Tag Archives: Sake

kelseydo Epic Birthday Weekend

I love my birthday. Yes: I love it because I get to party, open presents and eat cake. BUT Most of all I love it because my family and friends are amazing, and they always remind me of this fact when they knock my socks off by making my birthday special.

It was pretty amazing to celebrate my birthday in Kyoto, Japan this year. If you know me, you know how much I love to create maximum birthday time and this year I got to milk it for all it was worth because A) my birthday was on a weekend and B) I am torn between two time zones.

Needless to say I managed to celebrate for three days which is quite a feat! (Although if you attended my 19th birthday you know that three days is child’s play). My friends and family made it really special this year: THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYBODY FOR BEING THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE NATION! I am so lucky to have you in my life.

Anyways, this whole post is about me and my birthday so if you need to go vomit from all the happiness please take a moment and relieve yourself!

A birthday card made by my friend Yoshino- each colored tab has a special message from my friends here in Kyoto!

My birthday is on 11/11 and so is International Pocky Day in Japan! Yoshino hooked me up with all the goods!

On Saturday night I met up with some friends after the Ritsumeikan school festival and we went to a famous ramen shop called Menbaka Ichidai (which I think literally means Ramen for Idiots…or something along those lines). This ramen shop had a particular type of ramen I was interested in, Negi Ramen…..which they set on FIRE! The host of the shop was super hilarious and the set up before the big show was a little intimidating. All of the surrounding counters, cash register and dishes are covered with wet cloths, and you are protected by a dry paper bib. I had pretty much decided it was worth it even if I did lose my eyebrows!

We all prepare to be eyebrow-less!

Amanda and I…fellow Canadians!

It was worth the wait!

Please watch this video of our FLAMING NEGI RAMEN! It’s amazing! It was hot on the other side of that counter let me tell you!

The host insisted we all take these ridiculous photos, which he takes of all his customers. I think he has found the perfect pose to make everyone look like an idiot! Genius!

Sangho

Gray

Amanda

Birthday Girl

Marcus

The ramen was DELICIOUS! We had an amazing dining experience and I will never stop laughing at these photos! Afterwards we biked to Kiyomizu-dera, a famous temple in Kyoto, to check out the first night of this Fall’s night illumination. It was gorgeous! The pictures don’t do it justice (I keep saying this in my posts and it’s true, you just have to come here and see it for yourself!).

The crew at Kiyomizu

Kiyomizu-dera

On the steps

Creepy forest

Kiyomizu-dera is the most beautiful temple I have ever been to. Kiyomizu means ‘clear waters’. The temple is built around a natural spring which is said to bring you longevity, good looks and wisdom, so naturally I drank from the clear spring waters with all of the other believers.

Afterwards we biked back to our dorm and shared some cheesecake that I made the night before! I also got into the Sake.

Sake

Kanpai!

Blueberry Cheesecake

Nick made me an incredible Birthday video with my friends and family in Canada. You can watch the video here. It is very special and heartwarming, I got all choked up! I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate my 26th- Thank you to everyone for an amazing birthday!

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kelseydo sushi

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It’s Easter weekend at the Fam’s house in the beautiful Comox Valley, and since we brought some Sake that we got at the VPIWF, we decided we better make sushi. I have had some experience making sushi before. Nick and I took a sushi making class at The Cook Shop and since then we’ve made it a few times.

The secret is in the sushi rice, and also in how well you roll things and cut things. We cooked the rice in a rice cooker (I recommend using this one– it plays ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ just like our bread maker). Once it’s done you put it in a shallow wooden dish and let it cool to room temperature. While its cooling, you mix up the vinegar mixture. Just heat some rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt on the stove until the crystals blend in. Cool the mixture, and then pour it evenly over your room temperature rice and then fan it for a bit. That was the hard part. Just throw a towel over it and it’s ready when you need it.

My favorite rolls to make are spicy tuna with avocado, veggie, red pepper with tuna and cucumber, avocado and dynamite. I also made a roll tonight with salmon lox, cream cheese and cucumber which was pretty delicious. My mom made prawn, zucchini and mushroom tempura, and we also put together a light soup with tofu and bok choi. It was delicious and we were all stuffed!

Kanpai!

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kelseydo wine tasting

I love wine. And I love tasting wine. I wouldn’t say I know much of anything about it but I copy what other people do:

swirl, check, smell, sip.

My go-to comments about the wine are as follows:

1) The Mona Lisa: Don’t say anything. Just make eye contact, smile slightly and walk away.

2) The Strong Red Wine: say “Bold” like it’s a pleasant surprise, then make eye contact, smile slightly and walk away.

3)The Drunk: say “Hmmm, boozy” without making eye contact, then nudge the person next to you with an elbow and walk away.

The point is to make your comments as mysterious as possible so that people can’t discern whether you know what you’re talking about, you’re completely full of it or you’re bat shit crazy.

I volunteered over the weekend at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival doing coat check and emptying spit buckets. Coat check wasn’t too bad but spit buckets duty sucked, and not because of the spit but because it was just so damn boring. It was all worth it though because I got a free ticket to the wine tasting room for Saturday night (costs $95).

My parents made a trip over from the island to join me and Nick bought a ticket last minute so that he wouldn’t be left out. I had already scoped the room when I was doing spit buckets the day before so I knew where everything was. We started in the United States and tried Zinfandel from five different wineries. It was interesting to see how different the wine tasted even though it was the same varietal and from a similar region.

I told myself I was going to spit out most of the wine so that I could still have good tasting skills by the end of the night. This never happened. I would take a little sip and pour out the rest if it was no good but I would drink it all if it was delicious. Also, when I started to feel a little tipsy I thought ‘ooh I should spit this out now’ (because it was 8pm and I still had two hours of non-stop drinking to do) but I couldn’t bring myself to spit in front of strangers (or people I knew). I don’t spit….ever….except maybe if I get shampoo in my mouth while I’m showering (and singing). I wasn’t about to start now.

We moved through the Chilean wines pretty quickly and then Nick dragged me over to the Sake. I love Sake but a lot of the Sake here was not good. After I drank the Sake I started feeling like the lights kept getting brighter and everyone kept getting louder and also people were staring at me now…I am pretty sure this was the exact moment everyone in the room became drunk, including me.

I managed to get some port tasting in before my taste buds were completely asleep, which was pretty decent all around. After this point in the evening you could’ve given me any wine and I would have said it was great.

Nick picked up a few bottles on his way out. Here are a couple of the goods:

The winning Zin, 2009 from Folie a Deux

One of Nick's faves, the 2010 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc from Veramonte, Chile

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