Chocolate Covered Strawberry from Neighborhood – Food Variety 9

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Fig 01- Strawberries covered by chocolate decorations

From internet searches, the prices of Chocolate Covered Strawberries are very varies. No price below US$ 1 each.

The most common prices range from US$ 15 to US$ 25 per a half dozen (6 pieces). Quite expensive for me.

Our neighborhood sells Chocolate Covered Strawberries with little bit lower than market prices, but still expensive for me:

- a half dozen (6 pieces) for $12; and a dozen (12 pieces) for $24

- a half dozen (6 pieces) for $15 infused with alcohol; a dozen (12 pieces) for $30 infused with alcohol.

I wonder, why are Chocolate Covered Strawberries so expensive?

The reasons might relate to:

- public perception as a “luxury” goods.

- highly demand

- chocolate is shorten life, thus, must be removed from store shelves quicker.

Fig 02- Chocolate covered three strawberries

Chocolates are good to keep them in the refrigerator, but it is no problem for 10 hours at room temperature.

Fig 03- several designs of chocolate covered strawberries.

In addition to strawberries, other fruits are suitable as well to be covered by chocolates.

Slices of some fruits which could be covered by chocolates:

- figs

- pears

- banana

- mango

- any other sweet fruits.

Have you tasted chocolate covered strawberry or any other fruit? What do you think?

Why is Cat Vomiting Frequently? - Gardening and Hobby 18

Friday, January 22, 2021

A cat in front door, just illustration

As a cat owners, we experienced with our cats vomiting, but we may wonder: why do they vomiting frequently?

There are many issues relate to cat vomited, some of them are:

- eating a houseplant

- ingesting a toy piece

- hairball in the stomach

- allergy and sensitive to certain foods

- undigested foods, because of quickly consuming.

It is said that vomit is normal for cat. However, it is not normal if cat changes their behavior and has vomited very often.

We may judge the level of “the seriousness” of vomit is based on its content and colors:

- yellow and foamy lead to hairballs

- thick yellow bile mean that there is serious health problems such as kidney and infection. 

A cat plays outdoor

We should find medical help immediately, if our cats have frequently yellow vomits and shown the following behaviors:

- suddenly loss or increase appetites

- lethargy

- unusual behaviors.

- show discomfort.

What do you do if your cats have shown vomiting frequently?

Virulence of Covid 19 Variants in Japan – Virus 35

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Pretty Bougain villae bonsai

When I am writing this post, there are very said facts about Covid 19 in the world and other countries. 93.8 million cases, and 2.01 million deaths in the world

Top 5 countries with cases and deaths (from several sources as of January 16, 2021) are following:

- 23.6 million cases, and 393,000 deaths in the USA

- 10.5 million cases, and 152,000 deaths in India

- 8.39 million cases, and 208,000 deaths in Brazil

- 3.84 million cases, and 63,558 deaths in Russia

- 3.32 million cases, and 87,295 deaths in UK

However, the threaten of new variant of Covid 19 virus creates the condition even worst while inoculation of vaccines just start in many places.

First, the UK’s variant, then South Africa, and lately was from Japan. The question then :

How dangerous those new variants?  

Red chili from backyard

What we know about UK and South Africa Covid 19 variants until now:

- much more dangerous than original strains

- more transmissible

- mutations occurred to “spike protein”

What we know about Japan Covid 19 variants until today:

- Japan strain comes from Brazil

- higher infectiousness

- mutations not only to spike protein, but also on the variant ability to evade of our immune system memory.

Good news that the Biontech-Pfizer vaccine ables to fight effectively the UK and South Africa Covid 19 (Sars Cov 2) variants.

However, studies are underway to observe whether any vaccines will work to fight virus variants in Japan.

If not, we might need to upgrade our current vaccines. Hope, we will know soon.

The Origin of Cup Cake – Food Variety 8

Wednesday, January 13, 2021


Three cup cakes with 3 different decorations.

Honestly, I just realized lately that there is different between two similar form of cakes:

- muffin

- cup cake

It is said that a cup cake is the perfect dessert for lunch or dinner. Its small size is created to serve for one person.

Like other larger cakes, cup cakes are decorated with many items, just for examples:

- fresh fruit

- candy

- chocolate

- ganache

- sugar cage

- caramel ribbons

Similar cup cakes on the table.

I just read from some sources, standard ingredients are used to bake cup cakes includes:

- butter

- sugar

- flour

- eggs

Historically, the cup cake has been consumed in America since 1796 or might be early, more than 200 years ago.

Its name originally was 1234 cakes or called as the number cake, refer to portions of its four basic well known ingredients:

- 1 cup of butter

- 2 cups of sugar

- 3 cups of flour

- 4 eggs

In addition to four basic, people may use other two ingredients:

- 1 cup of milk

- 1 spoon of soda

Which one do you like: cup cakes or muffin?

Was there Virus Outbreak before Covid 19? - Virus 34

Friday, January 8, 2021

White flowers in the winter

We faced with devastating pandemic during 2020, and even until today. Vaccine roll out, might end this pandemic soon.

Unfortunately, America experienced 30 months outbreak of virus called as Hepatitis A virus (HAV) before this recently pandemic.

The infection started from March 2017, and end at August 2019 which caused 244 deaths of 24,952 cases in 30 states.

The virus infects liver, the very important organ. Then lead to liver inflammation or damage, to disturb organ functions as:

- to process nutrients

- to filter the blood

- to fight infections

Hepatitis A virus is very contagious. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that about 7 thousand people dead per year worldwide due Hepatitis A.

Beautiful color of autumn trees

In addition to virus, liver damage may be caused by some factors such as:

- using of alcohol

- some medications

- certain toxins

- medical conditions

People get infected due to consumed contaminated water and food. Many foods could be contaminated by HAV, just examples:

- shellfish

- salads

- vegetables

- fruits

- orange juice

- ice cream

- cheese

- custard

- milk

- bread

- cookies

- raw or under cooked foods.

Good news that this diseases is preventable by vaccines. All children and teenagers are recommended by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to get vaccines in the USA.

Mini Sago Palm at the Corner - Gardening and Hobby 17

Monday, January 4, 2021

Mini Sago palm, sweet at the corner

I know the word “sago,” its tree could reach 50 feet (15 m) in height after 15 years old.

The species of Metroxylon sagu produces starch called as “sago” or “sagu” starch.

Other two species of palm trees produce sago starch are:

- Arenga spp.

- Maurilia spp

One sago tree could produce 90 to 180 kg starch. The starch is used generally as:

- foodstuffs such as noodle

- textile sizing

- adhesives

The trees are found in freshwater swamp areas of South East Asia and Papua New Guinea. 

Fruit from mini sago palm

Here in America, we have another type of sago, mini sago palm with scientific name Cycas revoluta.

The plant native to Asian regions, include southern Japan. Since its small size, it is popular as one of ornamental plants.

We have grown the sago in the corner of our house, some people do grow its as an indoor plant.

Several advantages of sago plants:

- easy to take care

- grow well outside and indoors

- free of pests

- available in most nurseries.

- may be grown in pot

Mini sago plants grow slowly, and they reaches about 15 feet (5 m) tall after several years. This is another reason why people chose sago plant to put in their garden.