Date – Fudge Filled Chocolates

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Date – Fudge Filled Chocolates
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Image by yummysmellsca
What’s better than naturally sweet and fudgy Date Fudge Filling? Encasing it in dark chocolate!…

Tokyo – Harajuku: Maisen Okita Kurobuta Tonkatsu
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Image by wallyg
Maisen (まい泉), at 4-8-5 Jinguame, has been serving authentic tonkatsu in a former pre-World War II two-story public bathhouse since 1965. Its main dining hall was once the changing room and it sports a high ceiling and original architectural details.

Tonkatsu (豚カツ, とんかつ, or トンカツ), invented in the late 19th century, consists of panko breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet. It is generally served with either shredded cabbage or grated daikon, and either tonkatsu sōsu (トンカツソース), or tonkatsu sauce, a thick Japanese Worcestershire sauce made from pureed apples, or ponzu (ポン酢), a citrus based sauce. Early katsuretsu, or cutlets, were usually beef, with the first pork version served in 1890 in a Western-style restaurant in Ginza. The term "tonkatsu", or "pork katsu" was coined in the 1930’s.

Maisen is especially known for its Kurobuta (かごしま黒豚), or black pig, a rare breed of Berkshire pig bred in the Kagoshima Prefecture. Originating from England, by way of New Zealand, the black pigs were brought to Japan by diplomats as a gift in the 19th century. Kurobuta is distinguished from most commercial pork by its sweetness and rich flavor, which comes from the high levels of intramuscular marbled fat. Maisen’s most prized is the Okita Kurobuta Farm’s "Satsuma Roppaku Kurobuta." Satsuma is a district in Kagoshima, and "Roppaku Kurobuta" are six-spotted black pigs. Hayao Okita raises his Kurobuta, using a proprietary feedstuff blend, at a large farm in the mountain region’s Ookuchi city.

Maisen pork is tenderized through careful cutting and pounding producing a cutlet so tender it can be cut with chopsticks. It uses exclusively original raw breadcrumbs meeting unique specifications for size, shape and water-content and slow fries in high oleic 100% sunflower oil rich in vitamin E with a characteristic dry texture. Their homemade sauce once made by hand in a saucepan is now stewed in a large tank and matured with only fresh vegetables and fruit resulting in subtly changing flavors with the seasons.

Girl Scouts help build rain garden – U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, South Korea – 14 April 2012
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Image by USAG-Humphreys
Click here to learn more about Camp Humphreys

U.S. Army photos by Rakendra Moore

CAMP HUMPHREYS — “Rain, sleet, or snow, Earth Day is a go,” said Onsemus Smith, Chief of the Pollution Prevention and Compliance Branch of the United States Army Garrison Department of Public Works’ Environmental Division.

Indeed, despite the rain and cold, the Earth Day Celebration went ahead as scheduled, April 21, at Transformation Park and it was well-received by the attendees.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said Pfc. Aaron Boutin. “It looks like everybody is having fun, even though it’s raining.”

“It’s good, because I’m here with my family and my friend and I got a lot of prizes,” added Daniel Ward, age 9.

The event started at 10 a.m. and was scheduled to last until 2 p.m. However, the weather created a different outcome. But there was still plenty of activity despite the truncated time frame. There were prizes awarded for homemade crafts created out of recycled material, clay leaf projects, trivia games, arts and crafts, and free food. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service donated gift certificates for photo contest winners.

The event was a partnership between Outdoor Recreation and DPW Environmental, and there were also volunteers from USO, the Boy Scouts, and the Girl Scouts.

“I think it’s neat that the kids get an opportunity to learn how to better the environment,” said Spc. Randall Shaver.

“I’m proud of our Girl Scouts and we prepared them on how to reduce, re-use, and recycle,” added Summer Young.

“We want the community to know what we’re doing as an installation to be good stewards of the environment,” Smith said.

When asked what Earth Day was all about to her, Victoria Caldwell said, “Being able to give back to the community and help preserve Earth for future generations.”

Private First Class Kevin Wade may have summed it up best when he said, “It’s cold, it’s wet, but a lot of people showed up. The outcome was bigger than I thought.”

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