pursuits. Seeing him on skis going down a mountain seemed almost a miracle.
View from Nininupuri Restaurant in Tomamu, Hokkaido

Coffee Jelly

Our last night skiing, we had dinner at Nininupuri. Set amidst giant pines weighed down with snow, the restaurant hosts huge windows that feel like a Ken Adam's movie set for a James Bond villian. Conversation included use of the James Bond ski theme song while skiing and "Number Seven, you have failed me for the last time." Copious amounts of coffee jelly were eaten along with soba, steak, French fries, and fruit covered with chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla sauce from a fountain. Our daughter's delight with coffee jelly was noted by the waitstaff over the course of our weeklong stay. She offered up this insight, " Coffee jelly taste better when cut into triangles and with cream!"
Coffee Jelly with a splash of cream
Coffee Jelly
Adapted from The Tasha Tudor Cookbook
Knox Plain Gelatin, 2 Tbsp
Cold Water, 1/2 cup
Boiling Water, 1 cup
Sugar, 1/3 cup
Boiled Coffee, 2 cups
Heavy Cream, 1/2 pint

Soak gelatin in cold water for 20 minutes. Add boiling water and allow gelatin to dissolve. Add sugar and coffee. Pour into pan and chill thoroughly until firm- about 2 hours. Unmold jello, cut into 1" squares.  Serve with a splash of cream in each dish.

Idatakimasu I humbly receive,

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