Tag Archives: ferments

Diary: Annotations on the Re-start (calendars, milk, beard, drums…)

Regrouping: Well yeah, I’m wiped out from all the last while but was able to spread so much love to family and friends which is truly an honour. I’m not good at the “pacing” so much – When I get my mind on something, I burn through the adrenaline and related neuro-chemicals to do it.

Anyhow blah blah blah, I made *a lot* of Internets and documentation, wrote some intentions for the year ahead, started some new traditions, closed some books, open some others, practiced much generativity.

Still in pajamas and robe but going to try to get up, filter some persimmon vinegar, put the miso into smaller containers (yes I made persimmon vinegar and yourself both from scratch!), maybe trim down the Santa Claus beard…

Stretch goal is un-trim the Christmas tree.

Just a note to say I am thankful for all of your comments, participation in my life, cards and letters, late night dispatches and affection in general. 

Christmas Tree down and replaced with 1-1/2 drum sets! left some twinkly lights up for Ichiro

Sending extra kindness to those who are feeling the blues, struggling with health conundrums, &/or loss of various kinds.

Postal Notes: PS Great cards yesterday – Like really fantastic, great details and I love love love a good family year recap newsletter. Thank you so much! ++  one “late but well intentioned” batch out today. Both foreign and domestic.

Ferments: Bottling up housemade vinegar (Persimmon, Ume and Ginger) and Miso (in peanut butter jars) at Tsuchida Cottage. So much macrobiotic goodness!

Rather satisfying project bottling homemade vinegar (Persimmon, Ume & ginger) Of course, well documented, ergo:

Basically, halved persimmons – leave skin on, stack in a vessel, add some “living” vinegar, rocks on top, cheese cloth and wait 1-2 months. Keep an eye to make sure mold doesn’t develop, eventually “decant” the liquid into another vessel, cheese cloth back on, wait a while more, eventually filter it. Strain into clean vessels, add labels. Nice to have some vinegar “mother” to start but skins have natural bacteria.

Sign post (finally, slowly): Next/current project is making a sign post to point to familiar and/or loved places. Will go on this cut tree – mounted in concrete base (also has a weather station on top).

Using scrap wood left over from our construction project and just doing “cheap and cheerful“ quality level.

Sparks include: Got Woody’s Revolutions printed and on stand-by

via Billy Bragg + Lance and Jay

As well as Shawn Parkinson’s annual artsy one page calendar (see previous iterations in intentions video). Note decent colour match on the washi tape and meta snap of Mrs Maisel.

Ok, one more envelope to address *and* this month’s “postcard as a service” postcards are printed! Gotta figure another/different/better system than current though.

Diary: DIY Firestarters, Vinegar, side cart… (+ usual supplements and hospital)

What follows are simply sundry odds and ends from mostly late Nov, (bit of early Dec). 2021 with an emphasis i suppose on a few DIY projects as we continue to settle into our reno’d home, doing loads lil tasks and looking forward to each day. Pardon, brevity and repetition, this is me chronicling the usual days of a poet-storymaker+house-husband+oldish-papa, doing my best.

First off… Making fire starters in the car port with paper egg crates, sawdust & paraffin in a sorta double boiler on a canister stove.

One of these in the woodstove with no other paper or whatever and a single light and you are good to go. Works so well (though next time use soy wax and also recommended by others: dryer lint).

Also from the DIY file is persimmon and ume vinegar, freshly decanted / will filter in bottle in a few more weeks. Such natural macrobiotic goodness.

Flashback to decanting vinegar:

“& voila / persimmon & ume vinegar decanted >> In a couple weeks will filter & bottle (bottled some ume cordial & syrup while at it)

Filtering persimmon vinegar while listening to @TBeanpod / Seems oddly appropriate and glad you were brave enough for IKEA because no way I’m going there :-) if it can’t be delivered or bought at the recycle shop, it’s just off the list”

Another quick DIY project… A little rolling cart for the kitchen for fruit and serving tea and drinks and what not. Ordered used, delivered next day, total about ¥3500 ($30 USD ish). Casters on everything!

Next up, some hemp canvas panels to go over the drafty doors that were skipped over in the renovation. We hung hooks and cut bamboo poles/rods/.

We eventually need a couple of curtains for some view windows but want to get those special made by the noren makers of Katsuyama. 

Memo: I just folded the laundry (yup again) and now onto dishes. Thank you for your support of my creative projects of late.

Related: Made video with books which arrived by post incl about Hunter S Thompson + Neal Cassady 50th anni (sent / signed by daughter with postcard photographs by Carolyn), and a dude in Scarborough who published letters to friends while traveling the world (sound familiar?)

Lots of videos coming out, don’t expect anyone to watch *all* but if you’re really smart, you will :-) #notaplug

Super fun/strange, got a call on not-so-secret-but-no-one-ever-uses Japan VoIP number *and* it was a wrong number asking for Etsuko-san. Replied “I’m just a regular guy named Dave”. Anyway, was my excitement while organizing supplements for next fortnight & watching hockey.

Put in another big order with @iHerb / A company which continues to amaze me with their incredibly fast (free!) delivery of unique items – although they’re definitely having some “out of stock” issues

PS Got the laundry folded (yeah i know i always say this), nursing a cold so I think going to a special event tonight is going to be off the list… was first time to go out in well, forever – however have persimmon vinegar to bottle and/or start on New Year’s cards + vids to edit > tmrw online meditation “retreat”.

(Another day) gotta get ready to go to big city hospital for a bunch of scans and tests and what not #mecfs …

Thanks for hanging out while *sorta nervously* get ready by sending out little dispatches. Wishing best days to everyone wherever & whoever you are. be your own revolution

Lost in translation and somewhat translucent but back home in bed

File under “things I love”: this new heavy duty, cast iron, small footprint, front loading, side cleaning woodstove in our cottage in provincial Japan. Cozy and safe. With an arborist wife, always have a stash of heavy hardwood to burn – hot & slow.

Stash the ash in the compost and brought in a new little stack of wood.

Anyway, getting towards the end of the year so rocking out a little projects to finish up strong. This afternoon is another doctors appointment, hopefully the last for the year.

Tomorrow is some picture framing festival and some Santa Claus voice recording, the following day the Grannys from the Silver Center are coming to clean. 

Good morning and good night from our home , Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama, Japan.

Diary: Tsuchida station grounds projects, various

Busy around the house, now the construction is “done”, doing some garden, yard, landscape, and kura/naya jobs… the glorious mundanity of the tiny things which make all the difference. Be prepared, nothing *shocking* or exciting, just the usual days.

Hemp cloth wrapped on shelves made from wedding dais / under the dust cover is 1982ish Yamaha GT-2000 turntable & analog amp plus TEAC cassette/CD/usb/1/4” deck. Thats not *all the records* but a solid batch.

Another string of lights *and* Palau static montage… legit handcrafted speargun etc etc

Wood splitter, borrowed from forester Ukan and parents split up this rack / its loud & ornery but does the job

All hardwood – mostly oak and maple, odd bits of others (arborist wife often bringing home big chunks) This was all F&M-in-law. Epic. I’ll fire it up though (i just encourage)

Breaking rocks in the hot sun… (Ryoko has made a time-lapse of this rather intensive, long project…)

Continue reading Diary: Tsuchida station grounds projects, various

Kitchen: Kaki (persimmon) vinegar (filtering & bottling)

Kaki Vinegar, Bottled-up (catching up from April 21, 2021)

Kaki (persimmons) are all around us here in Okayama so we end up with bushels > I’m finding every which way to use: from jam to dried to pickled/lacto-fermented and specifically today, vinegar.

While getting the kitchen ready for construction, so… figured should bottle the batch started last year. 

Started by stashing a bunch of chopped up, unwashed persimmons in a big glass jar with “the mother” from some apple cider vinegar – weighed down with rocks to keep submerged – last year in November (as seen on label above). Continue reading Kitchen: Kaki (persimmon) vinegar (filtering & bottling)

Kitchen: Ume Ferments and Garden Veg ~ round-up

Harvesting Ume: Ryoko Olson in her professional environment climbing trees (note her awesome boots and toolbelt), trimming branches and raining down Ume. No cape required for this superhero! She totally re-did the tree & harvested the fruit while talked to neighbour obaachan & held basket.

Yeah, we filled up a whole laundry basket, seriously, plus some other baskets for neighbors etc. Continue reading Kitchen: Ume Ferments and Garden Veg ~ round-up

Items: Storage vessels & weighing weights

Items: Storage vessels & weighing weights

Containers and related at “salt house” in Kojima, Okayama for:

* rainwater (perhaps)

* weighing (salt)

* koji (trays)

* miso (barrels)

Further evidence & artifacts documented throughout

Kitchen: multi-purpose ginger, turmeric, chutney, kraut round-up

Today: putting sauerkraut in jars, making chutney from persimmons, washing up dishes, drinking another coffee, making barley tea, there is a rabbit, also turmeric

Persimmons ahoy!

Note: the rabbit (named Maru) is our guardian angel.

Just pulled some massive ginger from garden and some turmeric too / wiped me out so taking a bit of a break before prepping these Kaki / also scored some red (albeit mild) peppers and a mikan orange from tree

Stick a shade in the ground & voila! Yup, got some ginger from the garden. Holy whoa!

Re, harvesting: I just stuck a spade in the ground, pulled it out the whole plant, dropped a chunk back in the hole, shook off the dirt, cut off the stems and rinsed. Ditto with turmeric.

My wife and mother-in-law are great gardeners but I really don’t know what I’m doing, I just dig holes and make pickles with the results

Onwards! Choppa choppa, making sorta persimmon chutney, everything shown from garden

While in the kitchen, stashed some sauerkraut from the crock where it was weighed down by rocks for a week-ish into some jars… Over-salted it a little bit but well, I’m still a rookie we’ll see how it goes… [update: it’s alright]

Just closing the loop on the persimmon chutney project ~ four jars: one for fridge, one for parents, two for freezer

Kitchen: Dave’s Pickles (“branded” as gifts, not a side-hustle)

Kitchen: Pickles (“branded” as gifts, not a side-hustle)

Don’t call it a business, nor a side hustle, this is arts and crafts for gifts and kindness.

This batch from May 20, going out into the world.

Handmade/package/decorated… Everything up/recycled (except the vegetables).

Kitchen: Brief guide to salt fermented pickles

For the record, these are salt fermented though i did a couple with vinegar and sugar which are great too. the salt does some kind of magic anaerobic fermentation creating pro-biotic goodness. The taste is clean and simple with the veggie taste and texture intact.

Basically:

chop up whatever veggies i have (in this case, carrots and daikon and onion)

stuff in a sanitized (not really sterilized) jar (stashed in hot water for a while on stove and handled with tongs)

toss in a garlic/onion and a bay leaf (there’s an enzyme which helps the crispyness)

top off with brine (basically 2 Tbps of non-iodized salt to 1 litre/quart water)

fill to top and/or put a cabbage leaf or something on top to push the veggies below water line

stash em in dark place for a few weeks, months – will be fizzy when ya open up

after open, stash in fridge.

there’s all sorts of complications you can add to the process but i am a simple boy. have done a load of batches now and all turn out decent. mild, clean, crispy.

and yes, someone has already sent me the Portlandia “pickle that” clip. thanks.

Kitchen: Vegetable Ferments

Took a break from the kura sortganizing project (due to unexpected frustration & unresolved mysteries) and fermented some various vegetables / daikon, onion, cucumbers, carrots, etc in salty brine. 

Also moved from peppers, garlic and other spicy things fermented last Oct. to small jars and into fridge.  

Diary: Kaki / Permissions, various notes and projects

Kaki (persimmon) perhaps the most under-appreciated fruit (to me at least). So interesting! Looks vaguely like a tomato with colour of an orange, firmness of apple or soft pear sometimes, texture like passionfruit or something – Only drawback is tricky to peel and prepare for clumsy folks (me).

The neighbourhood is loaded with full trees right now – i can’t eat fast enough!

Continue reading Diary: Kaki / Permissions, various notes and projects

Kitchen: Pickles and Ferments / Tsuchida Cottage (2 batches)

Pickles and Ferments, batch 1

Fermenting & Pickling Bonanza!

Cucumbers, Daikon, Garlic, Peppers (various), Onion etc.

Some anaerobic fermenting in seasalt brine. Some pickling in vinegars (various).

Pickles and Ferments, batch 2

Note the big jars are 2+ litres each.