Rafu Craft Editor

The past is a present.

As we grow up, at some point in time we’ll look back and remember what once was.

In the Crenshaw-Seinan area, Holiday Bowl was a landmark for both young and old. Not only to compete but to chow down chili and rice with eggs and chashu in their late-night coffee shop. Across the street was Rudi’s, where their pastas were absolutely the best.

Eyes light up with the mere mention of Grace’s Pastries. For anyone in the neighborhood, it was the go-to sweet shop in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. To die for was a yummy, chocolatey dobash cake.

George Izumi, today a youthful 93, said that he got the idea for a layered sponge cake from a Hungarian baker who created the dobos torte. When Nisei customers dropped in to buy his all chocolate version, they’d call it a dobashi. Hence, the name dobash.

Foodies have tried in vain to figure out how to bring that cake back to life. George noted that it’s a complicated task to whittle down his bakery-size recipe for the home baker.

Who is Grace? She’s George’s number one lady and remembers when they first opened in 1950 on Jefferson Boulevard.

Everyone loved their Danish tea cakes. George initially made them by hand, the way you and I do now. At some point in time, he was thrilled when automated machines did the laborious work.

My initial search for the tea cakes recipe led me to the July 7, 2009 Daily Breeze article by staff writer Stephanie Walton and to “what’s on g-fork’s plate” from blogger and the Izumi’s well-traveled daughter, Glenda.

After finding Wilton square brownie bar molds on Amazon, I made the tea cakes and they were a big hit. [Click here for the recipe.] Give it a try. Take it to a potluck or give as a thank-you gift. Let me know how they turn out.

Tea Cakes
From The Daily Breeze and “what’s on g-fork’s plate”

An adapted recipe for tea cakes tastes almost as special as the real thing from Grace’s Pastries on L.A.’s Westside. (GAIL MIYASAKI/Rafu Shimpo)

for the cake:
1-1/2 C + 2 T brown sugar, packed
¾C + 2 T white sugar
1 C vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, large
1-3/4 C buttermilk
3 C cake flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt

for the glaze:
6 T butter
1-1/2 C confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 T boiling water

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line square baking pans with cupcake liners. Makes about 24.
• In mixing bowl, cream together sugars and oil, add vanilla, then eggs. Add half of buttermilk, mix. Add flour mixture, mix. Add remaining buttermilk, mix until smooth. Batter will be thin. Pour into molds, filling two-thirds.
• Bake 18-20 minutes. Test with a toothpick, poke to see if it comes out without batter on it.
• For the glaze, brown butter in a saucepan. Add sugar, vanilla and water, whisk until smooth and creamy. Dip cooled teacake top into glaze. Place on rack until glaze hardens. Store in an airtight container.

Speaking of gifts, great pickings can always be found at the Asian arts and crafts scene. The September events all take place in NorCal. On Saturday, Jan Ken Po Gakko Art Craft Fair will be held at the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation in Elk Grove.

Respect shouts out on a t-shirt in six languages for the sports enthusiast. (Courtesy of Island Sports Design)

A newcomer is Dale Louie of Island Sports Designs. Observe is what he does best. That is key to his success with a new sports apparel line.

Typical of so many JA families, Louie’s three kids played basketball and he was right there in the thick of it all. When his daughter, the youngest with two older brothers, was playing sports, he noticed that the gals wanted to not only play hard, but to look cute at the same time.

With a bit of luck on his side, he had made a Facebook connection with artist Peter Tsuru, who already was part of the T-shirt scene in Hawaii. Taking the bull by the horns, Island Sports Designs resulted with Hawaiian running shorts made of a micro-fiber just for the gals.

A T-shirt idea pays homage to another observation. “Youth basketball games are always played with respect — respect for the players, coaches, and the game,” he said. A “Play With Respect” T-shirt has words silk-screened in Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

Get out and shop the following weekend, too. On Saturday, Sept. 28, check out the United Japanese Christian Church’s 14th annual Asian Crafts and Food Faire in Clovis.

LIKE The Rafu on Facebook to keep up with Krafty Korner!

Move over Nike, as JA gals favor athletic shorts with that aloha flair from Dale Louie of Elk Grove. (Island Sports Design)

Saturday, Sept. 21, 9-3
Jan Ken Po Gakko Arts & Crafts Fair
Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation
9040 High Tech Ct., Elk Grove
408-839-6023, Renee Kumamoto

Saturday, Sept. 28, 10- 4
14th Annual UJCC Asian Craft & Food Faire
United Japanese Christian Church
136 N. Villa Ave., Clovis
559-322-0701, Vivian Takeuchi

Saturday, Oct. 5, 9-4
Eden Holiday Craft Show
Marina Community Center
15301 Wicks Blvd., San Leandro
510-471-8052, Karen Valerio

Saturday, Oct. 5, 10-4
Kokoro Craft Boutique
Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles, Janet Ma-

Saturday, Oct. 5, 8-2:30
SEJSCC Holiday Boutique
Hawaiian-Style Pancake Breakfast 7-11 am
Southeast Japanese School &
Community Center
14615 Gridley Rd., Norwalk
562-754-8582, Richard Shinamoto

Saturday, Oct. 19, 9-4
Crafty Foxes Holiday Boutique
Joan Pisani Community Center
19655 Allendale Ave., Saratoga
408-356-2764, Carol Yuki


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