Monday, May 22, 2017

Food Photos - March

Buri (Japanese Amberjack) Nigirizushi

Japanese Amberjack is a valuable fish that sustains the life in this small fishing village. But it's valuable only in its season from Feb to early Mar. If they come after that when it's warm, like late Mar. or Apr., their price goes unbelievably down... because they lose good fat and may have some parasitic worms.
Nevertheless, we were thrilled when there was a big catch in late Mar. this year! Last year was a bad year, and this year we were so worried at the end of Feb. Having almost no catch of this fish for two years in a row meant devastating.
So, on Mar. 21st, the whole neighborhood jumped in joy early in the morning with the news of a big catch.
Actually we had a bigger catch later in Apr. but the price was miserably low, they said.

Anyway, it's a relief to know that nature's blessing is still abundant. Here's the blessing in mountainous areas. Bracken fern shoots were abundant this year as in last year and the year before. ;)
After ponkan orange season was over, there came hassaku and other type of citrus fruits.

And Mar. 25th was my birthday! I baked Ponkan orange pound cake this year. :)

It was also the day that we celebrated the official establishment of our local revitalization project team... well, sort of.
The core members had an informal gathering one night and enjoyed great food like this. :)

Meanwhile, my buckwheat noodle making skill was in progress. Teammates often bring in their homemade dishes/sweets and turn the class into a small party. ;)

And I AM making a progress.
You may be impressed if you know that these noodles were hand-cut, not with a pasta machine.
Well, I'm going to post about buckwheat noodle making more in detail and tell you everything about it someday, so stay tuned.  ;)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Food Photos - February

 Matcha (Pawdered Green Tea) Buckwheat Noodles I Made

I tried out this flavored buckwheat noodles, which turned out to be quite OK.
The scent of matcha was so delightful. But the dipping sauce was a bit too strong and hid the matcha flavor. So that's what I need to work on next time...

And I came up with a buckwheat cookie recipe to use up leftover buckwheat noodles. :)

Another thing I tried out... ponkan orange marmalade and cream cheese on Ritz crackers.
Pretty good!  :D

In Feb. some early-blooming cherry trees are already in full bloom. Here's some pics from our Cherry Blossom Festival.
Steamed (and slightly sweetened) sticky rice flavored with cherry blossom and leaves, maybe?
And jelly in cherry blossom color.

And my left foot was cured enough to start some exercise this month.  :)


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Food Photos - January Part2

Ponkan Oranges from Dad's Orchard

I guess I wrote about dad's orchard before... He couldn't take care of it himself any more, so we said OK to a young guy who wanted to take over. And it was still in his trial period without a formal contract when this happened...

What happened? Deers ate barks of all the ponkan orange trees there!
I mean, not just dad's orchard. The neighbors' and our relative's also suffered damage. We thought the trees would eventually die. But ironically, this was an "on-year"for oranges and the damaged trees and obviously they needed to get rid of heavy fruits so that they can use nutrition for their survival. 
So, though my left foot was not completely cured, I picked oranges day after day with the help of my friends.
Sometimes we had lunch at the orchard like this one.

Uh... Did I say "food photos?" Oh well. These aren't, obviously. But just to let you know what I was up to around that time.

Since my left foot was cured enough to walk up to the orchard, I re-started my morning walk. Here's one of my photos of omega sunrise mirage. Impressive, ha?
But still I was spending plenty of time at home instead of taking photos here and there or joining fun events. So I started practicing Koto, traditional Japanese musical instrument which I practiced when I was a child (and quit within a year or so). ;)
Then I wanted to make a cover for it, and soon it became my fun project. See the result? I made this with used Obi belt that I bought online for about $15! (This was an incredibly good buy. The original price must have been more than $500 or so.)

And it was also this month that I discovered a couple of new places to eat at. One was an okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancakes with minced cabbage and chopped meat and/or seafood mixed in) place.

And a new diner opened at the location not too far from my house. This is their "Morning set (breakfast plate?)"
Yep. I was recovering steadily. ;)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Food Photos - January Part 1

One of our New Year's Rituals - Bonfire (2nd Sunday of Jan.)

I'm terrible. It's already May. Yeah, again, I procrastinated.
And now I'm trying to catch up by just posting several pics for each month, with a short summary of what happened then, maybe (and with faked dates, of course).

So, here's some photos from January. On this post I'll have the ones related to traditional New Year's customs.

Long-term readers of my blog already know about osechi and have seen photos of our family osechi for years, right? ;)
Almost the same, every year. Ha ha.
But with mom's hospitalization and my broken foot, it was just great that we were able to do "the same thing" again this year...

And our family tradition: New Year's celebration ritual (which you read about over and over on this blog, right? ;))

Oh, yeah! I didn't forget to wear kimono! At that time, mom was back from the hospital just for a short stay and still very weak, so I couldn't count on her help. It took hours for me to put on this outfit and the tie was getting loose by the time I got this shot. From my unnatural posture, I guess you can tell I was trying hard to hide that fact ... LOL

In our community, on the 2nd Sunday of Jan. kids collect New Years' decoration items in the neighborhood and burn them to send the God of New Year back to heaven. It is said that if you eat the rice cake grilled over this bonfire (more precisely, grilled over the charcoal heated in this bonfire), you don't catch cold or can stay healthy throughout the year.
Yeah, the same beginning of a new year, again.
I'm grateful.


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