Morning Kitchen Chaos

A reader asked me to blog more about my cooking so here goes…..

In the morning I usually stumble (flop, drag myself) out of bed anywhere between 6:00-7:00 am.

It used to be 5 am thank goodness that stopped.

I’m not a morning person. I am cheerful enough after my first cuppa but I’m just not really geared up for a lot of activity in the mornings. When hubby fell ill and was put on a special diet it really upset my apple-cart for a while because of all the cooking I have to do now. Of course after about a year of practice it’s all good. I’ve pretty much got it down and it’s not so stressful anymore. I’ve learned a few hacks that help things run smoother.

So come on in the kitchen-just stand to the side and stay outta my way! It’s a small kitchen….

This morning: 6:45 I hit the ground running. Thank goodness I’ve cooked the chicken and bamboo shoots last night-that saved me time. The harusame noodle and carrot salad I also prepared last night-as well as the miso soup for breakfast. I’ve learned that it’s way easier for me in the morning if I prepare whatever I can the night before and put it in the fridge. It may mean standing in the kitchen until 9 or 9:30 pm the night before but it makes for smoother sailing in the mornings.

Hubby had the coffee brewing-good boy!

I yank open the griller and throw in his 2 breakfast fish.


Take out the small saucepan and heat up a serving of the precooked miso soup. Once it comes to a boil I shut it off and quickly crack an egg into it-slam the cover on and leave it….time to open the griller and check on the fish-turn fish-close griller.

Fill the small tea pot with genmaicha, set it on the little red try along with his tea cup. Fill up the electric kettle and turn it on.

Go back and check the fish. Grab a cup of coffee for myself.

Get out the little red fry pan and start to cook the bento-box food. Throw in 2 scallops and simmer them in water, after a few minutes drain the water and add a bit of butter and garlic paste.


Check the fish. Put the sugar and creamer into my coffee and stir.

Turn over the scallops and brown them on the other side, place them on a small plate and set aside. Wash red pan and get it out of the way.

Take my first glup of coffee. Turn off the fish.

Haul out the big red tray and set it on the table. Open fridge and take out natto, place it on the big red tray. Take the fish out of the griller, place them on a small plate and onto the big red tray-this signals hubby that he can “shoot” (insulin). After he “shoots” I fill the tea pot and bring it to the table, fill his miso soup bowl and set it on the tray and then measure out 170 grams of rice into his rice bowl and set it on the tray.

Shucks-forgot the komatsuna! QUICKLY open the fridge and take out a serving of (precooked) komatsuna-season it with vinegar and sesame seeds and place it on the tray.

Hubby starts on his breakfast!

Now I can start to get his bento-box put together. The chicken and bamboo shoots need to be reheated so I measure out a portion and throw it in the microwave. While that’s heating up I soak a handful of dried seaweed in a small bowl and grab the little red frying pan to saute a handful of iriko (little dried fish)  until brown and crisp. By the time they are done the dried seaweed is done soaking-I drain it and squeeze out the excess water, add the iriko and season with vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds and a little bit of kombudashi.

Kombu is seaweed-kombudashi is a seasoning made from seaweed. I never ever use salt in any cooking. I don’t use sugar either. I have had to learn how to use other things like vinegar and kombudashi to flavor foods.

The seaweed-iriko salad gets placed aside next to the pre-made harusame and carrot salad.


The omlet pan gets hauled out, oiled and then I throw in a handful of frozen spinach. While the spinach cooks a bit- I grab and egg out of the fridge, beat it and then pour it in the pan. One side is cooked so I gently turn it over and then place a slice of cheese in the center and roll it up. Viola-spinach and cheese omelet!


I need another gulp of coffee….

With all the dishes for the bento-box cooked I line everything up on the counter and begin to fill the box.


Japan has got bento making down I tell you. There are just tons of helpful little supplies specifically made for bento boxes. Besides the box itself I love all the little tinfoil cups that you can buy at Daiso. They really help to organize the food inside the bento box.


With all the food cooked and packed into hubby’s thermal lunch bag I can take 5 and pour myself another cuppa before starting on the mountain of dishes in the sink….

Until tomorrow morning when I do it all over again….

There you have it- a sample of my morning routine….I’ve got to go cook dinner now and start to prepare some things for tomorrow morning…..





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