I got my bicycle tire fixed yesterday.
It ends up that the tire didn’t just have a whole in it (easy enough to fix), but had actually burst (not so easy to fix), so they had to put a new tire on it. Like I said before though, I’m just glad it was just a tire and not stolen! So now my bike is back in working order.
Another great discover I made this week, I discovered that they DO have prescription Singulair in Japan!
What? You’re not excited about this? *gasp*
Okay, for those who don’t know, Singulair is a prescription allergy/asthma medicine in the States. It’s also the only allergy medicine I’ve had that actually helps, unlike Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec, etc.
I’ve had horrible allergies for as long as I can remember. Grass, trees, cats, mold, you name it, I’m probably allergic to it (except for food allergies. Thank God I don’t have any food allergies!!!). In elementary school, I tried the shots for about a year, but I couldn’t tell any significant difference, and shots are just not fun. Especially when you’re in elementary school. I had to have surgery on my sinuses in high school, because I’d developed polyps in them due to years of allergy-caused irritation. All I have to say about that, is 2 1/2 inch-long sponges in each nostril for 48 hours. Not. Fun.
Anyway, so even here in ‘ole Japan I still have allergies. When I first came to Japan, I had no allergies for the first year. It was glorious, and the only time in my life I’ve never had allergies. I thought I simply didn’t have allergies in Japan. Over time, however, I discovered that my system was simply in a kind of shock from the new environment, and after I year, I adjusted, and my allergies came back. While my allergies aren’t quite as bad here as they are in Oklahoma (I think this is due to the general lack of grass which I’m allergic to), they’re still pretty bad.
Now, for reasons I don’t understand, there is no over the counter 24-hour, non-drowsy, all-symptom covering allergy medicines like in the U.S. They only have medicine for individual symptoms. For example, for itchy eyes, you can get allergy eye drops. For a stuffy nose, some nasal spray. For sneezing and a runny nose, you can get a pill that will make you drowsy. They don’t have anything like Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
Because of this, I was under the impression that they also don’t have Singulair, and it seems that I was partially right. They didn’t have Singulair, but at some point recently, they got it here in Japan. I have no idea when.
Upon this discovery, I immediately looked up the closest ear, nose, throat doctor, and yesterday I hauled butt to his office (after getting my bicycle tire fixed). I explained my situation to the doctor, and he wrote me a prescription for Singulair then and there. I went downstairs to the pharmacy, got my medicine, and then the glorious rays of heaven shined upon me as the angels came down and sang “hallelujah”. Well, ok, maybe not that last part. All in all, it only took about 30 minutes from the time I entered the building, to the time I left with my medicine. And it was cheap. Oh, Japanese health insurance, how I love thee!
Long story short (too late, I know), I not have Singulair here in Japan, and I am one seriously happy camper.
Despite the the fast that this post is already a bit lengthy, I’m going to tell you about making baked samosas! I made them for dinner last night, and they’re so good! If you don’t know what samosas are, they’re an Indian pastry that’s stuffed with either meat or vegetables and spices and then fried or baked. They can be a little time consuming to make, but they’re so worth it! They also make great party/pot-luck food!
This recipe is based on the Spicy Lamb Pastries recipe in Nourishing Traditions. I’m always mentioning this book. Just do yourself a favor, and buy the book. It has a lot of great recipes and nutrition information. Go on, do it. Do it.
Wet the edge with water, and fold up three sides to make a triangle. Pinch the sides closed to seal them, but leave a small opening in the top for steam to escape. You don’t have to fold over the edges like I did. I just do that so they’ll fit on my pan better.
Baked Samosas (makes 10 – 12)
- 1/2 c. plain whole yogurt
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 lb. ground meat
- 1 med. onion, diced
- 1 c. cooked rice
- 1/4 c. toasted pine nuts (can substitute with walnuts or almonds, chopped)
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- In a large bowl, cream yogurt and butter together. Add flour and salt, and mix until combined. Use hands to squeeze dough together into one large ball. Set aside.
- In a skillet cook ground meat over medium heat for a few minutes. Add onion and continue cooking until meat is completely browned. Add cooked rice and mix until combined. Add nuts, spices, and lemon rind. Mix everything so well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
- On a lightly floured surface, take a piece of dough and make a 1 1/2 inch ball. Flatten with hand and roll into roughly a six-inch circle. Place about 1/4 c. of meat filling in center of dough circle. Moisten the edge of dough with water and fold up three sides to make a triangle. Pinch sides closed leaving a small opening at the top for steam to escape. Place on a greased (or covered with baking paper) baking sheet. Repeat until all dough is used up.
- Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with yogurt dipping sauce.
2 simple yogurt dipping sauces:
plain yogurt, garlic powder, lemon juice, peeled & diced cucumber
plain yogurt, dash of salt, pinch of sugar, cumin powder