Day 2 of Ghibli feast
Ghibli feast #4: Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki is a 13 year-old witch in training. Every witch has to leave their town and live on their own for a year to train themselves to become a better witch. With no special talents or skill other than flying on a broom, Kiki starts her delivery business in a city by the ocean.
Originally, I was just going to make the pancakes Kiki eats in the film. But I thought it’d be too simple if I just made pancakes especially because Laputa bread was right before this. So I decided to also try making something very challenging.
Anyway, after eating only a slice of bread with an egg and an apple my boyfriend was getting hungry, so we started making pancakes and sausages right away. In the film, Kiki eats pancakes to save money. She uses “JIBURI NO HOT KEKI” mix (“Ghibli’s hot cake”, a.k.a pancake), if you hadn’t noticed.
[Pancake with sausage and tomatoes]
We decided to make pancakes from scratch. My boyfriend mixed regular flour, egg, sugar, a little bit of salt and water. At the same time, we boiled water and cooked sausages. (We had to buy uncooked sausage from the store this time… Next time, we’ll get the recipe for sausage from my boyfriend’s sister.) After the sausage was cooked, we cut it and broiled it in the oven to make the surface of the sausage brown. We added a couple of mini tomatoes.
It’s a shame that Kiki doesn’t eat her food like other Ghibli characters though. When she eats her pancakes, she’s feeling a bit down, so it doesn’t look that tasty. =/ But our pancakes tasted really good, even without maple syrup or honey. Nothing beats freshly made pancakes with just a little bit of butter.
And, of course, the fish pie…
[Herring and pumpkin pot pie]
Kiki goes to the house of an old lady to pick up a package to deliver. Kiki ends up helping them bake a pie for her granddaughter. While I was doing research about food in Kiki’s Delivery Service, I saw a lot of people actually tried making the fish pie from this film.
I’ve never had a fish pie, let along made one. Even though I love fish, I had not idea if this would taste any good. But everyone who made this fish pie was praising how delicious it was (also to their surprise). So I had to try it! I found a couple of recipes for this. I got kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), but couldn’t find herrings, so I got sardines instead. We even bought a new baking dish for this. We were determined to find out what it’d taste like.
I’m sure a lot of people might want to try this, but unfortunately, I didn’t take enough pictures to do a complete how-to (I was in a rush!) But it’s really not that complicated at all, actually. I’d rather everyone use your own favorite recipe for each ingredient, or you can save a lot of time by buying prepared fish, white sauce or a pie sheet.
Ingredients for the pie
- mashed pumpkin with sauteed onions (I used kabocha, which is a Japanese pumpkin, but butternut squash will do.)
- white sauce
- herring (or sardine or mackerel or cod… I read that any white fish will do.)
- pie dough
- black olives
- egg yolk (to apply on the surface of pie)
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
Mashed pumpkin with sauteed onions:
You can use any mashed pumpkin recipe for this. I chopped onions and cooked in olive oil until they were clear. I steamed kabocha (I removed the skin, but if it’s cooked well, you can eat the skin too. It’s very good for you!), mashed it, and mixed in the sauteed onions, butter and a little bit of whipping cream to make mashed pumpkin. I didn’t measure how much of each ingredient I put in. I just kept tasting it and seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper. Just don’t make it too thin.
You can use any white sauce recipe for this, or even buy it from a store. I used the left over Bechamel sauce from Porco Rosso salmon dish.
You can use any pie dough recipe for this, or you can buy rolls of pie sheet from a store. (Pillsbury makes them, and it’s called “pie crust”, but it’s more like rolled sheets of pie dough. They come in a long box, like pasta box. But if you’re using frozen pie sheet, you’ll need two sheets.) Make sure you have enough pie dough! I made pie dough the day before, and had it sitting in the fridge.
I cleaned and gutted sardines, but if you’re buying fish from a fish market, they will usually do this for you. Fish pieces should cover the surface, but you can put more or less.
The amount of each ingredient depends on your baking dish. Everything except fish can be used in other dishes, so you don’t have to worry too much about what to do with the extra food you end up not using.
I found two ways of putting each ingredients in.
1. pie dough – > mashed pumpkin -> fish ->white sauce – >pie dough
2. mashed pumpkin -> fish -> white sauce -> pie dough
I had enough pie dough, so I went with 1.
I spread the dough with a rolling pin, cut it to the size of the baking dish and put it at the bottom of the dish.
Then I spread mashed pumpkin on top of the pie dough. (I put it about 3/4 ~ 1-inch deep.)
Then I put the fish over the mashed pumpkin. (The mackerel I used was rather small, but you can put more fish if you like fish.)
And I covered it with white sauce.
This is where it gets a bit tricky… I rolled and stretched the pie dough, put it over the baking dish, then trimmed the pie dough slightly bigger than the baking dish and put it over the white sauce. The pie dough may shrink, so make sure you cut it bigger than the dish. (I learned this the hard way… I cut it too small the first time, and it shrunk after I put it on the white sauce. T_T) I rolled the scraps of the pie dough, cut it for the lines, and put them onto the pie dough. Then I rolled the scraps of the pie dough again, rolled it, and cut it into the shape of fish, fins and scales.
After everything was in place, I sliced black olives to decorate it and took some pictures.
Then I mixed egg yolk, applied it over the pie dough with a brush, and it was ready to be baked! I put it in the oven, and baked it for 20 minutes at 400 F.
I just kept peeking into the oven, trying to make sure it didn’t get burned. (I was so paranoid that I set the timer to 15 minutes first, then checked and see if it was okay. Then I baked another 5 minutes. And I finally took it out the oven.
It looked good and smelled amazing. But now the most important part,,, the taste! Even with the delicious smell, I was still unsure about the taste, but we couldn’t just stare at it forever, so we dug in.
It was absolutely delicious!! It was something I’ve never tasted before. There were so many different flavors in my mouth, but they weren’t fighting each other. You can still taste the sweetness of the pumpkin, the fishy flavor, and rich creamy Bechamel sauce, but also taste it as one perfect dish.
So yes, everyone who tried making this was telling the truth. Fish pumpkin pot pie is delicious! It’s too bad that they don’t have a scene of anyone eating this in the film though. The granddaughter in the film who said she didn’t like this pie must have no taste buds!
If you want to try making this, I have advice for you… Even though I loved this dish, I must admit that it is very rich and heavy because of the white sauce and mashed pumpkin. I’ll probably use a smaller baking dish or less Bechamel sauce next time. It lasted for a good 3 day between two of us. (we ate it for lunch and dinner) I didn’t mind at all though, but I was surprised how a small amount of this dish could make me full.
We’ve both watched Kiki’s Delivery Service before, but it’s been a while since we watched it the last time. The one thing we didn’t think of before was the last scene. Kiki got her magic back, and she could fly again, but Jiji says to Kiki, “Meow.” We both went “Wait, so Kiki got her magic back but still can’t understand Jiji??” I did a little research for this, and found that, in fact, a lot of people wondered the same thing. One review I read said that “the conversation with Jiji could be Kiki’s way to understand her own thoughts and feelings. That doesn’t mean Jiji wasn’t talking or Kiki was making things up in her head. It was something between magic and talking to an imaginary friend. And in the end, Jiji probably did say something to Kiki and she understood him, but it’s for us to figure it out. By the end of the film, we should be able to guess what he’d say anyway. ” What’s your take on the last scene?
The feast for Kiki’s Delivery Service took a lot longer than we expected. But we weren’t tired at all, because our next feast was My Neighbor Totoro.
You can also see these pictures in Ghibi feast set on my flickr page!