Japan One Year Later


Hard to believe. The images are still as vivid as if it happened only yesterday.

It has been one full year since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

One year later how is Japan and her people faring?

Some things are well. Others not so much. Much of the wreckage has been cleaned up. There is still a lot of rebuilding to do.

Here are a few facts:

Official death toll    15,846

Still missing            3,320

Estimated cost of rebuilding           A quarter of a trillion dollars

Below are a few of the best links I could find of Before and After pictures.

The Atlantic Monthly           Japan Earthquake: One Year Later

CBC News                         Japan: One year later

The Globe and Mail            Before and after: A Look at Japan’s Progress

Featured Recipe   
Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Lemon, and Peas

I love dump and cook recipes. That is a recipe where I can put everything in one pot and let it cook. That pretty much sums up this recipe.

This is basically a Martha Stewart, Everyday Living magazine recipe. However, I changed things around a bit to make it even more delicious and to make it even less expensive.

The original recipe calls for asparagus, not peas. I saved over $1 right there. You could also use broccoli in place of either asparagus or peas.

The original recipe also calls for fresh thyme. I saved about $2.50 there. When I made the recipe with thyme, I  never tasted it. I love thyme. But in this recipe it seemed to be more to make a pretty picture than to add any flavor to the dish. So I eliminated it. 

The recipe calls for 1 lemon. I use two. I like lemon flavor too, but I never tasted much lemon flavor in the finished meal. So I use a 2nd lemon and just squeeze the juice from it all over the dish fresh out of the oven. NOW I have a hint of lemon flavor which is just divine.

I also add garlic.

If you buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself you will save even way more money.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

1-1½ pounds small or new potatoes (any variety or color)

3-4 tablespoons butter

1 package cut-up whole chicken (8 Pieces)

1 package frozen peas

2 lemons

4 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Cut 2 tablespoons of the butter into squares.

Wash the potatoes and cut in half or into quarters.

Place the potatoes in a baking dish  with the butter squares. Season with salt and pepper.

 Place in the oven and roast  tossing once until potatoes are golden, 15-20 minutes.

Pat excess moisture from the chicken.

Remove the potatoes from the oven. I turn the potatoes over onto their flat side to better hold the chicken.

Smash the garlic cloves  by gently hitting them with a flat side of a knife. They will peel easier. Then slice the garlic. 

Then place the chicken on top of the potatoes. Add some salt and pepper to the chicken. Then scatter the garlic pieces over the chicken.

Place in the oven and roast until the chicken begins to brown, about 20 minutes. 

While the chicken is roasting cut the lemon into eight wedges. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into squares.

Remove chicken from oven. Look how nice and golden that chicken is getting. I took some of the garlic off the chicken as it was starting to burn. Watch out for that.

If using asparagus or broccoli add it now. If using peas do not add yet. But do add the lemon. If the pan juices are a bit dry add 2 or 3 squares of the butter. Can you see them in the picture? Place back in the oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes.

Add the peas and the remaining butter and put back in the oven for about 5 minutes.

Cut the 2nd lemon in half.

Remove chicken from the oven and squeeze the juice of the lemon all over everything.

Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes or so to let the juices redistribute.

Then serve drizzled with some of the pan juices. Look at the color on those potatoes. They were nice and firm and crispy. And the chicken was nice and crisp on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. Just the way a roast chicken is supposed to be.

Serve this with a salad and you may very well have a perfect meal even the Food Police would be happy with. But I better be careful. I do not speak for the Food Police.

Bon appétit!!!


1-1½ pounds potatoes           $1.17                                                  

3-4 tablespoons butter           $0.60

1 package cut-up chicken       $6.78

1 package frozen peas           $1.09

2 lemons                              $1.00

4 cloves garlic                      $0.20

Salt and pepper to taste

Total Cost = $10.84
Cost per person = $2.71

Quote of the Day

The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow.

Jonathan Lockwood Huie


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