Today's home cooking was very colorful and delicious as shown in the picture. I will explain the menus and ingredients in clockwise order from simmered pumpkin.
1. Simmered pumpkin
Simmered vegetables are popular in Japan. After you put pumpkin, sugar, soy sauce, salt and sake in the water, you simmer them for 20 minutes. All corners are cut a little but it is hard to see on the picture. We call it "Mentori" which means cutting all corners because it makes simmered vegetables not maintain their shapes.
2. Rice with flavored ground beef
We call flavored ground beef "Soboro". Cooking soboro is similar to the way of cooking simmered pumpkin. After you put ground beef, soy sauce, sweet sake, ginger and sugar in a pot, you simmer the beef until the liquid evaporates.
3. Macaroni gratin
Macaroni gratin is a French cuisine but it is very common in Japan as of now. It includes macaroni, sausage, chicken and shrimp with white sauce. Seaweeds sprinkled on the top. In Japan a lot of children like macaroni gratin because they usually experience eating it as a school lunch.
There are potato salad, a few vegetables, sliced egg and ham on the plate. The potato salad includes cucumber, carrot, corn, sweet potato and potato. Mayonnaise with sesame is poured on the tomato and lettuce.