Tag Archives: diary

Diary: washoku, pizza, strudel, tacos, pickles, ramen & more everyday food

washoku (classic Japanese trad dinner) including: sashimi, ohitashi, hiyayako, pickles, etc. (umeboshi in the jar)

Just another food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage. Of course, we are cooking at home, groceries get delivered (and some from garden/yard). We have a little convection oven. Added in a few Japanese words just case PS “washoku” is word for traditional Japanese food – usually fish (grilled or raw) and various side dishes, while “yoshoku” is Japanese-i-fied foreign-inspired food which has become Japanese (i.e. croquettes, om-rice (omelette on rice), hamburg, fried shrimp, spaghetti). Also a few ramen, pizza and other hybrid style meals in here. Carry on. No big deal. 

breakfast set with oranges, muesli, coffee, home-baked bread
house-made ramen with mugi (barley) tea
lunch set with boiled eggs (and hot sauce), avocado, apples, etc
housemade pizza with smoked duck, cheese, mushrooms

Continue reading Diary: washoku, pizza, strudel, tacos, pickles, ramen & more everyday food

Diary: Hospital Blues/ Postal Therapy

Wasn’t allowed into the birthing clinic appointment today due to the fcking “situation* so sat outside and scribbled a few postcards (yes of course i had my kit with me) #postaltherapy

Note: packages cannot be sent to/received from overseas – and, as i understand, cards and letters are all going by sea due to lack of commercial flights which contract to transport mail. Ugh. Continue reading Diary: Hospital Blues/ Postal Therapy

Memento: Dancing and Pals at a wedding #flashback

Well this is well over a year ago now, but… a few days after our wedding, fellow MaeMae’s band member Hatsumi-san was married at a lovely event to a dashing gentleman who works in the alcohol beverage industry. Ryoko and some other musicians played some music (have video of this somewhere #NoteToSelf).

Aside from all of that, a few snaps surfaced recently which brought back some lovely memories of us dancing, and me hanging out with my pal Hama-san and Ren-san who is the proprietor of “the piano bar” and is on our mind recently as his business is really struggling of course.

Anyhow, this is my memory and these are two snaps and I can’t remember the photographer.

Diary: Birthday Fun with Dear Ryoko

Happy Birthday to my ray of sunshine Ryoko!
Every day is the most wonderful fun with you.
Let’s enjoy tea, cake and picnic today (& kiss :)).

Ryoko’s birthday came, of course, in the midst of the pandemic and all that, but, we did some great activities starting with lunch at Mac’s goat farm the day before then we drove to Setouchi to (socially safely) pick up a custom made cake by the same baker who made our wedding cake which we really didn’t get to eat. Then enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch with the parents (who live “inside the wall” with us). 

That night, sparked the candles in the cake and I sand (what I am sure is a magnificent version of) happy birthday etc. etc.

Evidence of this treasure follows: 

picking up the cake “social distance” style from Pom in Setouchi town
Pom bakery had a fun photo booth frame set up and of course, we cheesed out

Continue reading Diary: Birthday Fun with Dear Ryoko

Diary: War and Peace rolls mightily… (in various forms)

Movie time: War and Peace

To be clear: this is the 1959 Hollywood/King Vidor version with Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda and others… There are several adaptations of the classic Tolstoy novel and this frankly, is not the best by any measure. Even at 208 minutes the story is incredibly compressed and huge critical chunks simply cut out. It really lacks in its reliance on camera trickery which, perhaps was innovative at the time, but has the feeling of “clean it up in post“… Especially with the sound editing/mixing, it’s a mess. All that said, I totally enjoy it Mostly because of Audrey.

There’s is a much longer Soviet-era Russian adaptation (7 hrs) by auteur Sergei Bondarchuk (co-wrote, directs and acts) from 1967 / it’s endlessly wonderfully long, came out in a series in Russian language (naturally) with various French and German as needed. It’s truly epic so you got to settle in / plan for the long-haul / rousing battle & party scenes interspersed with slow contemplative vignettes. The actors arent as pretty/shiny as other versions but hey, realism (I have this one of three long VHS tapes).

Then, there’s a BBC series from 2016 which is in general very well done – aside from a few casting choices which I for some reason find incredibly annoying (but I’m kind of like that). Pacing is good and cinematography is often great. if you’re going to settle in for one, this is probably the best all-arounder/entry point. Lily James is a worthy Natasha.

Another good all-arounder albeit a bit melodrama-esque came in a 2007 series. An international production so well done on various languages & casting actors from different cultures / a bit hard to find as was made for European release. 

There is also a 1972 British made TV series and a 1915 b&w film, neither of which I’ve seen.

Have you seen any of the series? Any opinions on a favorite? Have you read the book?

I mean, if not now, when?

##

Note:

Ted says: The Soviet version is one of the most amazing films ever made I think. It’s now on a criterion Blu-ray release.

I reply: indeed, the backstory of the creation is just as epic as well. He had free rein to state museums, use of the Army personnel and helicopters etc / Must get my hands on the criterion as I’ve only watched on the VHS tapes which, leave a little bit to be desired.

Ted: Factoring the current rate of exchange, it supposedly the most expensive film ever made. Like 800 million or something.

Me: Epic in every sense of the word! Although hard to calculate the true cost of the budget with all of the government resources/access use. Have you seen any of the other versions? Comments?

Diary: Goat Farm Birthday Lunch and Hangout

the birthday girl enjoys a (no-alcohol) brew from Italy with lunch

Ryoko’s birthday on April 28 was of course in the midst of all of the *global meltdown pandemic* whatever but, we managed a few fun activities, rather safely and all that… Including (on April 27) going to our pal Mac’s goat farm for a special lunch and visit. Evidence follows: Mac makes this sort of hybrid “Italian/Tuscan style with Japanese ingredients style” food and well, we let them serve us what he wants and it’s always fantastic and comes out in various courses at a leisurely pace, finishing with goat milk cheese cake! Of course his farm is where we met so it’s a very special place for us and we feel very much at home, plus I can check in on my artwork which hangs in his market which, by the way, had gone through a little bit of a rearrangement making it a bit more spacious and organized. We look forward in years to come to put on some music and arts festivals and welcome our friends from around the world and around Japan back for more fun. In the meantime though, had a lovely lunch and memories including some choice selections from Buddy Mac’s epic record collection.

See also: New Year’s bar-b-q

Diary: lil kitchen at Tsuchida Cottage

By the way, here’s our lil kitchen at Tsuchida Cottage. Tiny but efficient + cute & versatile.

PS All the time living in VW bus comes in handy – ha!

Diary: Outside the wall + compost bin

Note: Went “outside the wall” yesterday for a hospital visit and wow, a lot of weirdness everywhere… Got back home safe and I’m going outside to work in the garden now that i washed dishes / ps we made a yard waste / compost bin from scraps

Remember: Control The Controllables ‬

Update: also replanted 4 seedling trees (temporarily) and transplanted a bunch of kabocha (pumpkin squash variety)

Diary: Pleasant Home Life with baby clothes, rabbit and bocce

My my the pleasant days go by – we fill our days with tending to lists of tasks from gardens to scrapbooks to required paperwork to making pickles and tasty baked goods… with everything focussed on preparing our house to welcome a new human, make our life simple and efficient so we can enjoy art and music and love.

With this in mind, may i offer a few slices of evidence? 

So we are working down the list of stuff for the lil baby coming and doing most all by mail order and also received a few care packages form friends. In this case, a big load of clothes and diapers which we washed (with delicate detergent) and air-dried! Its all so cute.

The little pyjama outfits will be so fun to play dress up and match with. 

Next, our rabbit. This is Maru-chan. He eats and hops and mostly lives indoors but sometimes hangs out outside. 

Continue reading Diary: Pleasant Home Life with baby clothes, rabbit and bocce

Diary: Garden sprouting, yard evolving, rocks to move (still)…

Since we planted this patch of garden a week or two back, rain fell a few times in between stretches of sun so the lil seeds are sprouting up! 

Ryoko keeps a diary about the garden with all the details, however for documentary evidence, i took a few snaps while we were outside strolling the grounds… 

Komastsuna, a Japanese mustard green coming up in splendid lil rows… Continue reading Diary: Garden sprouting, yard evolving, rocks to move (still)…