5th Anniversary Giveway Day 5: It's Just Me

This is the final day of the 5th Anniversay Giveaway week. I hope you've enjoyed it!

My final essay about the first 5 years of Just Hungry is about, well, me.

During the course of these years, I've sometimes worried about being too all over the place. I have, as I said earlier, tried to concentrate on Japanese food and cooking more or less. But then I do sometimes go off on a tangent and write about something completely different. After posting something like an in-depth comparison of Marmite, Vegemite and Cenovis, I used to wonder if going off course so much would be bad.

I've stopped worrying about that kind of thing now. I've come to realize that the site is born from who I am. I've had a rather complicated, nomadic life so far, and that is reflected in the type of food I'm drawn to. My roots are in Japan, but I also feel that American food, specifically the food in the New York/Long Island area, British food, and Swiss food are 'home cooking' for me too. I know my background is not that typical, so this mix of influences is not going to appeal to a huge audience. But that's OK.

And conversely, I find that I am most drawn to blogs where I can see the person behind it, rather than ones who present some kind of façade that the author thinks will 'sell'. Hopefully, that's a reason for people to stick around and read my words too.

So, on to the final giveaway. You actually have a choice of two things!

Just Hungry 5th Anniversary Giveaway Item 5: Fanny and Johnnie Cradock vintage retro '70s cookbook OR two English-language Japanese cookbooks

Please check the giveaway rules in the first post. Do try to remember to keep it to one comment per item/entry, thanks! (I've noticed that sometimes people seem to get impatient and post the same comment twice. I use a spam-preventing tool called Mollom, which sometimes can cause a short delay between the time your comment is entered and the time it appears. So please wait a bit before submitting another comment.)

Remember: You need to give me your email address (in the email entry area) where I can contact you if you win, your name (or nickname), and your location (country). In addition, for this giveaway only, you must tell me which lot you want, the Fanny Cradock cookbook or the Japanese cookbooks. Comments/entries that don't indicate this will be eliminated from the draw.

Choice no. 1: Vintage Fanny and Johnnie Cradock Cookery Programme book

book-fannyc1.jpg, the book

If you enjoyed my recaps of the BBC programme The Supersizers Go, especially of the 1970s episode, or just like retro food, you'll really enjoy this one. Published in 1970, I gather that this book (which is a compilation of several magazine issues) was the companion to a TV series hosted by Fanny Cradock. I bought this book some years ago when I briefly became obsessed with tracking down Fanny Cradock cookbooks. It wasn't too hard to find them on eBay or the used bookstores back then, but nowadays it's become much more difficult to buy her old cookbooks now for some reason, especially the ones with photos. (You can still get her really awful historical novels fairly easily. I don't recommend them.)

Some pictures from the book (there are more in the Supersizers '70s recap):

Lemon pigs gather ominously around a pastry case trough filled with...poo? (It's not specified what it is...maybe tapenade?)

book-fannyc.jpg, lemon pigs

Tiny dark green snail pots filled with mushroom paste and topped with individual deepfried croutons. I mean, the fiddliness!

book-fannyc2.jpg, littlegreenpots

Nothing says elegant table like aqua-green dyed mashed potato piped into swans made of hard boiled eggs and pipe cleaner necks.

book-fannyc3.jpg, swans

A raw meat and boiled vegetable table decoration. Words fail me.


In all seriousness, the mostly francophile recipes are on the whole not bad; there some OMG moments, but also plenty in there that is actually tasty and not too artery-clogging.

The book is in 'used' condition, but is in pretty good condition for its age. It even has all the adverts and reply-postcard inserts and such.

Choice no. 2: Two Japanese cookbooks in English


If '70s retro food is not your thing, perhaps these two cookbooks are. Both translated from Japanese, they are written by two of the most popular cookbook authors in Japan. I've written about Japanese Home Cooking by Tokiko Suzuki previously. She is one of the great teachers and I rely on her Japanese books all the time. Harumi's Japanese Cooking by Harumi Kurihara is a modern take on Japanese home cooking. She's popular enough in Japan to have her own Martha Stewart Living style lifestyle magazine called harum_mi (it's a quarterly).

Again, please indicate whether you prefer Fanny Cradock OR the Japanese cookbooks.

This, and all the giveaways, are now closed. Thank you for participating! The winners will be announced later this week!


Hi Maki, I just wanted to thank you for writing these two blogs :) i have learned so many things that i always wanted to about Japanese cooking and bento-making. I hope you continue to write for a long time on these sites as I know I (an many others) eagerly look forward to every new post.

-Marika, United States

p.s. I would pick the two Japanese cookbooks. :D

I think those Japanese cookbooks would be awesome!!!!

(though the Fanny Cradock book is super cute and reminds me of old Martha Stewart cookbooks)

I love reading your blogs! It so much fun, when I'm bored and have nothing to do before winter break begins! :P

Wow. Wow. Wow. Words fail me in the presence of mashed potato swans. Having said that, I'd pick the Japanese cookbooks as well.


I've just recently started making bento lunches and your websites have given me so many new and tasty recipes to try! I look forward to each new post.

Lac'Nala - USA
(Japanese Cookbooks)

as a new reader, it's been so fun reading about how just hungry has evolved over the last 5 years. i'm in the us and i've been bugging my japanese co-worker about food and cooking so i would love the japanese-english cookbooks!

livlaugheat in usa

Hot damn, I can buy those Japanese books but that Fanny book looks awesome! Lemon pigs! Please put me down for that one :)

Country: US

Thank you so much maki!

While I love weird old cookbooks, I reckon I have enough of them already to last me a lifetime. I pick them up at fleamarkets whenever I find one. I especially like the introductions that some of them have; you know, on how to be a good housewife, proper dinner conversation topics and so on. Hilarious :)

So if you draw my name, I'd prefer the Japanese cookbooks.

Thanks for a week of very interesting entries! I missed you while you were on vacation.

Christine from Brussels, Belgium

From Anchorage, AK:

The two English/Japanese cookbooks look yummy to me. I'm 59, survived the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and so far ...

Your Japanese Food fan,
(Real Name) Amelia

both of the Japanese cookbooks are on my Amazon wishlist! that should tell you which one i would choose :)

Atlanta, GA USA

I have been looking for a Fanny Cradock book. The Japanese books are very tempting but as someone else mentioned, I can buy those.

Please enter me for the Cookery Programme. Many thanks.

Lindsay (UK of course)

Like you, I also prefer to read blogs which shows us the personality of the writer. Otherwise I might as well read a cookbook/guidebook, right?

I also like a mix of different posts in a blog. Actually once I've decided that I like a blogger's writing style and what he/she has to say, I pretty much will read the blog regularly so if, for example, the writer of a food blog decides to post about something other than food I just find it a refreshing change but it won't change my mind about the blog in general.

I like the Japanese cookbooks better.

I like Marmite too!

Jan (UK)

I'd prefer the Japanese/English cookbooks. I'm still learning and have a long way to go.

From Anchorage AK, only a "short" plane ride to Kyoto ... in my dreams. I hope to go back to Japan one day.

I also would love the Japanese cookbooks!

--Truc (Los Angeles)

Like you, I also prefer to read blogs which shows us the personality of the writer. Otherwise I might as well read a cookbook/guidebook, right?

I also like a mix of different posts in a blog. Actually once I've decided that I like a blogger's writing style and what he/she has to say, I pretty much will read the blog regularly so if, for example, the writer of a food blog decides to post about something other than food I just find it a refreshing change but it won't change my mind about the blog in general.

I like the Japanese cookbooks better.

I like Marmite too!

Jan (UK)

Both of the Japanese cookbooks look great. That 70s one seems terrifying! ;)

Philadelphia, PA, USA

I've been thinking of buying a Japanese cookbook for a while now. Thanks for offering.
Smiley (USA)

I'm from a similar background as you and have had some of the same experiences so I definitely find your blogs interesting! Thanks so much for them Maki!!!

Fort Collins, CO, USA

P.S. I'm all about the vintage food decoration!

What a tough decision...I collect funny old cookbooks from the 60's and 70's and a british one would be a great addition. On the other hand I'd be more likely to actually cook from the Japanesse cookbooks....

hmmmm...I'm gonna choose the 70's cookery programme one

St. Louis, MO, USA

I seem to be in the minority here but the '70s book just draws me in.

David, NV USA

and I really like Japanese food, so it would be great to have a cookbook for it.

San Francisco, CA, USA

I love both choices for completely different reasons. But the Japanese books would be far more used by me than the others. So I'll have to go that way!

-Kayla (UK)

I don't own any myself - haven't seen many good ones around in English, but these look great!

Philadelphia, PA

japanese cookbooks in english thats sounds so interesting.
id love somehing like that.
gratz on your anniversary.

luna- the nederlands


I love marmite... it zings things up :)

Hoping for Japanese books :)

Mashed potato swans? Looks like a character bento item to me! ;) I've seen the Japanese style home cooking book at the Japanese bookstore and always almost get it... Not sure whether it's cheapness or intimidation that gets the better of me, lol.

Elaine VDW - Reno, NV USA

I have enjoyed reading both of your blogs for at least a year now, and I constantly refer to your various recipes and tips. Thanks for your commitment and consideration to your readers!

If chosen, I would love the Japanese cookbooks. :)

Indianapolis, IN, USA

Japanese books

The giveaway and reflective essays have been fun.

Such a tough decision, and a great way to end your anniversary week!
I do love Fanny, though! That would be my choice!

cordeliasbs USA

Ooh, I've had my eye on those cookbooks for a while (the Japanese ones, that is). Thanks for doing this giveaway!
Devlyn, PDX, USA

Oh I'd love the Japanese books. I have been slowing trying to obtain Japanese cookbooks and try my hand at them.

Pittsburgh, USA

I think I would go for the two English Japanese cookbooks ;) Those little piggies are really cute

I hope you have a good day!

Ooh that first one looks just like the stuff in "The Gallery of Regrettable Food". I would pick the second one for sure. :)

Sayuri, Canada

I'd love the Japanese cookbooks 0 the Homestyle Cooking one is actually on my wish list already, probably due to your recommendation!

-Emi from CA, USA

Keep up the good work! Definitely my favorite food blog...

Kathleen, Ecuador
I am eying the japanese cookbooks... my brother used to host a show on NHK with Harumi! :)

the retro is tempting, but the japanese books would get a lot of use in my household (and it my choice). Again, thanks for the contest.

Queens, NY

I enjoy the eclectic mix of topics on your site, so I'm glad you've not felt the need to hew strictly to Japanese cuisine.

Having said that, it would be the two Japanese cookbooks that I am interested in. I have a few quirky/retro cookbooks myself, but those mashed potato swans scare me! :D

Principia, USA

those lemon pigs are hilarious, but given the choice id take the two japanese books. one of those has been on my amazon wishlist for who knows how long. congrats again on the anniversary, i love both your blogs!

rachael, usa

The Japanese cookbooks look fantastic. I'd love a chance to win those.

Shayna, USA

What interesting looking books! And I've loved the essays you've posted this week. I also have an eclectic background and think you made a good choice in including it all.
Liz, US

I'd pick the Japanese cookbooks!
Jessica, USA

=O I love your blogs ♠ I think you have a fairly large reader base too =3 then again... I'm not a good blogger [I blog to record things for myself, not really for a reader base... also, following themes are a bit difficult for me...]... so I can't say what people write for a reader base and her/his self would think. You mentioned previously that you used to blog in general then specialized and then allowed some random parts? (I think... my memory is becoming slightly faulty)so I think you also mentioned compromise or something of that sort... either that or that's what it made me think of... hmm...
anyhow, my original point is that green mashed potatoes ... reminds me of green eggs and ham... it's something that shouldn't technically be completely green unless you make spinach into powder/paste or something and mix it in =X the pigs are cute though. =X anyhow, I'd like the japanese cookbooks please if i should be selected =3

Location: Hawaii

Wow, troughs of poo or easy Japanese recipes? This is a harder decision than it seems. I was pretty sure I wanted the Fanny Cradock book, but those Japanese cookbooks look too good and will be more useful. Sign me up for the Japanese books!

I've really enjoyed this week. Thanks for revealing so much about your blog history and yourself. I do prefer to read blogs that reflect the true personality of the author.


(Although I must say: what a tough decision!)

That 70s cookbook looks hysterical! I'm in for that one.
Caitlin, Canada.

Yum, nothing like blue food coloring and pipe cleaners to make me appreciate my wholesome, whole-food lunch! As fab as those picture are, I think I'd have more fun with the Japanese cookbooks!

Becky in Minnesota, USA

Well, what a tough choice. That 70s book looks hilarious - what were they thinking?! You know as soon as you think of putting pipe cleaners in food for decoration, you have gone too far (let alone considering raw meat an appropriate table decoration). What other delights does this book hold? On the other hand, the two Japanese books look like something I could actually use...so they would be my pick.
From Anna in Wellington, New Zealand

Congrats on your blog-anniversary and thanks for the giveaways!

Nan, USA

I think the 70's one looks way to fiddly for me, and i don't have any Japanese cookbooks, so those would be nice if i win :). I'm off to go thru your archives some more! And your blog is wonderful because your personality shows thru.

Marita, USA

I like that your blog has personality. That part of what makes it fun to read!

I'd like the Japanese cookbooks if I win.

Jencat - USA

I have truly enjoyed your essays this week, and have become a Just Hungry reader because of them. Thank you!

I would love the Japanese cookbooks. Your Just Bento site encouraged me to rediscover Japanese food and learn to cook it. I was introduced to Japanese food in graduate school when I was studying Aikido, and now my son is loving it, too. It's been fun learning to cook Japanese dishes, and no end of laughs watching an American kid learn to eat with chopsticks! (Ending in tears and a fork more than once, as his hunger was greater than his desire to use them!)

Michigan, USA

This is a great site for basic techniques. I made homemade tofu based on the recipe here, and it was great. A lot of effort, but worth it in my opinion. Also, I suspect that repeated attempts will go more smoothly. And I think my appreciation of that process, and it's somewhat plain, but delicious result, is related to my preference between the cookbooks. As much as I like to look back on retro recipes for amusement, I'd rather have a cookbook with recipes I actually wanted to cook. Which is to say, sign me up for the Japanese cookbooks.

Can't have too many cook books.

Phoenix, AZ

Thank you for five days of interesting posts. I have a pretty good idea of some of the challenges that bloggers face. Thank you for your honesty.

Lily in Las Vegas, NV, U.S.

This has been such an exciting week for your twin blogs. These week-long giveaways were amazing!

I continue to enjoy your tapestry of recipes, musings and reflections and I hope to continue to do so in the future. Here's to another 5 years of ruminations.

Natalie, Canada

PS - the Japanese cookbooks would make a wonderful addition to my (Japanese) husband's collection.

Having inherited my fair share of stellar 70s cookbooks, I'm much more interested in the Japanese ones.

Thanks--again--for being out there in the blogosphere!


I would have to go with the Japanese cookbooks!


I simply love her!

I would love the Japanese food books - I've never really learned to make the traditional foods my mom and grandmothers used to make.

Los Angeles

I would say that you haven't done anything terrible just yet, really. I found the Vegemite, Marmite, and Cenovis entry fascinating.

Thanks, as always!

California, U.S.
Japanese cookbooks, please.

Intriguing though the retro books are, I've had my eye on that Harumi cookbook for a long time!

Thanks for sharing!

Name: Ally
Country: UK (London)

Very Bourdain, I think!

I'd love the Japanese cookbooks - I recently moved from a big multicultural city to a small one that is very much less diverse. I miss the Japanese restaurants I frequented back home, so I'd use these fairly often.

The lemon pigs are very cute, though I doubt i'd find the patience to make the swans. ^ ^

Name: Tyra
Country:United States
Preference: Japanese Cookbooks

country = USA but I'm a kamaaina and island bound.
Where do you find all your neat stuff - are japanese cookbooks and craft books readily available on the mainland??? love 'playing' with my food - but lemon pigs and snails, hmm...japanese style of presenting food is so artful, yet there seems to be some similarity there...

Congrats again on five years! Here's hoping for five more. :)

Hee, the Fanny book looks hysterical... please put me down for that. From the USA.

usa - pls enter me for japanese cook books, thanks!

I really like how you put a bit of yourself in your blog - keep it up!

As for me, I'd like the Japanese cookbooks :)

Ontario, Canada

Congratulations from Evanston, Illinois (USA)! I have loved your blog ever since I stumbled upon it a couple years ago. Keep doing that thing you do (i.e. being yourself).

While I love the retro pics on the 70s-era cookbook, I definitely have to go with the Japanese cookbooks.

Again, congrats on five fab years of Just Hungry, Maki!

Lorena, USA

Choice #2, of course - I come here to read about Japanese stuff!

Great blog with lots of practical advice as well as humor. I am so glad I stumbled upon it.

The Japanese cookbooks would really come in handy.

Jane in Japan

Thank you for a fun week of reading your site. It's great to think that we've come along way from the food habits of the 70s!

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Hi Maki! I'm not here for the prizes actually - but I do love both Just Hungry and Just Bento and have been a quiet reader (ok, lurker) for some time. I just wanted to say I can totally relate to your mix of influences, being myself of Korean descent, born and raised in Brazil (!) and currently living in the Netherlands. I just love kimchi, feijoada and stampot equally, and that's what makes me ME. Keep up being you and writing whatever you feel like, because that's what we love.
Feliz aniversário to Just Hungry/Just Bento! :)

What a wonderful way to end your giveaway. I love your wonderful website. Thank you for all of your hard work and commitment. My choice would be the Japanese cookbooks.
Congrats on your anniversary Maki.

Phoenix, AZ USA

California, USA
I love Harumi's books
Thanks again

A friend linked me to Just Hungry and Just Bento only a couple weeks ago and I've been enjoying poking back through the archives as well as reading the new entries. :D I've always been interested in trying Japanese cooking so this giveaway fiiinally lured me to comment! Thanks for all the fun writing. :)

from the state of Alaska in the US ;)

I also prefer blogs where I feel there is a real personality involved rather than a market-research amalgam.

Denver, CO USA

Thanks for all the great posts this week! Should I happen to win this draw, I'd be interested in the two Japanese cook books (both on my Amazon Wish List)

Bronwyn (USA, MA)

i have seen the Harumi cookbook here in London, and would love to win them.

Jayna (London)

Jake, USA

sorry I forgot to enter my choice. I would like the japanese cookbooks

Location: Oregon, USA

Happy Anniversary, again!

I really like them both but if I REALLY have to choose it will be the japenese one :)
Vanessa (Dominican Republic)

Oh, those Japanese cookbooks look wonderful! They're my choice should I be so lucky!
I love reading both of your blogs!
Pat in Oregon, USA

Hello! I love this idea and I'm really interested in the Japanese Cookbooks.

Catherine, England (North)

I had to live through macrame, leisure suits, polyester pants suits, and the Captain and Tennille. The Fanny Cradock book is mine by divine right!

Amber, Mexico

Happy fifth anniversary! If I'm chosen, I'd prefer the Japanese cookbooks.

fanny cradock, please. it's too funny to pass up.

los angeles, ca, usa

the fanny cradock book is too funny. is the chicken on the left sitting on a mound of green mashed potatoes or a mint-frosted cake? i'd like that one, please.

Woah! I am scared of Fanny Cradock for a lot of reasons, which means it's definetly the Japanese cookbooks for me! Ann in Canada.

I enjoy reading your blog and take inspiration from your writtings to use in my cooking and life.

Thankyou for sharing this part of you with us.

I am laughing and cringing at the idea of a raw meat and boiled vege table decoration.
There is a butcher that gets on my train home in the afternoon and the smell of meat on him makes me feel ill and I eat meat.
I just couldnt imagine sitting at a table decorated with raw meat..


Ps I would pick the japanese cook books
Sydney, Australia

i would like to know what the martha stewart of Japan is like, so the Japanese cookbooks would be highly valued over my way. Also, the photos on the cover (from what i can see) look tasty!

The Cradock Cookbook if it's from the 70's would make it older than me - I, for one, am glad cooking has moved on from lemon pigs and raw meat decorations!

Sydney, Australia

Hi, I'm from Singapore. Found your website when I was searching for the meaning of 'konbu'. Such a fabulous website with details of the ingredients and lot and lots of Japanese recipes. Thanks!

PS: I would like to have the Japanese Cookbooks. Hope Santa will fulfill my wish :)

Love, Janice

Hi, I'd definitely pick the Japanese cookbooks if I won this contest. I have a few of those older cookbooks I've inherited, or stupidly bought at 2nd hand stores. Sorry, but they're kinda icky. But the first pictured Japanese cookbook, the bottom 2 photos, yuuuuum!

Texas, US


I've enjoyed reading your anniversary posts. Happy 5th anniversary!

Lis, Singapore
(Japanese cookbooks)

Congratulations! I know that another great year of Just Hungry goodness is just around the corner.
Location: USA

Those pigs are just too much! Very cute.

I would be very interested in the Japanese cookbooks in English. Thanks for putting this together.

--Lisa, USA

I would choose Fanny Cradock because I want to learn how to decorate with raw meats. Oh yeah, stylish AND practical.


I like the Japanese cookbooks. Thanks for the week of give-aways and memories!


You're site is one of my favorite sites for japanese recipes ever.
The Japanese cookbook if I should be so lucky and your site is really a good one. Thank You, Steve H.

Happy Anniversary!!
I love your site, I visit this site a lot for cooking ideas but have never commented before.

I would prefer the Japanese books


You're site is one of my favorite sites for japanese recipes ever.
The Japanese cookbook if I should be so lucky and your site is really a good one. Thank You, Steve H.
United States

While the 70's cookbook looks hysterical to read, I'd have to go with the Japanese cookbooks. (even though one of my favorite cookbooks to read as a child was an 1970's English language Japanese cookbook. I think I was an odd child, I read everything.)

Cmtigger in the US

Hi again Maki, thanks for all you do.

hello maki-san,

would love to receive the japanese cookbooks. I just found a great fishmongers the other day that carry sushi-grade tuna. i bought a chunk of chu-toro, made my own sushi - it was delicious! really looking forward to improving my japanese cooking skills..

i would love those japanese cookbooks! i recently moved to hawaii for school, and i have all the ingredients at my beck and call! i have been using a lot of your recipes of course, but those would be fun too! :)

Rachel, USA

Hi Maki! I totally understand what you mean about having a diverse background. I also grew up in various parts of the world so sometimes I feel like I don't really "belong" in just any one group. But your blog should reflect who you are...I think in the end, people will appreciate that more.

For today's giveaway, I'd like the Japanese cookbooks. Hope I get lucky! :)


Good luck everyone!!! <333

Thank you for the wonderful giveaways Maki-san! <333

Delaware, USA

oh!! I would like to be put in for the Japanese ones XD Though those lemon piggies are ADORABLE! > w <

Wow. I would like to have these, especially. As for your "who am I" intro, we love you as you are -- and your websites attract and hold us. No worries!!!!
Sylvia Nevada USA

Wow. Those 70s pictures are a bit scary. Although I'm sure it'd be good for a laugh, I'd have to go with the Japanese books instead.

South Korea

Ooh, I would love the Japanese cookbooks!

Colin, United States.

Those pigs are adorable. I've been trying to eat more Japanese food lately, so your sites have really helped!

Nettles, Canada.

They look lovely, as do all your giveaways!

Location: Chicago, IL


Yay your site is awesome. I think I've said this before though.

And I prefer the Japanese ones. Although the vintage book looks kind of cool... haha. Lemon pigs.

Just wanted to thank you for these wonderful blogs that you do. I've made many things from them, easily and quickly, thanks to you, Maki.

As much as I loved growing up in the 70's, I would have to say I'd prefer those beautiful Japanese cookbooks. Something about that meat table centerpiece scares the living daylights out of me. :)

Khrystyan, Brazil

I'd like to get my hands on the Japanese cookbooks!

Marie in U.S.

Ohh the Japanese cookbooks look wonderful! (USA)

I would love those Japanese cookbooks in English. I daydream about the food I ate in Japan all the time, so I'd love to be able to make some at home.

Actually, your interesting mix of cooking influences (esp Japan) is what drew me to your blog to begin with and it is definitely what keeps me coming back.

-Los Angeles, CA, USA

Japanese cookbooks... mmm, Japanese food.

(Dina, Australia)

name: scottie
country: canada
AAH! i LOVE harumi! she made nikujaga, and i tried it out. it tasted really good! and it was really easy to make. aww, i actually like it when you go off-topic a little:). it kinda gives insight to how your mind works. INTERESTING! keep up the great work! LOOVE YA :)

But the Lemon pigs are soooooooo cute

Miss Tiffie

Seeing as how my mom still cooks like it's 1973, I'd choose the two Japanese cookbooks, if only for the change of pace!

Thanks so much!
Eva (USA)

Hi! #waves#

If picked, I'd like the Japanese cookbooks.

Congratulations on your 5th year. The Japanese cookbooks look great. Looking forward to your future writing and recipes.

Rachel, Oregon, USA

California, USA

it's so much fun reading your blog. i would like the two japanese cook books if i am chosen please!

Although the first book looks really interesting, I'd love the Japanese books. I've got another of Harumi's books out of the library at the moment and it's really good. I love your blogs, please keep up the good work.

Katy, New Zealand


Plus one for the Japanese cookbooks. ;D

I would love to have the japanese cookbooks.

Sofie, Germany

Ooh what a difficult choice! I think I will go with the Japanese cookery books, as I might bump into a copy of the Fanny Craddock book in a charity shop here in the Uk. Thanks!

Dawkins, UK

Hi Maki, the 'aqua' mash is SCARY. Just because modern chemistry allows it, doesn't mean you should... ;)
Rebecca Erlewein, Wellington, New Zealand

Definitely the japanese cookbooks.

Romana, Germany

That retro cookbook left me speechless. But I really want the Japanese cookbooks.


Chely from Puerto Rico

I would definitely love to get the Japanese cookbooks if I were picked. I love how aesthetic, delicious and healthy Japanese food is!

  • Jeli, United Kingdom

Just wanted to express my gratitude for all that you've done for me.

Your blog has brought me back to a time when cooking was enjoyable and peaceful and not a chore, especially when cooking for seven people.

We've lost another family member this year to cancer and it was your blog, recipes, and fans comments that had gotten me through some rough times. This past decade I have been caring for grandparents while trying to raise my own kids. It is too easy to just drown your sorrows in food. I found that preparing the bento boxes and imagining the faces of my children at lunchtime brings me such joy and peace.

Having been overseas this past decade and trying to find proper ingredients has been difficult. Now that I am back in the U.S. I look forward to passing these great recipes and skills to my own kids. When each child moved out, we were given a rice cooker, wok and some wise words. I hope to pass this along with the Japanese cookbooks to my eldest soon.

Salamat Po! (Filipino)
Akane and Family, Virginia, U.S.A.

I like those Japanese books! I think my grandmother had one very similar to the other though.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Location: PA, USA

I've really enjoyed reading about you and the history of your blog! Thanks for sharing with us.

I'd love the Japanese cookbooks :)

Torie, France

I think everyone was stoned during the 70s! I'd pick the two Japanese books... Thanks!

San Antonio, TX

Definitely would go for the japanese cookbooks.
Let the anniversary party continue!!
- Diana from Okinawa.

I've enjoyed reading about the history of Just Hungry! Really! Loved the recaps and evolution etc :)

Having said that, I'm really here for the giveaway, and I would like choice number 2!!! Japanese Cookbooks in English! Thanks!

Annabel - Bern, Switzerland

The Cradock book looks interesting but the Japanese ones would be more useful to me.

Lionel, Reunion Island (Indian Ocean)

Hallo again...
I agree.. a big staying factor for a lot of people is when they feel they can relate with the author of the blog site.
tata for now..
himara- Sri Lanka (Japanese cookbooks)

The Japanese cookbooks would be my choice. Happy anniversary!

Tirwen, USA

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing all these fantastic recipes and such with the rest of us! Ever since I came back from my trip to Japan, I've been getting random cravings for food that I had eaten there... <(^_^); Normally, I'm more of a baker but I've tried the Omurice and Hayashi Beef Rice recipes that you have provided. Looking forward to trying more of the shared recipes, too. The list of where you can get Japanese goods is so helpful too. Happy 5th Anniversary once again. [If chosen, I would like the two Japanese Cookbooks, please] Cheers!


I'm a recent reader to your blog and have been really enjoying it. If I'm picked, I'd like the Japanese cookbooks. Thanks for the fun giveaways!


LOL...love the retro food! But I need all the Japanese cooking help I can get so would prefer those.

Seattle, USA

These look fantastic!

I would love to have the Japanese cookbooks!


I checked out Harumi's Japanese cooking from the local library months ago and thought it was really wonderful! I've been meaning to buy it for myself, but the list of books I want to buy is literally 20 pages long. =)

I'd choose the Japanese books.


Congratulations on the anniversaries of my two favorite blogs! Having really gotten interested in bento making almost a year ago, I found Just Bento right after it started up. It's been such fun to let you guide me to all sorts of what are now my bento favorites, with happy excursions to Just Hungry when I wanted something for dinner, or just to read all the interesting articles you've written over the years. Thank you again from a happy reader, and many more years to come!

Kathy in Santa Barbara, CA
P.S. If I am so lucky as to win, I'd prefer the Japanese books, please.

Wow, those books look GREAT!

Amanda, Ontario Canada

Thank so so much (again) for your wonderful sites. I just can't imagine the past couple years without JustHungry, and yes, I always came back, not just for the food, but for those tangents that showed your personality. I've really enjoyed your work, so much, and I hope it continues for a really long time. Thank you Maki!

Debbie from North Carolina, USA

PS. I would really love the Japanese-English books. A Japanese friend has lent me a couple issues of Harum_mi, and I've fallen in love with Harumi, and would love her cookbook!

This blogiversary has featured so many wonderful musings! Thank you for sharing them with us.

New York (USA)

(And I would choose the Japanese cookbooks.)

Fannie and Johnny for me please!
USA, MD to be exact)

I would love the Japanese cookbooks! I rented the Harumi cookbook from the library and thought that it was awesome.

The vintage cookbook is a bit much for me - aqua dyed mashed potatoes?!?!

Country: U.S.

How wonderful! I would love to be in the running for either but if I HAD to choose I would love the Japanese cookbooks :)

Thank you for doing the giveaways!

:) alice (United Kingdom)

I would love to have the Japanese cookbooks! I have been on a Japanese food obsession since September, partly fueled by your fabulous blog. Keep up the good work!

Ooh! This is so exiting!

Aww! The lemon pigs are so cute, but the Japanese books look like the food is so good! It seems almost everyone wants the Japanese books, haha

I, also, was always the girl who was left out at my school, so I can understand very well how bad it felt. I have also had issues with my weight because of it; that is why I decided to try out bento this year, and I love it! Thank you for making such an exellent blog for us who love bento!

Ab, Canada

Those Japanese cookbooks translated into English are a god-send!

lafayette, IN, USA

Hi ! Maki !!What super Japanese cookbooks! I'd love to win them..I need all the help you can spare..LOL !!
Thanks, Happy Anniversary !!!!!

Sakiblu,New Jersey, USA

I love your blog, thanks for sharing your stories with us. After seeing the table decoration - I would love to have the Japanese cookbooks. (Although vintage cookbooks are always fun to read!)

Thanks! Sara, United States

those Japanese cookbooks look great!

Chicago, IL USA

I'm going for the 70s style cookbook. It'll be hilarious trying out the recipes.

-Marisol, USA

The Japanese cookbooks are more to my taste....

-Kathy (Arizona, USA)

Thanks for the giveaway opportunities, Maki! I've been reading you for years.
I love Harumi, so I'd pick the Japanese cookbooks.


The Craddock Cookery book looks very special, but the Japanese books are more up my alley - which is why I read this blog. I'd love to enter the draw for the Japanese books. But most importantly, keep posting! And thanks for 5 years!

Philadelphia, PA, USA

I also like blogs where you get a feeling of the person behind it. Thanks for Just Hungry!

The pictures from the Cradock cookbook are hilarious, but I would prefer the Japanese cookbooks. ;)

  • Linda, U.S.

But I think I am going to have to go with the Japanese cookbooks lot :)

Name: Alison
Country: USA

all those books look awesome (though i think i can figure figure out those lemon pigs without a recipe.)
-Sara L, Maryland USA, Japanese cookbooks

Those Japanese cookbooks are tempting, but how can anyone pass up lemon pigs and mashed potato swans? If you draw my name, I'd love that. :D

Congrats on your blog! I get so much inspiration from you! :)

Country: USA

Old cookbooks are hilarious to read now. They sure were creative!

If I won, I would pick the Japanese cookbooks though :)

-Mokona, USA


Soooo cool.

Naomi, Idaho Falls, ID USA

What a great giveaway! Congrats on your blog's success. Please, I'd like the Japanese cookbooks.
In my family, I'm the only one who introduces and cooks Japanese food. Those books would be very helpful.
Thank you kindly!

Country: USA

Hehez.. thanks for the giveaways, love japanese food.. cookbooks in japanese will also help with my japanese study! Thanks!

Elaine, Australia

Oooohh!!! Choice #2, please! :) What a lovely giveaway week~

Stella, USA

I'd LOVE those Japanese cookbooks! Congrats on 5 years!

The giveaway you are hosting is a great act of generosity, whoever wins. Thank you for hosting it :).

southern England.

Sorry, if I got picked, I would choose the two Japanese books.

Cookbooks are the best.


Japanese cookbooks pretty please! :)

Location: United States

Oh I'd love the Japanese cookbooks! I been looking for yummy Japanese recipes!

Florida, USA

hi maki,
japanese cookbooks please
pam, sydney, australia

I'd pick the Japanese cookbooks - they would be amazing. I'm actually in Japan right now (originally I'm from the UK), but so far my collection of Japanese recipes consists mainly of stuff copied off this site - be great to have some stuff of my own!

Five years~! Congratulations!

Japanese books are my preference :3

Would love the Japanese cooking ones.

-Aimee from California

I actually DO consistently come back to JustHungry/JustBento because who you are as a person really does shine through (for example, admitting your obsession with canned pasta (something we have in common!)) and makes you seem more approachable/kinder than most ! Once again, Happy 5th Anniversary! :)

Eve, USA ~ Japanese Cookbooks

One reason I love your blog is exactly because of its variety of topics/you "going off course" sometimes. So please continue to do so :)

And about the books... even though I deeply impressed by the lemon pigs and the egg swans.... I'd rather go for the Japanese cookbooks (and browse my Mum's bookself once I'm back at my parents', she might still have some of her old cookbooks).

  • Hanne
    (currently in the UK, back in Germany for Christmas)

I'd love to have a shot at winning the Japanese books, thankyouplease!

Denise in the UK

I'd love the Japanese cookbooks!

Allison, U.S.

congratulations, again, on the anniversary! these giveaways are so fun and generous of you. i've been eyeing both of those japanese cookbooks for quite some time - fingers crossed!

I'm interested in the Japanese cookbooks giveaway! Thanks!


I feel just like you. I'm French, but I spent several years in the US and both types of cooking feel like home-cooking. And I just love japanese cooking! I've spotted Harumi's book and I've been considering buying it, so I would be very interested in winning it!

Géraldine, France!

Thank you so much for your blogs!!!

Happy Anniversary!

I've browsed through these Japanese cookbooks at the store, but never have the money to spare to put down for them. These would be a lovely supplement to all the great recipes you post for all to see ^_^ Happy Holidays

~Jen Salenger, New York/USA

Dear Maki, apart from the amazing recipes and articles you keep posting on your blogs, it's just because of the person who's typing on the other side of the monitor that people continue reading it, so please, be your wandefoul self and have fun ;)

Bandreus, Italy

if I'd have to choose I'd like the japanese cookbooks

Your blog is one of my go-to websites for Japanese cooking. Hurray, food cravings satisfied! I have numerous post-its of your recipes on my kitchen wall. Write on, maki!

I would choose choice no. 2: Two Japanese cookbooks in English. Thanks!


Hi! Congratulations on the anniversary of the site. I really enjoy reading and cooking from it. I hope I win the Japanese cookbooks!

-Also hungry
Florida, USA

The Japanese books. I have a baby on the way - no time for food sculptures!

I'm in Australia.

The Japanese cookbooks look great!!

LT Guam

even if i'm not the lucky recipient of the Japanese cookbooks (though the 70s one is awesome for the photos alone), thanks for mentioning them here -- i will need to go check them out! i've heard of Harumi-san before, but didn't know she had anything out in English.
happy anniversary, and thanks for a fun celebration week!
Los Angeles, USA

Hi Maki,
I was in the middle of my Sunday cook-a-thon and I came up with 3/4 of a can of kidney beans that I still needed to use up. I googled kidney beans and came across your Curried kidney beans and vegetables. Delicious! I read through a number of your posts and recipes and I am excited to see more.

Congratulations on your wonderful blogs!

Hi Maki!

Happy 5th Anniversary! I think it's great that you're having a giveaway to celebrate. Your posts are really fun to read and I love trying out your recipes- I look forward to seeing more of them in the future. : )

Although both choices are good, I would prefer the Japanese cookbooks, please!

-Sherry, USA-

Those Japanese books look great! Happy 5th!

Chelsea in Portland.

I remember a few really interesting 70s dishes at my mom&dad's parties in the 70s - hilarious! Thanks for sharing those.

I'm Alyson in the US and I'm more interested in the Japanese books.

Happy Anniversary - thanks for sharing with your readers!

I'd love to win the two Japanese cookbooks! I've gotten the Harumi Kurihara one from the library and loved it! I'd love to own it along with the other one!

Holland, MI, USA

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