travelogue: culinary bucket list (foodie friday)

One, no doubt, has a travel bucket list — Paris, Rome, Alaska, for example. But, one might also have a culinary bucket list. Perhaps: bahn mi, cassoulet, frog legs. Also: mochi ice cream.

“Japanese mochi ice cream is any flavour of ice cream wrapped with thin and chewy mochi (rice cake). It’s a bit like finger food because the ice cream is not on paddle pops or anything but you just grab the ice cream mochi balls with your fingers. They are super delicious.” (Chopstick Chronicles)

Pictured above, I had a chance to finally sample these sweet treats at the Cornell Café at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, ranked one of the top three museum dining experiences in the country by the Food Network.

Consider me happy.

So, what’s on YOUR culinary bucket list? Comment below!

Travelogue, February 2019, photo ©2019 Jen Payne, Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, Florida.

Art-5: Sayaka Ganz

In a wonderful turn of happenstance, one of the current exhibits on view at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden is a collection of artwork by Japanese sculptor Sayaka Ganz. Entitled “Reclaimed Creations,” the show features three-dimensional objects created from reclaimed plastic objects (maybe even flossers?).

Ganz utilizes these plastic objects, such as discarded utensils, like brush strokes which appear visibly unified at a distance though separated at close proximity. She describes her style as “3D impressionism.” Sculptures in the exhibition include recent installations of animals in motion which are rich in color and energy and create an illusion of form.

Sayaka Ganz was born in Yokohama, Japan and grew up living in Japan, Brazil, and Hong Kong. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from Bowling Green State University. Ganz has lectured widely and taught design and drawing courses at Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne. Her work has been been displayed at the Hermann Geiger Foundation in Cecina, Italy, and the Isle Gallery, Isle of Man. Commissions of work by Sayaka Ganz include a series of four marine life sculptures at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California and an underwater scene with right whale and various schools of fish in the atrium of the Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral, Florida.

About her work, the artist says, “My work is about perceiving harmony, even in situations that appear chaotic from the inside. When observing my sculptures up close, one might see gaps, holes and items being held on only by small points; step away, however, and the sculptures reveal the harmony created when the objects are aligned to the same general (but not identical) direction. Similarly, it is important to gain perspective by stepping back from current problems and look at the larger picture. Then one can perceive the beauty and patterns that exist.”

1. Nirvana, Bird of paradise

2. Piccadilly, Cormorant

3. Travelers, Mother polar bear swimming with two cubs

4. Uta, Humpback whale

5. Fogo, Cheetah running in full speed

Art-5 is a monthly feature of visual artists and their work. Images posted with permission from the artist, please visit her website for more, Text from Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden website, Artist photo from Wikipedia.

travelogue: in this garden

“Immersed in society’s materialism, increasingly boxed into a systematized world, we have become immune to a simpler, more natural way of living and thinking. It is difficult if not impossible under such circumstances to experience and know reality. Despite our accomplishments and possessions, our deeper desires often remain unfulfilled. We find ourselves preoccupied with modern society’s demands, drawing us away from cultivating a more fundamental relationship with Life.…Strolling through a pine forest or bamboo grove, viewing the rock formations, the arrangements of plants and cascading waterfalls, pausing to ponder the quiet surface of the lake and shoreline — little by little we are encouraged to lay aside the chaos of a troubled world and gently nurture the capacity within to hear a more harmonious, universal rhythm. We exchange burden, boredom and despair for renewal, inspiration and hope. Or, from the joy we already feel, we discover an even greater capacity for good. This is the tremendous power the Japanese gardens at Morikami Park hold for us.”

— Garden designer Hoichi Kurisu, on his intentions for the gardens at Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida.

Travelogue, February 2019, photos ©2019 Jen Payne. Text from the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens website,