We like to eat then tell you all about it!

Personal Nostalgia

In Beliefs, Cake, Dessert, Diabetic, Fruit, Japan, Pastry, Recipe on 22 October 2009 at 12:12 am

Sometimes you forget the awesome things you do. Prime example, when you create something you are very proud of and through time forget that you even did such a thing. I guess I am somewhat nostalgic tonight. I began rummaging through photos I took with my Brick of a Canon. I found a yummy pic from my past on my external hard disk drive. It was of something I made and was right proud of myself.

Since 2004 I have tried to find something to fill the gaping hole I have in my life. Granted, I do believe in God and that Jesus is His son and died for our sins. If anyone, He should be our end all be all. Without sounding like a hypocrite, I feel that since I returned to the USA from Japan that my life (more than ever) is lacking something profound. Maybe I haven’t let the Lord be lord in every area of my life. Maybe I built my very existence on all things Japanese and when the dream was over I died somewhere in my personality. It has been a complete struggle to find something to be as passionate about. My bff says I should just go back to Japan and as exciting as that sounds, I just don’t feel my place is there right now. Truth be told, I was hoping to come back to the USA, find true love and create some babies. None of that has materialized. What HAS materialized are some dark times in my life. Granted things are running MUCH smoother. I feel I am on the other side of all that chaos and I am VERY grateful for that. Except now…all I have to keep me going is photographing food that is pleasing to my eyes and trying to figure out how to reactivate my life and even get some sorta friendship circle going. I find myself in a lonely spot. For some reason I don’t click with girls as I’d like. Most of my friends are men. And as fun as that is, I feel that my femininity is not flourishing nor is it scoring me any points. Le sigh. What am I to do with myself.

I like food and just from my tag cloud alone I am sure you can figure out that I love Japan. More than food though Japan is my passion and at times my obsession. I do not have an eating disorder and am very happy that I don’t drown my sorrows in a tub of ice cream like American society would have people believe that women do.  Perhaps me taking pictures keeps the gluttony away. Maybe my photography keeps food from being something to consume and more as daily pieces of art (or trash, depending on who made it and its plating/presentation). By seeing the pic I don’t crave the food and rush out to have it again. I see what I had and remember the times shared or the time alone.

I came home from Japan after two wonderful years of growing and thriving in a life long dream. As I dealt with reverse culture shock I also got news that a family friend had passed away and that two family members were dying of cancer. My dad developed type 2 diabetes. Perhaps it is the love of my family that they kept all this from me. “Oh, Zee is in Japan. Let’s not bother her with such sad news until she returns.” Or maybe it was just the slap back to reality that all people face when returning back to the hometown and they endure everything that has changed all at the same time. Due to all the heartbreaking news which seemed to come as a waterfall, I decided that I was gonna try to be as creative as possible when possible. At times I have abandoned that idea and have remembered it when I see others doing things that I wish I were doing.

Mixed Berry Shortcake

About my Mixed Berry Shortcake~I initially made this because I wanted my dad to enjoy something nice that wouldn’t shoot up his blood sugar. This is, of course, before I took the time to learn about the Glycemic Index and the entire issues of Type 2 Diabetes. I figure the fruit couldn’t hurt nor the other stuff I chose to use. I can’t tell you if this is okay to give your mom, your dad, your family at the holidays or whatever because I don’t know the exact sugar content. I am just saying this was my attempt to do SOMETHING for myself and for my dad.

Mixed Berry Shortcake is comprised of:

1 package pre-made shortcake sponge cup thingys. I think 6 came in the package.

1 box Jell-o Vanilla Pudding mix. This is good stuff isn’t it?

An assortment of fresh berries– blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries were used on my dessert

I pre-made the Jell-o pudding mix just as it said on the box. After it had a chance to chill, I got the shortcake thingys (what are those called anyway??) and first topped the indentation with pudding then arranged the berries to my liking. Now that I think about it a little powdered sugar would have went nicely for a visual effect. If you do make your own, please let me know! I’d like to see your creativity and even find out how your friends and loved ones like it.

  1. Aw, I feel your pain! I myself often feel at a complete loss. Like I’m sort of floating along a dead sea with no waves, no storms, no excitement. I think a lot of it has to do with the state of the economy in the states so at least you have the consolation that we’re all on the in the same dead ocean. I share the same love for Japan and travel so I can totally relate but I have a lot of responsibilities here that keep me from packing up to a different country.

    Sigh, here’s to us and finding something to fill the hole!

    • I am gonna fill my hole with a couple of Fall time Krispy Kreme donuts and a jug of pumpkin pie flavored coffee!!

      MC, I think you nailed it. It’s this feeling that time is being wasted, floating on scant breezes or ripples. I am not going anywhere and nothing seems to be coming toward me. This is limbo. It is almost murderous to the soul when I hear that someone is going to Japan or they are able to take a trip to a country I want to go to. I have the time just not the cash at the moment. I try not to be envious but knowing what they are getting to experience…I want to cry. I want the trip, the inside jokes made on a bus ride, wine from the one of the best wineries, the best street food from Thailand. Doesn’t anyone want to take us along? Maybe even send us a postcard? This travel bug has infected my whole being. There is no escape. The only solution is to get out the country and ride the high until we are empty again. (T__T)

      Has you been to Japan? Where abouts do you want to visit? I am a Kansai girl! I do want to check out Hokkaido and the Touhoku area because why not, ne??

      • “I am gonna fill my hole with a couple of Fall time Krispy Kreme donuts and a jug of pumpkin pie flavored coffee!!”

        I like the way you think!

        When I went, we stayed in Roppongi which is (I later found out) sort of lower on the totem pole of foreign hang-outs. From there we traveled to Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto and Aichi for the World’s Fair. I would LOVE, love to go back and stay longer and visit more places!

        Bamola, I share the same travel bug. I have the time and the desire but no money. It hurts.

        • I need a pumpkin flavor donut with sprinkles RIGHT NOW!! Someone make that happen!

          I went over on The JET Program. Spent three days in Tokyo then was whisked away to Wakayama for two years. I loved it. I only got to visit Kabuki-cho (kowaii) and Ueno/Akihabara. How did you like Osaka and Kyoto? I want to visit the bamboo gardens in Kyoto.

          • I loved Osaka! I think it’s a calmer version of Tokyo. Tokyo can get a bit overwhelming with the crowds and the sounds and the stores. It’s so wild at times – Osaka I think has a more normal pace of life. Kyoto, despite being another major tourist destination, feels more like a sleepy small town. We went, I think on a Sunday? And the streets were pretty quiet, it felt like we were the only foreigners there. Very lovely! We also went to Fuji City and climbed Mt. Fuji. Man, I’m getting all nostalgic now!

            How was the JET program? I’ve always been curious and almost signed up at one point

            • Each thing you said about each city I totally agree with! When I first went to Kyoto I didn’t like it but I think that was because it was cold and gray and I saw nothing ancient about it. After traveling up there a couple of times the history of the place began to show. When I go back there I hope to find a bamboo forest I keep seeing in promotional posters.

              I wish I had gotten to climb Fuji. To rise high above the clouds and welcome the sun must have been awesome!

              The JET Program was one of the best things that could have ever happened in my life. The town I was placed in was perfect for me. Getting PAID to speak English AND to travel around Japan on the weekends was a dream I got to live the 24 months I was there! I HIGHLY recommend that program to ANYONE who wants to go to Japan to work. If you have any questions or anything let me know! I can email you or we can even do chat. (:

  2. In many ways, I know how you feel. I guess things don’t always happen according to our time line.

    It’s funny … last week I was at a work training session and I ran into an coworker freind of mine who had since transfered to our norcal office. He’s a great guy, and I used to really, really like his sister (we were defacto dating… but the whole equally yoked thing kinda was a wrench.) Anyway, my coworker just had a daughter … while I was very excited for him, a bit of me was jealous. Not necessarily about the kid part … I’m not sure where I stand on that … but that he is moving on with his life.

    And sometimes I feel like I have jack crap to show for anything.

    And the only thing who had unconditional love and affection for me was my dog. Who passed last year …

    • I wonder why these times in our lives feel like a complete desert. I am beginning to feel that it is almost universal for all us 30 year olds. I don’t like it. I would say it is the whole “the grass is always greener”thing but I don’t think so. We all can have what everyone is is having it is just that our path to those points sure do feel rocky. A friend of mine also had a kid recently. I am super happy for him but when looking at my life I ask why is it so hard to obtain love or produce a kid (in a loving family of married parents). Shouldn’t love be the easiest thing to enjoy and do? Why does it seem that everyone got the memo to go inside the next door and I am still out here wondering how people got to go ahead?

      I personally feel that my life is good. I know I help A LOT of people however I feel I have no legacy. When I die what will people say, “Oh she was a sweet girl”? To me that would be the wort compliment. I want to be known for doing something profound…something that changed the course of lives forever…not that I was a nice girl. Pfft.

      If it weren’t for pets who do love us unconditionally…I think a lot of people would be hurting even more. Those little wagging tails, purrs, and fur & feathers have helped me through some very difficult times.

      I miss my brick. Good times. This Sony Cybershot that I have is easily forgotten and sometimes tossed around when I leave it in a purse! EEK!

  3. By the way, I have a “brick” of a Canon camera too. I have a smaller Panasonic, but it has much less zoom and I can’t manually focus and adjust aperture, etc. So I sometimes prefer the brick :)

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