Spring seems just around the corner. Early morning walk with the our little doggie becomes warmer as days pass, turning to a daily check up on the ‘cherry blossoms’ which grow along the riverbed. Day by day, one by one, each buds start to revive from hibernation, some at the verge to blossom, some yet asleep. Few more warm days will awaken everyone single bud, the entire tree transforming into to fully flowered tree, the cheery blossom tree, a one of a kind. Spring brings about seasonal foods – speciality such as the ‘wild vegetables’, ‘firefly squid’, ‘sea clams’, etc.etc. to our Japanese food table, most all of spring foods come with either a strong scent or a strong energy, a strength of life. Some below to see the authenticity of ‘Spring’ Japanese food. 春まじか。 早朝のワンコの散歩も日に日に暖かくなり、神田川沿いの散歩道は桜の開花チェックに変わっていきます。東京では開花宣言が確か23日に出されましたがここ家の周辺ではまだつぼみは堅く、まだ一週間は桜を楽しめそうな年になりそうです。桜の種類によっては開花している木もありますがソメイヨシノはまだ。地面に近いつぼみや幹のつぼみは開花をしていますが川にしだれる枝はまだ。楽しみです。 さて、春に入ると食材が変わってきました。 フキのとう、セリ、、「苦み」の多い食材が増えてきます。冬の食材から少し彩りがもどり春の食材を少しずつ楽しんでいます。 春に入ってからの我が家の食卓です。 Mix Rice with Firefly Squid and Seri (Japanese Parsley) | ほたるイカとセリの炊き込みご飯 Seafood Paella | パエリア (Linked to Recipe) a Typical Japanese Household Dinner 追伸 : ちなみにニシンは今年は豊作の年らしいです。北海道で昔のように水揚げされているらい。 保存 保存
This ceremony was first posted last year for our very first grandchild and time has come for our second grandchild, now turned over 100 days in which to celebrate her first taste of food – a traditional Japanese ritual called ‘okuisome’.
This post may come as a ‘shocking post’ but to emphasize that it is NOT a PET TURTLE as to being one of the fine delicacies in our eastern part of the world, the soft-shelled turtle (which we call it suppon in Japanese) considered equivalent to medicine from ancient Chinese history.
Rice cakes – we call it ‘mochi’ is eaten most everywhere in Japan at New Years.
Winter Osouzai (Washoku – Japanese Dishes) Since my daughter is yet busy mothering her first child born early November, the constant attention night and day is waring her out with sleepless nights.
My encounter with this hot pot dish was at Bangkok, 2 years ago; when we visited Bangkok and Samui Island for a short summer vacation. It was served at a concierge recommended Thai restaurant called ‘Tongue Thai Restaurant in Bangkok’ .
It has been an extremely hot summer this year.
This is a Japanese ceremony for new borns – “Okuisome” – a weaning ceremony; a Japanese tradition held out on the 100th day after birth. It is the ‘First Meal’ of a child in which the ritual is held in hope that the baby will have abundance of food for his/her entire life. 我家の初孫の『お食い初め』。 誕生して早くも100日がたとうとしています。 先月に遅れたお宮参りを済ませたと思ったら、、早速『お食い初め』。 外国育ちの私は知識でした知らなかった儀式ですが、日本の文化に触れる機会。『お食い初め』はじめて作ってみました。コレで良かったのかなぁ〜と思いながらもみんな喜んでくれたから良しとしよう〜と、、ちょっとその日が上機嫌でした。 Sekihan (Sticky rice with aduki beans) Osui-mono (Clear Soup) – a clam is used in hope that the child will meet a perfect partner, as like the shell being a perfect fit. Tai (Sea Bream) – shares the same homonym with Happy; Joyous; Auspicious and sea bream is also considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Hagatame no Ishi (Small stone). “Biting” a smooth stone is an act to ensure the growth of strong healthy teeth. The stone is to be borrowed (returned when finished) from the shrine in which the Omiyamairi ceremony took place. Nimono (Seasonal stewed food) – I used the bamboo in hope that our grandson will grow fast and without difficulty just like a …
After a long cold winter comes spring and it’s fruit to loom. Flowers blossom and wild plants start to emerge from hibernation. SANSAI – edible wild plants are symbolic signs of spring for the Japanese, embedded deep in our DNA telling us ‘spring is here!’, a turnover to a new season. These natural grown – SANSAI are from my dearest small sister who lives in the countryside at the foot of the Japanese Southern Alps, gifted with wild plants around her garden – more so an enormous mountainous garden. 田舎で暮らす我妹からの春のお便りです。 東京より一ヶ月ばかり遅く、春の到来。 裏山で山菜や竹の子を収穫して頂きました。 毎年これが届くのを首を長くして待っていて、気がつくと一緒に掘ったのは『アッ！』という間に数年たっています。特に今年はまだ主人の療養期間なので山の斜面を長靴と桑でという分けにはいかず、、来年は是非是非行きたいなぁ〜と思うのです。 アルプスの麓で取れた山菜は綺麗な空気を大自然の恵み。 大切に丁寧にお料理をして食べます。 Bamboo shoots, shamrock like okogi, kogomi-the curled fern heads, warabi-the actual ferns and naturally grown shitake mushrooms. おこぎ こごみ（これは最近東京でも見かけますね） わらび（妹が丁寧に灰アク抜き、束ねておくってくれました） ワラビの穂先は『地元では目が悪くなる』と信じられていて、穂先の（カールした）芽を摘むのが風習だそうです。 Boiling the ‘Bamboo Shoots’ The NUKA(rice bran) is used to extract the froth from the ‘Bamboo Shoot’ when boiling. Peeling bamboo shoots are like peeling onions, never know where to stop….but I would peel off the coarse and hard skin and chop off the head before it goes into the boiling pan for over (less than) one hour. Without …
A glimpse of our dinner table. Some homemade foods on a Japanese dinner table may seem like slightly ‘exotic?’ delicacies to some but this is a seasonal easy Washoku dish. Egg Custard Bowl with Cod Milt Egg custard bowl which is called ‘chawan(bowl) mushi(steam)’ is an easy dish which is similar to making a egg custard pudding but the washoku makes this as an appetizer and seasonal foods are incorporated inside the custard. I’ve used …… ‘COD MILT’. What’s ‘COD MILT’ ? Cod milt is a ‘sperm’ of a cod; snow white, soft, rich in taste similar to a Foie gras or even pork liver. Incorporating this cod milt into the egg custard bowl (chawan mushi) made with dashi (see my July 1st 2014 blog post) . You will find various recipes on Chawan Mushi if you are a egg lover which can be combined with any seasonal foods, seafood or vegetables. Since ‘cod milt’ comes quite abundant during the winter months, it is one of my husband’s favorite food – the cold milt and …