I read Chapter 8 of 夜カフェ today. The story is starting to move along so I enjoyed it a lot even though it took me about 2 hours to read the full chapter! I don’t think it usually takes me quite so long to read a chapter of this book, so maybe it was a slightly longer one or something - though maybe I’m just a bit tired!
About nose-man, hand-man, and foot-man getting along… it was just completely mad
Such as making a campfire in nose-man’s nose because it is so big and eventually a whole town is pulled from this nose… because?
Places 米山薬師「よねやまやくし」ー Yoneyama shrine, Aira 長岡京「ながおかきょう」ー Nagaoka-kyo, was once the capital of Japan (way back in 784-794)
Almost forgot about this as well, I don’t really have the money either, and then there’s worrying about not wanting to make a fuss… when did birthdays get so complicated?
One of my favourites is Kladdkaka (Swedish mudcake), there’s also this brownie-like cake with fruit in it that is really tasty but my sister took the cookbook. I’ll have to see if I can find it out or find something similar because it’s really good.
The recipe for kladdkaka I used is just an ICA special - kladdkaka
Google translate from Swedish to English seems to be alright.
But I’ll write it out too with some notes, as I do it a bit different:
(3 if they’re small)
250g / 2.5 dl sugar
(Personally I find this to be way too much sugar, I usually use brown sugar too and put in about 75g)
3 tablespoons of cacao powder
(Along with this I like to add a 1/4 to a 1/2 of a tablespoon of coffee granules too)
2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
(I just use a teaspoon or 2 of vanilla extract instead)
150g / 1.5 dl flour
Pinch of salt
I like to crush up some nuts to use as a base, pecans are really good, but any work really. Cashews, walnuts, peanuts, all work well. I’m not sure on the exact measurement as I just get a bag of them and crush them, probably 100g-200g. But there needs to be enough to cover the bottom of whatever tin you’re using to cook it in.
I also like to put chocolate chips on top, I think the ones I get come in 150g bags.
(personally dark chocolate chips are my favourite to use, also any you don’t use can just be eaten while you wait for it to cook)
It says to serve with whipped cream and berries of your choice, strawberries/raspberries and cream do go well with it, but my favourite is to have it with chocolate ice cream, preferable dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips in it. Also good to have chocolate sauce as well as the ice cream.
Set oven at 200C
Grease the baking tin, it’s best to use one of those were the bottom is removable, or put in a baking sheet so you can remove it easily. The suggested baking tin is 24cm in diameter, I think mine is a little wider. Basically you don’t want the mixture to be spread too thin or to be too thick.
If you’re going to use the nuts, mash up the nuts into small pieces, and then cover the bottom of the tin with them so you have a nice even layer.
Melt the butter in a saucepan
Whisk the eggs and sugar together - do not use an electric whisk
Mix the cocoa and the flour together, I find it’s best to sieve them first, and then add the salt. If you are using vanilla sugar then add that too, as well as the coffee if you choose. Then add this mixture to the egg-sugar mixture and mix it all together. Add the vanilla extract here if you’re using that over vanilla sugar.
Add the melted butter. Mix it gently until it is all nice and smooth. It should be thick and sticky but shouldn’t be powdery or runny.
Pour into the tin, and spread it out evenly across the tin. (if you’ve gone for nuts sometimes some of the nut pieces like to come to the surface but it’s alright).
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This part is mostly to your own judgement and taste. The less time the more gooey it’ll be in the middle and the more time the more cakey-like it’ll be (it’s very similar to cooking brownies). The perfect outcome (in my opinion) is when the middle is still nice and gooey but the top has a crispy-crunchy edge to it. I think 12 mins worked out best for me.
If you’re using chocy-chips I add them at about the 7-10 minute mark, so they melt enough to stick to the top but not melt completely. You can also add them at the end when you get it out of the oven if you prefer them that way.
The recipe does state that you should let it cool before eating, I usually only leave it about 5 minutes because it is really nice while it’s still warm. Also it’s kinda hard to resist when you have this constant smell of chocolate wafting at you.
Also, if you don’t eat it all in one sitting it is very nice chilled, in the fridge or freezer. The fridge keeps the gooeyness but gives it a nice truffle-like firmness. The freezer doesn’t make it rock-solid but the gooeyness is gone. I usually cut the leftovers in half so I can have the best of both.
夜市 ~ 79-82% ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 40 pages, two chapters
and two chapters from Happiness vol.2
Lack of sleep today has affected my concentration levels. I tried to read more of 夜市, and read the first couple of sentences for both the IBC and BBC book clubs, but in the end I settled on manga for today. I was glad to see 鬼太郎 again, it’s been a long time. The stories weren’t the best (or I wasn’t in a position to fully appreciate them in my half-awake state), but they were still enjoyable. The first one was about a grand hotel having been built on the only remaining habitat of yokai flowers. Kitaro was summoned by the hotel manager to help but in the end Kitaro sided with the yokai. The second one was… extra surreal, even for a manga about yokai. About a body snatching yokai (who also had a cool killing method involving turning your enemies into mochi).
I can’t believe there’s only 3 days left on this challenge. It feels like it only started a few days ago. I’d really like to finish 夜市 by that time (not impossible, as long as I don’t have other slow days like today). If I manage that, I will have started and finished three books in two months (not counting the manga). Not bad.
What comes after this challenge then? On the one hand I’d really like to keep reading more or less as I have been now. On the other hand, maybe a break wouldn’t be a bad idea. I would still read, but I’d allow myself to skip days and maybe focus on grammar a little more. I guess I’ll see where the mood takes me.
I read six pages of 浦島太郎. Taro was told by the younger princess that he could eat no more of the delicious food and must now leave. She gives him a beautiful box and he leaves with a “Thank You”.
Then he hops onto the turtle and the turtle takes him back home, where Taro gets off the turtle. He still has the box, and we will find out what’s in the box tomorrow.
Been sporadic with posts because it’s been a bit of a discouraging time (and my hand has never fully healed, though it’s better right now with me taking several measures), but I’ve kept reading. A few hard days might’ve slipped to ~3000 or so characters just to do something, but most have hit 7000-8000. Doing that takes me a few hours and I’m very much plateauing on speed right now, but it’s ok for the moment. I’ll probably think more about pushing myself when the next challenge rolls around, if I haven’t already seen improvements before then. Of course, that’ll depend on the difficulty of what I read next too.
I’m decently past the “committed to Shiki’s route” point, but probably have a while to go before I finish that and hit the true route. As of now, what I said before about her very much applies – this remains the character that I like the least. Her story itself hints at having some potential, but she blows out my eardrums with shrieks too often. This heading in somewhat a romantic direction (which I assume it will? everyone other than Umi has and I think that will hold) is going to be… uncomfortable too, but I’ll leave it at that! Mostly looking forward to breaking into the endgame at this point, heh. Which doesn’t help me break through the slump when what I’m reading at this moment feels like a means to an end in more ways than one. I’ve enjoyed the rest of Summer Pockets overall though!
I finished 夜カフェ２ on the 26th! On the 27th I read a couple pages of my next book: 霧島くんは普通じゃない, but I didn’t really earnestly start it until today, when I read 11 pages and finished the first chapter! It feels much easier to read than 夜カフェ partly because of the language difficulty level, but also because outrageous things start happening pretty much right away. I mean, our hero Miu gets a papercut and the brand new 超イケメン transfer student grabs her wrist and licks the blood off her finger! Then face plants into his desk muttering やっちまった………
study log update (open if you like pictures of books)
I did not make a liar of myself today! Although I didn’t read very much, either; I only read 4 pages of 海辺のカフカ, not even the whole prologue. I’m intrigued by this “boy called Crow” character.
Some vocab of note:
隅から隅まで (すみからすみまで) [expression, adverb] in every nook and corner; from A to Z; from head to toe; from page to page; every inch
回りくどい (まわりくどい) [い-adjective] circuitous; roundabout; indirect
義務教育 (ぎむきょういく) [noun] compulsory education
控えめに言う (ひかえめにいう) [expression, ワ五] to speak with restraint; to understate; to downplay; to put it mildly; to say the least
細々した (こまごました) [expression, prenominal] sundry; various; assorted
It’s weird how widely my experiences vary in different media. I started reading 海辺のカフカ today for the book club and I really don’t think it’s any more difficult than the games I’ve been playing (if anything it’s probably easier so far) but it’s so much more mentally taxing somehow. Like I read the opening chapter and was like “ow my brain hurts. Time to play AI: The Somnium Files as a break” like?? I don’t understand
Reading weirdness aside, I like it so far! I still don’t really know what to expect from the story but I’m intrigued to see where it goes. AI: The Somnium Files is still a great time as well; カガミ is an icon lmao. All is going well!
I finished chapter 1 of ナミヤ雑貨店の奇蹟。 It seems a popular and well-known book, with great reviews from people who read the English translation, and I’m a little surprised that there hasn’t been any discussion of it here yet, or any reviews or even gradings on Natively.
The style is interesting. I’m about 75 pages in, and I don’t think the 3 main characters have had a traditional description yet. I don’t know what they look like, how old they are, what their full names are, or what their back stories are. I don’t think there was ever even one sentence to introduce their personalities by description. All I can do is guess, based on what they do, what they say, and how they say it. But just from that, their personalities are gradually revealing themselves. So far, I’m impressed.