Roasted Chicken Thigh for Christmas

I found this at supermarket today and bought it.
We do not eat Turkey for Christmas...I don't know why, but it is not easy to find turkey at markets here.

This used to be typical Christmas dish when I was small. Nowadays, probably it is not called " feast", but back in 1970's it was.

What I did for Christmas this year ? Secret.

( Somehow in Japan, Christmas Eve is for lovers, couples.... I feel it is more for families.... for Japanese, Eve is something romantic..... how would Jesus think about this phenomenon !??
I was always wondering.)

Due to economy's downturn, it seems this year many people spent their Christmas at home instead of having dinner at expensive restaurants. In a way, I feel it is healthy.

Baked Apple --- Using Mr. T's Apple

As I sometimes write, I have wonderful neighbors.
They often give me fruits, food, teas etc. etc.

The other day, Mr. T living on the same floor gave me apples. ( He has given me so much.... fruits, carrot juice, apple juice, bottled soy sauce.....)

I made this baked apple from those apples.

Simply slice the apple, put some butter on them,
brown sugar as well, then put them into the heated oven and cook them for 15 to 18 min.

Aftertaste was Bitter --- " A Friend from England"

The ending was something unexpected. It was quite bitter and painful. For those of you who are going to read, I will not go into too much details. The protagonist is self-reliant, 32 year-old woman and she has to face her complete solitude at the end, which she probably did not wish to admit. Well, this character is single working woman, but if you compare the deeply isolated feeling of hers with the ones of housewives from " Mori ni Nemuru Sakana" by Mitsuyo Kakuta, this kind of solitude is not only found in women who are living alone. If I start talking about it, it will go to either feminism or psychological analysis....as the critics are saying, the ending is very harsh with ferocity. I think this novel and Anita Brookner is superb since it is scooping out the modern women's way of life, its pain and struggle, fear and courage, unhappiness and happiness, virtue and ugliness.... and ultimate longing for eternal unity. The aftertaste was not pleasant... storywise, yet as book reading, I fully enjoyed since it describes some aspects of human being.... here is it woman, but not limited to this gender.


Anita Brookner --- A British Novelist

It is almost Christmas.... for many of you, it is already holiday season. I have not prepared or sent any cards this year. Also, new year cards.... I should start working on them soon.

Anyways, today's subject is reading books. It is difficult to find time to read books these days... there are so many things to do and also so many things to read.... news on Internet, business papers etc. etc..... Yet, I always loved reading books, so decided to squeeze out some time to start reading " books" again. This means the real books....books for pleasure, books to think....

There are piles of books in my room. Some were given by my friend who works at publisher.... these are in English. I have read some of them, yet have not completed reading those....stopped before finishing somehow. I would love to go back to them. I have some other Japanese books I have been reading in parallel.

The one I am concentrating at the moment is Anita Brookner's ( A Booker prize winner ) " A Friend from England", which is impressing me with its wise, ingenious expression and exquisite observations. I am reading in English. I should probably read it in Japanese also and compare, yet I feel I should enjoy her beautiful writing in its original language. Unfortunately, it seems only a part of her work have been translated into Japanese, which is understandable in a way since her work is rather introspective and not a kind of glamorous story.

However, her story made me realize again how amusing to read books was.