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tenpointson


omgwtfbbqonmyoudo

musings of a non-traditional onmyouji


Thoughts - What a tangled web we weave
tenpointson
Ah, it's been a while, ne?  The last few days (starting with the full moon and moving through and increasing in intensity and urgency until now) have been waxing during the waning with a thought-worm that is refusing to leave me alone but also leaves me in the space where thought isn't necessary and the mind and heart are calm.

It started with the night of the full moon, gazing and gauging the weather and what storms may come, how much protection from the heavens and how to be welcome what crosses the doorway.  I do this regularly, but the October moon seems to always bring about a laying-to-rest and shoring-of-resources that I'm sure certain friends understand and recognize.  There is a reason one of the spokes of the wheel of witchcraft falls on Samhain, after all.

It started with squash, Sunburst squash, white squash, pattypan, delivered as a gift of thanks and friendship, along with hubbard squash, onions, carrots, parsnips.  The round bumps along the edges of the squash repeating pearls filled with bright yellow flesh.  Firm, yet soft, beautiful and ugly, alive and at the same time dying.  What to do, to honour the gift and the giver, when food becomes poison if left sitting too long?

It started with popular culture, Halloween, lighting the way for people with little bodies and people with no bodies by decoratively carving gourds and placing illumination within.  Turnips turned lanterns turned guidance turned trope.  Meaning withing meaning becoming meaningless trash in the space of a day according to the proclivities of the producer/destroyer.

It started with spiders.  Giant house spiders breeding.  Webs tangling and turning to dust behind bookshelves and memories.  Doorways  and corners guarded by natural netting to catch and keep or let pass as fit.

The wheel of the seasons echoed by sunbursts echoed by light echoed by spider legs echoed by webbing.

Patterns repeated within patterns.

And so I have come to dwell on the imagery of reality as depicted with the thought-process of visualizing Indra's Pearls/Indra's Net - contemplate a spider's web covered in dew drops, each droplet reflecting the others in their own spheres, strands of webbing supporting the lot.  Each droplet its own universe, the web and droplets seen within their own valid reality, reflecting and repeating and returning, delicate and perfect and a display that is as dependent upon the others as they are on it.  Each touch, each movement, in any droplet, reflected outwards and inwards and changing the multitude of images in some way.

Always glistening.

...more recipes. Surprise!
tenpointson
This egg custard sliced roll is often used to top sushi (tamagozushi) but is perfectly good to bring as lunch or eat as a side by itself.
I personally find them a bit sweet, so when I'm making them for myself I reduce the amount of sugar and replace the powder with rice flour, but most people enjoy them as is.

Ingredients
1/4 cup mirin
4 large eggs
4 tbsp dashi stock (or other fish stock if dashi is unavailable)
1/2 tsp light soy sauce (or pinch salt, dark soy is too salty)
1 tbsp superfine sugar
vegetable oil

Directions
1) Gently warm mirin either in the microwave or over a double boiler, let cool. (It will curdle the eggs otherwise, either through alcohol or heat)
2) Crack eggs into a large bowl, remove any shell that may fall in.  Beat until of a smooth consistency, lemony yellow in colour.
3) Add mirin, stirring to combine. Strain into another bowl.
4) Dissolve sugar in dashi.  Add soy sauce, add into the egg mixture.
5) Using a rectangular frying pan or 1/4 baking tray with a heavy bottom, heat a little oil and make sure the bottom of the pan is coated by running a paper towel around with a pair of chopsticks so you don't burn your fingers.  The paper towel will also soak up any excess oil in the pan.
6) Pour just enough egg into the heated pan to coat.  As soon as the egg sets, pull the cooked mix to one end and roll it to the other.  This makes the 'core' of the tamago yaki.
7) If needed, use more oil, lift the core, pour more egg for another thin layer.  Place the core down, and roll again when the egg sets, first to one end, then roll across the pan to the other end.
8) Repeat this process until you run out of egg mix.
9) Remove the roll from the pan and wrap in wax paper, rolling the egg as you would to shape maki sushi, but with sharp angles so you end up with a rectangular 'loaf' of egg.  Let cool.
10) Cut ends of loaf if they are uneven to make a block, slice into thick slices.  This can be served right away, or packed into lunches once completely cool.

Green Tea Icecream

My icecream maker broke, so if you make some, I want a taste~  :3

Ingredients
2 1/2 tbsp macha
2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup each milk, heavy cream

Directions
1) Mix 2 tbsp of the sugar and all of the macha in a bowl.  Mix the rest of the sugar and the yolks in another bowl.
2) Warm the milk, being careful not to let it boil or scorch.  When warm mix a bit with the macha and sugar to form a paste, then put the paste back with the rest of the warmed milk.
3) Add yolk mix slowly, stirring constantly until blended.  Let cool.
4) Lightly whip cream and add the cooled green tea mix.
5) Freeze, either quickly enough to prevent ice crystals, or stir a number of times to break the ice crystals up while it is freezing.
6) Scoop a portion into a bowl.  Garnish with adzuki paste, almonds, pistachios, a sprinkle of icing sugar or more macha, candied ginger, coconut, a second scoop of vanilla/sweet potato/dark chocolate icecream, or anything else you want.

Folded Omelette

This may be what a certain someone was asking about, but I'm not sure.  If not, it's still delicious (whether you use the meat or not!)

Ingredients
8 eggs, beaten
2 slices ham, chopped (or char siu)
6oz chopped chicken meat, cooked (or turkey, duck is too fatty)
8 cooked prawns, chopped (or canned shrimp, or mini scallops)
1 tbsp finely chopped chives/green onion/scallions or minced white onion (soak the onion in water for 5 minutes to remove astringency)
2 tsp light soy sauce
salt and pepper
2 tbsp oil

Directions
1) Crack eggs individually into a small bowl, remove any shell that may fall in. Mix together all ingredients but the oil in a large bowl.
2) Heat oil in a frying pan.  When hot, add omelette mixture.
3) Gently stir the omelette mix at the start of the cooking process.  When it begins to set, fold in half.
4) Once the egg has steadied, fold in half again, so the omelette takes up 1/4 of the pan.
5) Remove from heat, cover with lid for 3-5 minutes so the egg finishes cooking.
6) May be sliced and served.

Dengaku style miso-topping

I used this on grilled eggplant, but it works with so many other things that I can't even begin to list them.

Ingredients
3 tbsp red miso
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sake (or soju, or vodka)
This recipe easily doubles, triples, quadruples.  Current quantity is for one serving (what I used for the Chinese eggplant), for a whole large eggplant you need 2.

Directions
1) Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan.
2) Cook over medium heat until mix thickens, stir regularly.
3) Spread over already cooked vegetable(s), grill for 5 more minutes or bake for 10 (375F).
4) Remove from heat, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, serve.
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Quick and dirty okonomiyaki
tenpointson
As requested (after posting pictures of my lunch on my Facebook account) here is the recipe (ish) that I used for okonomiyaki while I was feeling lazy.

Ingredients
Instant pancake mix
Dashi stock
Shredded green onion
Egg
pre-shredded cabbage mix
carrot
Japanese Mayo
Okonomiyaki sauce (substitute bbq sauce if that is all you have)

Directions
1) Lightly grease a frying pan and wilt cabbage, onion, and carrot, set aside.
2) Make a loose batter with the pancake mix and stock, pour a serving size pancake and put the cabbage mix on top immediately.
3) When the pancake has set, remove from pan and set aside.  Crack egg into the pan (add more oil if needed) and flip the pancake on top so the cabbage is on the egg and the pancake is on the top layer.  Cook until egg is set at the consistency you want. (It takes some practise to flip the pancake on top without breaking the yolk....but you can just eat the ones that are less than perfect)
4) Flip the okonomiyaki onto a plate egg side up.  Garnish with mayo and okonomiyaki or bbq sauce.  Green onion, bonito flakes, aonori (green powder seaweed), and ketchup (ew) are all other options for toppings.  
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New Years Eve
tenpointson

February 9th, New Years Eve.

This morning I swept the house and sharpened my knives…and found enough cat hair under furniture in the sweeping to make another cat.  For the past week, I have each evening been meditating on one of the elements, watching the last of the old moon disappear.  Starting with wood, the expansive energy that remains rooted, but spreads.  From wood comes fire, ascending and transforming.  Fire leaves ash, earth, stabilizing and that which all things spring from and return to.  Earth that turns to metal deep inside, contracting and purifying.  Metal moves as liquid, condenses water from nothing.  Water flows, conserving and purifying.  Five elements, one a day, and all five in their cycle on the sixth day.

This, the seventh day and last day of the old year, my meditations are on the dark of the moon, the passing of time, and my evaluations of my self.  What have I accomplished well? What have I failed at?  All that ends.  Things end so that they may be born again, born anew, start over.  I am taking the time to say goodbye to the last year, good and bad and in between.  I am thankful for my health, that I am alive to have it in the first place.  I am thankful for what material comforts I can access and enjoy.  I am thankful for my family, that we are as close as we are when so many families suffer in division.  I am thankful for my ancestors, that they have given me the genetic, social, and emotional strengths that I possess.  I am thankful for my friends, giving me comfort and joy, and compersion.  I am thankful for my enemies, those that feel the need to act on their hatred, for giving me opportunities and challenges.

The cycle begins again, the seasons continue in their even paces, the circle goes around.  Death leads to birth, winter leads to spring, sleep leads to wakening.  In this time before, reflection is the start of letting go, of saying ‘thank you’ for the lessons, the opportunities, the challenges, the past cycle in all it has brought…and saying ‘thank you’ for the cycle to come.

The snake is shedding its skin, for the previous form has become worn, tattered, stained and scarred with all the growing the snake has done.  A new form emerges, stronger, bigger, more powerful than the last.  Tonight, I caress away the old skin, recalling what has touched me and what I have brushed past, examining myself thoroughly.  Tomorrow is a new day, new year, new season, new moon, new life.  I want to glisten the gold of happiness and bear the red of joyful passion clearly for all to see.

Now is the time to peel away the old me, in order to reveal the new.

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Halfway to crazy town and already there
tenpointson
So, after the whirlwind rush of Hannukah, Yule, Christmas, New Years, Christmas, and the plethora of birthdays in December/January that I have the honor to be aware of and/or attend celebrations relating to, there is only 7 more birthdays, 1 more New Years, and a full moon to deal with in the next month before I can legitimately go hermit until the snow melts...which will take a while.  I get to see a friend later today (cough tomorrow by my schedule because I probably won't see her until the sun sets cough) whose annual circumnavigation of the sun is not to be mentioned, especially on the day of its occurrence.  So, unlike a number of others who still have yet to understand that she doesn't want to celebrate/participate this not-really-momentous occasion, I won't mention it.  At all.  Instead, I will simply be grateful for her corporeal presence, and treat her how friends should be treated.  With respect, honor, and love, tempered with good humor.  Then, on to the next set of gatherings and get togethers and parties. 

As is wont to occur whenever I am alone with someone, last night a rather heavy conversation occurred, and I am hoping that the person who shared it with me accepts my apology.  I was not at my most graceful or calming, and as such was not the best listener that I have the potential to be.  If you would allow me to try again, I would appreciate it.  Possibly over tea instead of 2am in the car.

The job hunt is ongoing, though I have finished re-typing, updating, and formatting my grandmother's recipe book into a downloadable format, and the response from my family has been wonderful, to the point that a number of relatives have asked if I could possibly find a publisher to print hardcopies of it, multiple for each family.  I will, I think, as soon as I can go through the photo albums again and pick out a number of photos that would be suitable.  A family historian has even paid me for the work, which was definitely appreciated.  Now to determine what my youngest sister wants for her birthday...

Other random conversations that have happened over the holidays and since my last update that can be answered here include a number of home-made or natural beauty products.  I'm going to include a few in this post, but not make it as public as most of my recipe posts since I'm feeling lazy at 2 am again for some strange reason...

Face Cleansing Scrub
1 tbsp organic honey (or honey as pure as you can find it, the fewer chemicals and processing techniques it's had done to it the better!)
1 tsp plain unsweetened yogurt (if you make this at home as well, good job!)
2 tbsp ground almonds
1/2 tsp lemon juice or water (but since you're already zesting a lemon...)
1/2 tsp lemon zest

Mix everything together until well blended, let sit for at least an hour before use.  Store in the refridgerator if you don't use it all, or if you increase the recipe.  Use by rubbing on face gently using a small circular motion, let stand until it begins to dry out.  Wash off with warm water.

For dry feet, soak in olive oil, rinse with warm water.

Facial Toner
5 sprigs rosemary
2 bunches mint

Let herbs float in hot (not boiling!) water for one hour, strain and cool.  Gently wipe over face using a washcloth or makeup pad.

Fail, Canada...fail.
tenpointson
  A recent decision (published October 6 in both the Globe and Mail and The Star Phoenix - a local paper not known for it's unbiased reporting) in the Canadian Penitentiary system has determined that Chaplains are expensive to maintain and so only Christian Chaplains will be paid.  All other faiths must rely on volunteers, and the only volunteer positions available are part time.  
 
  My initial response was the rather snarky and VERY grumpy thought that "Of course, all criminals in Canada are Christians, so this makes sense."  This does come on the heels of a number of rather...interesting...responses in public places when people figure out that I don't profess to be a follower of the normative religious path.  Everything from being ignored in a restaurant when my server heard me say 'itadakimasu' over my meal, to being told I'm going to hell while talking to a friend while on a bus, to being asked how I expect to get married and have children if I don't go to Church and roll over for every male that acknowledges my presence.

  After a rather successful otsukimi, this was very disheartening.  I've expanded the network of friends and associates that I've invited to a more social version for the October full moon (29th, 19:49) for the particular purpose of not telling people that 'freedom of religion means freedom for all religions' but SHOWING people that there really is nothing to fear from difference, and that kindness, hospitality, honour, and truth are not the exclusive perview of one particular group.

  Still wondering how I'm going to respond to this officially. 

Pertinent Links

http:www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/religious-freedom-sends-the-wrong-message-to-the-wrong-people/article4591927/
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/travel/Religious+freedom/7354197/story.html

And now for an update on practises, as requested and with permission of course.
tenpointson
  As I have been asked, so I will answer with this post on some of the more 'magical' (their word, not mine) things that I do.  I have asked and recieved permission from the client whose residence I visited, and guaranteed that I will not name names or give direction or locations.  That being said...

  The day prior to our scheduled meeting I reiterated my plans to two seperate individuals as to where I would be, how I may be reached, and what time approximately I would be back.  I have spent a good deal of time with this client, and it was more of a concern in dealing with the other people living in this residence having negative or violent reactions to my presence than any issues that could arise due to their participation.  I checked my 'go kit' which includes a number of tools that I may find useful on the go and fits into a small wooden case, including but not limited to a selection of brushes and pre-prepared paper for ofuda, water with rock salt from the directional bowls that are currently active in my space dissolved inside (previous salt bowls have contributed and the water from them was sprinkled in the currently active bowls) and concentrated through sunlight, moonlight, evaporation and time.  It is charged daily with intention along with a number of other tools on/in my altar (also made of wood).  Also in my kit, a tai chi jian with a daiji (yin-yang symbol) embossed on the hilt, patchouli insense and a small burner, a feather fan, and candles and wooden matches.
 
  That day (prior to the meeting) I ate no animal products, and performed a short harai, dabbing some mint oil on my temples to ward of the headache that would be coming afterward and with the way it helped my breath control I may use it again when my vision stabilizes enough that the headaches go away.  Made a small additional offering of 5 perfectly shaped grape tomatoes to the kami and burned 5 elemental candles in appropriate colors to assist with intention directed meditation that lasted until the candles burned out (about an hour, as the candles were tealight sized).  Slept well, with dreams of myself as a child small enough to climb/crawl/jump/squeeze through and around and over or under the obstacles placed on my path leading to a cliff overlooking the ocean where I became the spray.

  The morning of, I performed my normal routine, offering a peach that smelled and looked great.  Elementally the day was filled with strong water elemental influences and so I made sure to wear some metal to strengthen water's seed and work with my plants and some paper to direct the flow to where I want to grow.  Plain rice and tea and fresh pickles for breakfast, some mushroom soup and the rest of the rice for lunch.  Centered and calmed myself from 14:00 to 15:00, and then asked my shikigami and my living cat to lend me their strength/assistance in the upcoming work.  My cat wanted pets and kitty cookies (she goes insane for dental Temptations treats) and shikigami wanted the sound of shime-kazari (folded paper...streamers?) in exchange, and so I fed my cat, let her sit in my lap and purr as I stroked her head, chin, and tummy, and did a small dance to really get my wand moving.

  As both my client and I generally share a meal when we meet, I then prepared a three cabbage Korean slaw (gochugaru, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, fish sauce, rice vinegar, minced canned mandarin oranges as I was out of marmalade for the dressing, over vegetables of your choice) and put it in a jar, and set my go bag by the door next to my normal back pack that holds my normal tools for modern life...wallet, change purse keys, pen, paper, small scissors, cell phone.   I went and sat with two of my siblings until my client arrived slightly after the arranged time.  We traveled by car to their residence, and immediately on seeing it I knew what one of the major problems would be, as it is located on a corner on a busy street.  Fortunately, some of the shar chi is negated as there are large trees surrounding the property on the street side, though there is no light provided.  The entire area is flat, and a railway line runs very close by, with an abundance of subterranian water.  

  The majority of residents use the back door as their main entrance, and so we do as well.  The house is stagnant, the energy in it flat and tainted by anger and frustration coming from beneath my feet.  We have entered into a kitchen, which is moderately lit.  The house, from the style, was built in the late 1950's or early 1960's and has been renovated somewhat to turn it from a typical residence of that time to something more suited to the dorm it has become.  The walls are hard, flat, and bare, the corners sharp and abbrasive.  There is a living room where nothing lives in the same space on the same level as the kitchen with an awkward dividing wall and a cloistered front entrance that stinks of disuse.  My client's space is located on the upper divided level, street side, and is muddled and uncomfortable, but not undesireable or overly exposed.  Some balancing work and energizing would open it up relatively easily, but whatever is in the basement level is making me uneasy, so that is where we head next.

  Fortunately, as we hit the second landing on the way down, a number of things tell me that there is nothing down there that is actively attempting to harm, or even intelligently present.  The lack of activity is the first clue, the scent is the second, there is almost no energy on the entire floor, and that is the reason that the anger and frustration are so prominent.  There is nothing there to temper or even provide interference.  I bypass the room that the energy is radiating from to follow my client into their workspace, and start my work there, explaining as I take out my tools and get the energy present and then moving what I am doing.  My client doesn't know a lot about what I do, just that it works, and so I keep my explanations simple and straight forward, summarizing.  

  With my feather fan in my left hand (yang, actively moving) and a stick of insence in my right (we weren't certain if the landlord would object to burning the insence - right hand yin provide a stable base around which the yang will move), I first circled the room and cleansed it of the few traces left by the previous residents, then circled again to raise energy and have some flow to it once it was present.  As the energy present in the space (a basement, in the back of the house, underground) was very much earth it will never move swiftly, and so I placed a single ofuda under the lightswitch (where my client will be touching and 'summoning' power frequently) that calls on wood to help move the energy present in an expanding form, and recommended placement for a mirror to echo and reflect that energy, using water to draw lines of power from the metal of the mirror to the wood of the paper.  There is a good deal of electronics where fire would be placed in the go-gyo pattern, and they produce both light and heat. I then finished the energy work, closed it off and sealed it, and moved back to the room with the lingering emotions.

  Listening to the instinct that has come to serve me well, I drew my jian, held it in both hands, and allowed it to guide me first into the room, then seek out the source of the emotional residue.  I got approximately three steps into the room before the jian yanked me to the left and then around a small corner.  There is a storage space behind a plywood cover that had wood left from what looked like pieces of an MDF desk, and burning the wood from it would be the easiest method of disposal, but as it is not the property of my client she will have to ask her landlord if it would be possible to either burn it themselves (highly unlikely, as MDF glue is poisonous and they are located in the city limits with bylaws regarding the burning of waste products) or remove it from the premises (more likely, but still not a fast solution).   I allowed for this by 'cutting' the residue into smaller pieces and sealing the space with metal from the sword in my hand and promising to purpose a candle with fire energy for my client to either burn in the space if allowed or simply leave there to limit the residue's ability to affect the rest of the household.

  We then went back upstairs and my client began to prepare a meal (stir-fry veggies and somen~! <3) while I began to balance the energy in the room that they rent.  First priority was to identify the current energy pattern, then enhance and raise and balance it.  I do not have the words for how I do this, it is simply a 'knowing' that years of experience have sharpened and practise speeds the process.  The corner furthest from the door contains weak earth, the window across from the door strong metal, there is no water, weak wood at the door itself, and no fire.  

  First, I deal with the overabundance of metal energy by diffusing it with a dream catcher that has been made for my client to suit them specifically regarding their birthday, which was previously in the room, just not in as effective a position.  The diffusion allowed me to move on to creating water energy from the now softened metal energy between the window and the door through the writing and placement of an ofuda.  This energized the wood/door enough that I did not feel the need to alter it, and so moved on to fire, as the flow and balance of energy was now almost crying to complete the cycle.  Fire, in this case, fire in a closet, is not normally a good idea.  Lighting a flame in a full closet results in arson charges, so I went back to my paper and intention, working with what I had on hand.  Instead of dousing any energy I could infuse into this ofuda by placing the washi against a wall by wetting it, I made certain to ink in rising patterns and placed it on a small ledge on the side where it will sit undisturbed unless specifically moved.  The balance of elements came next, and so a small stone placed amid decorative statues and rubbed against the fire ofuda helped to even the flow.  Using my feather fan, I got the air and energy moving by focssing and raising each elemental point and, for lack of a better term, smearing them into one another.  My hand moving in a left, right, left pattern to acknoledge each step and honor it.

  Returning to the kitchen, I packed up my go bag and greeted one of the roommates who had a cup of instant noodles for supper, and watched as my client finished and plated our meal.  Though I prefer not to eat immediately after the amount of energy work I did, the meal was relatively light and the company about what I expected.  Normally, once I have balanced a space, the beings residing there also come into alignment, and in people this often results in them needing to talk about something.  This was true in this particular case, and between myself and my client.  The meal did help to settle me as my body became a thing-that-digests instead of a thing-that-hunts, and after some discussion and meeting another roomate who I am certain thinks I am beyond odd, I was driven home and bid my client farwell.  I performed a more thorough harai, ate an egg on toast to complete my settling, and cleaned my tools with flame, salt, sound (paper/wood and air) and water.  I took out the candle that is to be used in the basement storage area, and placed it on my altar to remember my task. 

  This was a number of days ago, and the candle is now ready for pick-up, since I know that said client will be reading this within hours of my posting.

  
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Surprise! Another update and recipe~
tenpointson
  Aish, busy day today but satisfying and entirely productive.  After missing Xia's concert in New York OR Los Angeles as my application for iLASIK had been processed and I was scheduled to have the surgery the day before the New York perfomance, I was irritated when the Friday before I was told that the surgeon was ill and wouldn't be able to perform my surgery at the scheduled time, but I understand that everyone gets sick at times and it was moved to tomorrow.  So, surgery tomorrow, where they are unsure if they'll be able to get painkillers that won't kill me.  It won't be the first surgery I've had without, but I really, really hope that they find some.  It would be nice.  I'm not a fan of pain.  

  To calm myself a bit and cheer myself up, I turned to my kitchen, and made Lucky 8 mushroom soup.

Ingredients

1 portabella mushroom
16 button mushrooms
8 oyster mushrooms
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
16 cremini mushrooms
8 enoki mushrooms
3 stalks celery (or all the leaves from a bunch)
2 medium onions
8 green onions
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 pkg Korean ginseng tea granules (enough for one cup of tea)
3 tbsp sesame oil
16 cups water

Directions

1) Mince onion and garlic, saute until translucent in sesame oil in LARGE pot.
2) Chop mushrooms so that all pieces are approximately the same size (I went with halves button mushrooms to judge) and add to onion and garlic mix.
3) Once the mushrooms have started to cook, add soy sauce and water and bring to a rapid boil.
4) Let boil for 30 minutes.  Add celery and green onion. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
5) Strain broth, set aside extra, leaving 2 1/2 cups.
6) In a smaller pot, saute vegetables (I used a carrot, 3 napa cabbage leaves, and 8 snap peas) in a little sesame oil.
7) Add mushroom stock, bring to a boil.
8) Add 1 portion soba noodles (other noodles may be used)
9) Cook noodles until al dente, pour into bowl(s), veggies on top.  I sprinkled mine with green onion.

  It was delicious, and made my little sister drool.  Success! Hopefully my surgery tomorrow goes well, I heal quickly, and the Equinox brings anticipated changes about~!

Miso Ramen and Ajitsuke Tamago
tenpointson
To make this dish requires a bit of pre-planning, as the tamago (egg) is brined over night.  I tend to make a larger batch than most single people would consume, simply because I turn into a bit of a pig when these are available.

Ajitsuke Tamago (brined eggs)

Ingredients
6 large eggs
1 1/3 cups water
3/4 cup light soy sauce, or 2/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup mirin, or 4 tsp sugar
2 tsp hon dashi bonito stock granules
1 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 stalks green onion

Directions
1) Make sure your eggs are at LEAST 5 days old, a full week is better, and room temperature.
2) Place eggs is the bottom of a large pan, cover with COLD water.
3) Bring to a hard rolling boil on the second highest setting you have on your stove top.
4) Boil for 3 minutes.
5) Immediately remove eggs from heat and blanch in ice cold water to stop the cooking process.  You want your white to be solidly cooked, but the yolk still runny.  If the white isn't cooked, you can make people sick.  If the yolk is solid, use them as hard boiled eggs in another recipe.  A soft boiled egg yolk is key to the fatty unctuousness of this recipe. 
6)  Once thoroughly cooled, peel your eggs carefully.
7) In a small pot, mix together water, soy sauce, mirin (or sugar), dashi, and oil.  Bring it to a gentle boil, stir, and cool.
8) In a container that will hold the eggs and liquid and nothing else (or deep enough to make sure the eggs are submerged in the brine) place finely chopped green onion stalks, eggs, and pour the brine over top.
9) The eggs will float a bit, make sure to turn them regularly so the color from the brine covers each egg evenly.
10) Keep eggs in the fridge until about 2 hours before you plan to use them, as a cold egg in warm soup is off-putting.  Cut them in half carefully before placing in ramen bowl, as the runny yolk can get messy.


Miso broth

Ingredients
Water and pork fat OR vegetable stock
Shiro (white) miso paste
Hon Dashi bonito stock granules


Directions
1a) If you are making roast pork for the topping of your ramen, save the drippings and the bones and make a light pork stock. 
1b) If you have bacon drippings, these also work, about 1 tbsp of fat for every cup of water you intend to use.
1c) Vegetarian? Didn't plan for it? Don't like pork? Use vegetable stock that you can get from blanching the vegetables you intend to use in your ramen in the same water (after cleaning them).  Waste not, want not!
2) For every 2 1/2 cups of stock, add 3-4 tbsp of white miso, and 1 1/3 tsp of dashi.  This requires math. 
3) Heat, but do not boil.  Boiling will burn the miso, and make the flavour bitter.
4) Pour over cooked ramen noodles.


Entire Bowl~!

Ingredients
Ajitsuke Tamago
Miso Broth
Ramen Noodles
Assorted Vegetables

1) Clean, cut, blanch vegetables (cook, but cool immediately after so they are cooked but not mushy).  Some suggestions - Bok Choy, Napa Cabbage, Green Onions, Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Corn, Roasted Nori sheet, various mushrooms, Cucumber (don't cook this one), Turnip, Potatoes, Squash, Pumpkin, Yams, Eggplant, Celery, Bamboo (mmm, bamboo shoots soaked in chili oil)...essentially whatever you have in your fridge.  Set aside.
2) Warm broth.
3) In a seperate pot, cook noodles according to type (fresh, dried). Drain. Place in bottom of ramen style bowl.
4) If using nori sheet, put this in now.  If not, ladle broth over noodles until the broth is just visible on the side of the noodles.
5) Arrange blanched vegetables attractively, add enough broth to let the vegetables soak up the flavour, but not cover or destroy the arrangement.
6) Place sliced ajitsuke eggs on top.
7) Season with soy sauce, chili oil, pickled ginger, sesame seeds if so desired.
8) Find out why I transform into a pig.
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Little LOL of the day
tenpointson
  One of my co-workers at the hospital and I were talking during our break today (I had a lemon-cranberry muffin and it was delicious) and she mentioned that she was horribly frightened of ghosts, and wouldn't go in certain areas of the hospital without another person present.  Attempting to comfort her, I casually mentioned that the ghosts really only hang out on the fifth floor, where the morgue is, all the while smiling to myself because they are EVERYWHERE.  
  Break ends, she goes back to her duties and I to mine.  Starting from the basement, then heading to every floor there are patients on (and one where their used to be but aren't any more), not once did I have to press the buttons in the elevator, including opening doors as I approached, with no 'lights' to indicate that the buttons had been pushed previously or people in the area.  
  Of course, I thanked the ghosts for their help, and was grinning like crazy making my rounds.
  I still haven't told her about them, but my other co-workers certainly know.
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