My heartfelt gratitude to those who wrote and/or personally thanked me for the tempura recipe in the May 24, 2012, issue of The Rafu I appreciate the time and letters so very much. Thank you!

In these letters, I was asked to share more recipes and/or cooking tips. May I share a part of a letter received from a kind lady in Northern California:

”Do you have a cookbook out, written by you? If not, from time to time, would you please insert cooking tips on and off, in your articles.”

Since I aim to please, the following is a recipe for Cornish hens.

1. There are usually two Cornish hens packaged, which will serve 4 persons. (Allow a half of Cornish hen for each person).

IF PACKAGE IS FROZEN, IT MUST BE DEFROSTED before roasting.  To quickly defrost, remove hens from package and place in a large oblong baking pan and pour HOT water over hens, soak for a few moments until hens are defrosted (“soft”).

2. Remove the hens from the oblong pan, rinse pan thoroughly and set pan aside. Remove parts of the hens from inside the cavity and RINSE CAVITY THOROUGHLY and place hens with breast side up back into the oblong pan.

3. Cut a medium or large orange in half and squeeze both halves into a medium bowl (cereal bowl). Add about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and mix until the color becomes the color of “butterscotch.” If it seems too “watery,” add more brown sugar.

4. Insert the squeezed orange half completely into the cavity of one hen and the other squeezed orange half completely into the cavity of the other hen.

5. Place some butter or oleo on the top of the breasts of the hens and rub thoroughly. (I use a plastic sandwich bag to do this).

6. Slowly pour the orange/brown sugar mixture on top of the breasts of the hens, between legs and wings. (Remember that the mixture should NOT be watery. (Do not cover pan)

7. Set the oven temperature at 350 degrees.

8. Place pan in the  middle of oven rack. hens should be done within an hour and a half. (When you place a fork in the middle of the breast of the hens, and fork comes out “clean,” the hens are ready. You can also smell the aroma from the hens. The hens should be a beautiful “brown.”

To go with the Cornish hens, I cook rice the way my Mama used to do when we had guests:

When the water in the rice begins to boil, spread about 2 tablespoons of petite frozen peas on top of the rice and cover. After the rice is cooked, stir peas within the rice. Try it, I’m sure you’ll like it.

Forgive me, but I just could not resist writing the following:

Q: What did the American rooster say to the Japanese chicken?

A: Anata wa hen desu-ne.

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached at Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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  1. Maggie expresses herself in a simple and honest manner. I felt as if she was speaking directly to me. On my next grocery shopping day, I will buy all the ingredients and roast those hens/rice with peas. I give her story 5 stars!