kelseydo motorcycling

Full Service

Nick started motorcycling a few years ago and from the moment he got on a bike it has been his sometimes all-consuming passion. I have sat on the back of his motorcycle many times. Sometimes holding on for dear life and sometimes barely holding on at all. I have experienced every human emotion on the back of that motorcycle, from terrifying fear to overwhelming joy. I’ve even fallen asleep on the back of that thing a couple times.

My brother Dylan also rides motorcycles. He learned from a friend of his. He now has a road bike, a dirt bike and a track bike. Yes, I would call it an obsession.

Last year Nick, Dylan and I bought motorcycles (two of them, I sat on the back of one) in Japan and went on a 21 day trip from Kyoto throughout Chugoku, Kyushuu, Shikoku and back to Kyoto again. You can see many photos from the trip on My instagram (@kelseydo) or Nick’s instagram (@nickcarota) but you are going to have to scroll back through about one year in photos. One day Nick will make the millions of hours of footage he filmed of the trip into a documentary. We all hope that one day is soon but you know- you can’t rush the artist’s process.

Nick and Dylan both have a few years experience, thousands of miles on bikes and motorcycling onesies. I will never be as cool as them. Also if you ever get a chance to watch the incredible documentary “Why We Ride” (2013) you’ll understand when I say I don’t have the ‘motorcycling seed’ but they do. All that being said I still (after being pressured by Nick) took a motorcycling course with ProRide (highly recommended) and plan to get my full licence within the next 6 months.

I am pissed cuz Nick is making me do u-turns 30 billion times in a row

I am pissed in this photo because Nick is making me do u-turns 30 billion times in a row.

He makes me a better person.

Say hello to my little friend

This lil guy rode all the way from Deep Cove to Mount Seymour with me.

Your band's next album cover

This photo was taken by Nick on my first big road trip to Duffy Lake and Ashcroft, BC. Dylan joined us on the trip, so I basically had an escort the whole time- one bike in front and one behind- and Yoshino (visiting Canada for the first time from Japan) was there to take in the sights and give me moral support. I only had one meltdown on the whole trip!

My next bike- the new Honda Grom- is soooo cute!

This face says: I love/want this bike. The new Honda Grom. Isn’t it cute?

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kelseydo cooking with mom

One of the best things to do during the holidays is to spend time in the kitchen with friends and family. My kitchen at home is so small that Nick and I are always elbowing each other when we both want a snack. I hardly ever cook at home, Nick is an amazing chef and is constantly stocking the freezer with homemade breakfast burritos and preparing gourmet dinners for me.

I always thought the BCL’s Taste magazine had some delicious looking recipes and finally decided to give some a go. Luckily I had my mom’s expertise and incredibly large kitchen to work with!

We made two recipes: Chili Shrimp and Cauliflower ‘Couscous’

The Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ is a mediterranean style dish which replaces the grain of the dish with cauliflower. I like the cauliflower substitute trend- for mashed potatoes, pizza crust and especially Kraft Dinner (Smart?) .

You start by adding 1/2 a teaspoon of cumin seeds and red chili flakes to some oil in a pan, once you smell their nice aroma start browning the onions in the same pan. Add red peppers, apricots, raisins and cauliflower. Raise the heat and stir, lightly browning the cauliflower. Sprinkle with Sumac ( we used lemon pepper & paprika), pistachios, mint and cilantro. Mix well and serve warm.

Red Pepper and Cumin Seed

Saute cumin seeds and red chili flakes until fragrant

ingredients

Use a food processor to get the cauliflower looking like couscous, or just chop finely like I did here. Apricots, raisins and red peppers mellow out the spicy flavors of the red chili flakes.

Frying cauliflower

Raise heat to medium-high and turn often until cauliflower is lightly browned

For the Chili Shrimp we let the pound of prawns sit in 3 cups of water with some salt for an hour then drained them and placed them on the paper towel. In a small bowl mom mixed 2 tsp Sriracha sauce, 2 tbsp of ketchup, 3 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp of sugar. I heated up the pan so it was piping hot and put in a little oil. Add the shrimp and cook til just pink.

Cook prawns 1 min

Toss in a splash of sake and then remove the prawns from the pan to a nearby plate. Add a bit more oil to the pan and then fry a couple cloves of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of chopped ginger.

Garlic and ginger

Now you had that Sriracha mixture and the prawns back into the pan. Cook for one minute, remove from heat and top with parsley to garnish.

Sauce and prawns

You can add other things like red peppers, green onions or jalapeño peppers.

My co-chef (mom) and our guinea pig (dad) trying the goods

My co-chef (mom) and our guinea pig (dad) trying the goods with a bottle of Gewurtztraminer (recommended in TASTE)

Presto

The final product! Chili Shrimp and Cauliflower ‘Couscous’

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

kelseydo July Grand Sumo Tournament in Nagoya

I have really enjoyed watching Sumo on TV in Japan so I knew I needed to go see it live! Thankfully on Saturday I got to do just that.  It was surreal!

ImageImage

Unfortunately the video just doesn’t do it justice! You have to see it to believe it of course. We had to leave early to attend a farewell party for the Study in Kyoto Program so we missed some of the more famous Osumo-sans at the end. One of our friends stayed behind and got to see an undefeated Yokozuna (the top level champion) be beaten by a non-Yokozuna. This was apparently a big deal because the crowd went wild and everyone started throwing their purple seat cushions into the ring! Sounds epic!

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kelseydo Gion Matsuri

Last week I got a chance to visit Kyoto’s biggest and oldest festival, Gion Matsuri! It is a month long event but the most popular evenings are the nights of the 15th, 16th and the day of the 17th for the parade.

This is the only event where I felt like as a foreigner I was encouraged to wear the Yukata, the light-knit cotton/linen robe that is more casual than the Kimono. It was really fun to wear out on the town. I felt like I was wearing my bathrobe outside. My friend Chika told me that a long time ago the Yukata was only for use in the home for bathing so I was right to feel this way!

Beautiful Bow

Beautiful Bow

Getting dolled up

Getting dolled up

Yukata on!

Yukata on!

Luckily we had Yuko-san to help us get our Yukatas on properly and to tie the Obi into a perfect bow!

Alex wearing my 'drinking jacket'

Alex wearing my ‘drinking jacket’

Daniel showing off the artwork on his Happi

Daniel showing off the artwork on his Happi

Alex, Haruna & I

Alex, Haruna & I

Daniel and Haruna

Daniel and Haruna

Waiting for the Randen

Waiting for the Randen

Escalator shot

Escalator shot

Faces on the subway

Faces on the subway

It was really busy once we got downtown! There were people everywhere. Apparently tens-of-thousands of people go each night. All the main streets were closed down and there were a lot of food stalls, souvenir shops and the parade floats were all lit up with music playing.

Megumi & I at Shijo Karasuma

Megumi & I at Shijo Karasuma

Food stalls

Food stalls

Dessert!

Dessert!

Marcus enjoying some snacks

Marcus enjoying some snacks

Haruna digging in- not too sure what this is called but it's an egg with sauces on a giant squid cracker

Haruna digging in- not too sure what this is called but it’s an egg with sauces on a giant squid cracker

As usual, the food was one of the main events for us- we had to try everything!

Streetside bar

Streetside bar

A lot of people were enjoying their beer in the street, there were even little cocktail shops set up on the side of the street like this.

We were lucky enough to get up close and personal to a few of the parade floats.

Lanterns

Lanterns

More Lanterns

More Lanterns

Giant float including full size tree

Giant float including full size tree

photo 1

Marcus and Daniel enjoying the view from a float- the ladies weren't allowed on this one

Marcus and Daniel enjoying the view from a float- the ladies weren’t allowed on this one

photo 4We got to take a tour of this one while they were playing drums and singing inside of it but of course- no photos!

And then more food…we were on a mission for frozen bananas! It was a very hot and humid night.

Candy apple

Candy apple

Takoyaki- fried octopus balls (Mom's favorite!)

Takoyaki- fried octopus balls (Mom’s favorite!)

Lanterns everywhere!

Lanterns everywhere!

We found the mysterious frozen banana!

We found the mysterious frozen banana!

Banana Kanpai!

Banana Kanpai!

Beth loves waffles...on a stick!

Beth loves waffles…on a stick!

This guy...

This guy…

The gang!

The gang!

All in all it was an amazing night! I wish I could have gone again but unfortunately it was right in the middle of all my final exams for school.

Gion Matsuri can’t be missed!

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