It is a happy talent to know how to play. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
In my daily habits, I often forget to make time for play. It might seem that my weekends pass like a parade of chores – laundry, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing the toilet, grocery shopping, tending to my plants, cooking for the week. To be honest, I actually enjoy all these activities. Sometimes though, it seems good to have a little light hearted fun.
Plus check out my “One Ingredient” Curry Roasted Red Peppers!
Back to the topic of having fun… This past weekend, Kosuke and I decided to take a break from our regular routine to play, delighting in my new bike-scooter and picnicking at the botanical garden.
I felt refreshed and reinvigorated. Recently I have felt torn between becoming an “adult” and keeping my childish wonder in bugs, and games, and other frivolous pursuits. (And indeed, my generation has been widely criticized for an inability to grow up and confront the demands of adulthood.)
I protest! I want to be both a fully functioning adult and still maintain my childish curiosity. Why can’t I keep a bit of both? 🙂
Playing On My Micro Pedal Flow
This past summer in Chicago, I got to try this cool bicycle-meets-scooter mobility device and instantly fell in love. The Micro Pedal Flow is a compact, seatless, folding bike. I bought mine on Amazon.
Why I love this bike:
- easy to ride
- solid braking system
- no seat (so I can easily ride in a skirt)
- sturdy and well built
- quirky (in an endearing way)
My friend (who is an engineer visited my house) and he helped me build the bike. I was glad he was there because attaching the front wheel looked tricky! Thanks for your help! 🙂 Then we tried it outside. It takes some knack to get it going, but it glides well once you are started. It is pretty easy to ride, although (full disclosure) I did run into the wall on my second ride. My knuckles got scratched but not badly. The next day, I rode around and started to feel comfortable. A passing student said my bike was “pretty nifty.”
I think I’m ready to try it for a longer ride now! I am planning to use it to get to the pool for my early morning swim. Hope that I’m not too sleepy to ride it at 6:15am…
Hedge Maze at the Botanical Garden
After enjoying my bike, we headed to the local botanical garden to picnic and explore the grounds. We saw some big trees and an even bigger rock.
Then we found a hedge maze…
That is how the maze would have looked, if I was a child or if I was an animal the size of a small dog… But actually I towered over the hedges.
That didn’t stop us! We made blinders with our hands and went through the maze that way. It was surprisingly effective. I got lost a few times. 🙂
It was a fun day and we still had time for our weekly meal prep!!
Curry Roasted Red Peppers
Here’s another “one-ingredient” recipe for Roasted Curry Red Peppers. (Also check out – Bok Choy Stir Fry with Garlic and Sesame.) “One ingredient” because there is just one fresh ingredient to buy – red bell peppers. The other ingredients are common kitchen staples. I usually eat peppers raw but roasting the peppers for this salad gives them an amazing deep rich flavor. Plus a dash of curry powder provides a warm and satisfying finish, ideal for cooler fall weather. This fresh and super colorful salad whips up super quick. It keeps for 5 days and tastes best on day 3 or 4. It tastes great alone or on top of a green salad. Or try piled high for a savory sandwich! Enjoy~
The Green Turnip Score – 8
Red peppers, 2 (for a color boost, use a combination of red/yellow/orange peppers)
Fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
Curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper, generous dash
Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
- Cut the peppers into quarters from end to end. Remove the seeds and stem.
- Arrange the peppers skin-side up on a baking sheet. Grill under the broiler on high until the skin starts to bubble and brown at the edges. Chop into bite sized pieces.
- Mix together the lemon juice, curry powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Combine with the peppers. Store in a container.
Adapted from “パプリカのカレーマリネ” from “作り置きサラダ”.
Want to learn more about simple, Japanese-inspired weekly meal prep? Read “What is Make Now & Eat Later”…
Come back on Monday! New simple Japanese-inspired recipes and musings on Japan posted here every week.