Tag Archives: food

Ramen (with yuzu and spring vegetables)

I don’t have any cat pictures on hand but I did photograph today’s Ramen with spring vegetables, yuzu peel and extra pork.

At Gakucho Menya – best place ever (in Okayama and beyond).

See…, I do know how to Internet.

Scenes of Life from New Year (shrine, Osechi, cards)

Up the hill to the shrine
Various bells, 5¥ coins and claps
Greetings to neighbours 
Evidence follows

Here are the festive cards received so far arranged on a string with help from my miniature assistant. Expecting a load of New Year’s cards arriving today. Yes I love this arts and crafts part of the holidays.

Once I rode this train when I was Canadian.

Now I’ll always know what year it is. A year for making “a circumnavigation, of sorts” >> free verse poetry, snippets of diaries, fragments of letters, unspoken musings, lists and annotations, compiled and abridged – printed, bound, stamped and shipped #Intention

So, how’s your New Year’s day going? We ate osechi variety platters of (often mysterious) food but most is so tasty and all is elegantly and deliberately prepared (despite what the whiners say)

More to follow as we go along, as we go along… tigers roar meow

Diary: New Years Eve – food & flowers / Eye of the Tiger ahoy!

Last hours before arbitrary mile post/time zones and calendar flipping – and while I’m not at my best I always have big schemes to make lists of intentions. I’ve made them before and yeah, I’ve made them again.

If all goes to plan I’ll sneak away while the wife and mother-in-law are cooking and flower arranging and make a recap video in the barn while listening to records. Plans? Ha ha :-)

But first, a few pre-snap shops and annotations, mostly of my wife in action and other sundry foods and flowers, starting with Ikebana in the genkon.

Made by magical wife (just before making turkey ramen) now tamagoyaki assembly in process… keep reading…

Here is an in-process snap (with a little boy who is a little bit grumpy because he wasn’t getting all of the attention :)) aside: Tea ceremony, music, flower arranging, it’s all possible for him. My brothers tease me that he’ll only be in the video games :(

The painting in the background really works out well too (by Michal Korman)

Somehow in between it all, we went to pick up a huge batch of tempura and of course she had a gift package ready for the proprietor / I just try to stay up with her.

For final holiday maneuver, must break down the last of this turkey to make broth.

I don’t really know what I’m doing but… guess take off the meaty bits by hand and then simmer the carcass for stock? With the leftover celery etc.? Strain it & bottle/bag it?

Behold, turkey ramen with garden veg & pork belly at Tsuchida Cottage. I made the stock/broth, the wife did everything else.

Oh, when I ordered the turkey, sausages, pork belly, there was also a 2 kg ham of some kind so while we were at it, cloves, rosemary and Pineneedles and into the oven it goes.

Good night you lovely folks. Hoping for a pleasant wind down of an interesting year. Year/Eye of the Tiger ahoy!

Diary: switching modes, miso & last trip to the post office

Well I’m pretty wiped out from the last bunch of days but glad I was able to step up for the family and friends for a good time despite a few setbacks with my health and too many projects.

Switching holidays from Christmas to New Year’s here at Tsuchida Cottage

(Don’t eat this orange, there’s plenty more inside)

Family outing to the post office because that’s how we are.

Still can’t decide which one is cuter. Guess it’s a tie. I’m completely smitten daily.

3 styles of nengajyo / new year post cards in the last batches (for this year).

About 300 total between international/domestic family & friends plus wife’s business and associates.

All handmade/stamped with affection. Grateful for an oddly fantastic year.

It’s the year of the tiger after all. Not sure the significance but I used the stamps liberally nevertheless. meow

For final holiday maneuver, must break down the last of this turkey.

I don’t really know what I’m doing but… guess take off the meaty bits by hand and then simmer the carcass for stock? With the leftover celery etc.? Strain it & bottle/bag it? Let’s try (Half in a big cooking pot and half in the slow cooker… Anticipating six hours)

We made Miso last May 4th and stashed in a ceramic vessel found when tidying up tool shed.

Holy smokes! Miso turned out great! No mold problem, not overly salty, great texture and mellow yet bright flavor profiles. Just took a little small sample but will try in larger quantities over New Year’s. I feel like I really earned a Japan merit scout badge today.

Meta Note:

Noting I’ll end up with about 216 posts at my mixed media creative life archive (you are here) this year (not including ones that were backfilled/backdated). Not bad for a Gen X slacker/new pappa – especially considering everything else that went on this year.

Hoping to review/recap my 2021 Intentions + Annotations soon (typed last year with coffee) – already have a few notes scribbled for 2022 (mostly less paperwork and big projects, more just creating)

This last year had the curious nursery school project, the hugely satisfying house reno project, and the (unsatisfying) emigrant tax project (including a complicated dominos of transactions). Plus did lots of work on my health situation (i deal with #MECFS).

Plus loads of mailouts, supporting friends and charities, but did take on at least 1 too many projects.

Should i give myself “grades” on the previous list?
i.e.
ukulele playing B+
Japanese writing C-
pickling/fermenting A-
postcard store C+
great pappa/hubbo A+ 🙂
etc ??

Item: Boots (at Hospital) + safety ramen

Today’s boots and socks combo for hospital visit. #looksharp / easy on and off is key in Japan / gotta make a simple outing for enjoyable somehow

not only did I wear these sharp boots, I also purchased gum, three packs (1 for back, 1 for car, 1 by door) & a pocari sweat (electrolytes :)) at the embedded 7-11 in hospital

PS Safety ramen before as well #important

DaveO51 ~ Birthday Bentos, Bevvies: annotations & evidence

rain storms, cake and gratitude

Preamble: So much to report as we moved into the new/old house in the midst of my birthday (16th) which coincides around “Obon” time here in Japan when folks return to their ancestral hometown/villages for respects to ancestors including washing graves. Usually full of festivals with dancing and snacks. This year, like last, festivals and celebrations are no-go & was squished in with typhoons, vax, errands and… so much wonder.

Let’s begin with the night of Aug 15th (birthday eve if you will). We had moved mattresses and desk (hello) over to Tsuchida “cottage” (now “station”) and then back over (a metre away) with the parents for a massive sashimi feast.

Evidence of such wondrous food!

Then we slept in the new/old house in new birthday present pyjamas (with matcha gelato cones print)!

Such a treat to wake up 51 with this life.

With my 2 cuddlers.

Next, coffee (and tried not to look at the cake in process behind)

Then we headed out for a pleasant session of seitai treatment with the kindly doctor (no evidence of treatment but i did snap my shoe/sock combo in the car so there’s that).

Oh & listened to the national high school baseball tournament on the radio while going to seitai treatment and watching the bullet train roll by. Japan Life indeed.

Then, back at Tsuchida Station, cobbled together 6 + 1 chairs and tidied up enough to have our first dinner in the renewed house.

Such Fun with my squad: father in law Takushi, mother in law Junko plus the Mac the goat farmer, Manami the designer and my Ryoko and Ichiro.

We ate massive deluxe bento boxes of gourmet items + fancy sausages from Doppo Brewery along with growlers of Dunkel & Kolsch made just a couple km away.

Aside: Small scale brewing was legalized in Japan in 1996 after I left the first time and one of the very first was right here near my house – called Doppo – they were a centuries old sake maker that added new skills and product. All *very serious* German styles but now added some more styles using local grapes and other seasonal fruits.

They have these incredible weird fliptop growlers like I’ve never seen before too. Strangely enough, they are brewpub is super close to me but because of corona, I’ve never gone in there to actually eat and drink, just get take away .

Anyhow: of course the goat farmer rolled in with a whole variety pack of German, Danish, Italian and other location brews.

Did i mention the yakiniku wagyu?

*Of course* Ryoko fired up the first use of the new oven and made her first cake, double-double with icing, fruit and nuts and decorations.

Ichiro was duly impressed.

Much laughs with the gang and snaps as evidence and then records in the kura with Mac & Manami. I’m a very fortunate lad.

Plus wrapped it by taking the trash out by midnight in pyjamas.

Memo: Of course, we’re still in the midst of getting settled into the new/old house “Tsuchida Station” amidst rainstorms so I’m a little bit behind in your lovely messages ~ don’t worry, each well noted each will be replied with full vigour and enthusiasm {& likely postcards…}

Ichiro getting settled into the new/ old house

Today was putting away things in the closet and kitchen, we’re getting there, full video tour to follow eventually because you know me, I always need too many projects.

Zam!: Speaking of silly hats and kind words, you know i love a collage (or static montage) and this photo flashback from my dear friend Rebecca in Vancouver dang near brought me to tears. Thanks so much for the awsum snaps of (some of) our adventures and for your friendship and thinking about me. Truly. {& already of daydreaming of Stanley Park picnics with you and John.}

via @Miss604 twitter

You are each and everyone of you so wonderfully kind for thinking about me and sending along your sweet messages. Settled in with hot coffee and leftover cake to write postcards of gratitude, {mostly postcards of me wearing silly hats}.

3 of us Aug 16, 2021 (see Aug. 16, 2020) photo by Mac Kobayashi

Note: if I don’t have your address or if you’re not sure if I do https://daveostory.com/more-daveo/postal-club/

Obviously and fondly, Daveo

“set” for “Castles, Foundations and Pyjamas video (note Jack Kerouac apple pie and vanilla ice cream, Utah Brautigan hat, sweet notebook, 50 & 51 items and other talisman)

PS did you watch my birthday annotations recapping the year video? Includes musings from Saskatoon to Tsuchida & many points & topics, riffs between over 51 years today {yes it involves some poorly played baritone ukulele!}

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

Kitchen: making Miso from scratch (ready in New Year)

Pretty sure I earned a Japanese merit badge today. Made our own Miso from scratch! Will sit in this old crock (found in the tool shed & same one used for umeboshi last year) for 8 months.

Summary: Soybeans, Salt, Koji & no air.

Here’s how it went down (lousy photos with annotations): 

Soaked for 24 hours and simmered for 4 hours and cooled down

Oh, this is what the salt and koji (culture) looks like

Mince up the beans with a, ummm mincer

Yup mix it all (salt, koji, miso) up

Squish out the air whilst making tennis ball sized chunks

Squish squish squish into the crock, no air remember

Fill a bag with salt to weigh it down and seal off the edges from air

Put on a label and wait for 8 months (cool place please, in our case, the kura barn) check in later to tell ya how it turned out

O-shogotsu Food & laughs with Family

Just a few quick snaps from the mellow New Year’s time at the Fujita household – just me, Ryoko, baby Ichiro and our wonderful grandma and grandpa, sitting around the house, eating special food, with bits of TV and music and, importantly, fire in the woodstove.

Ichi & Grandpa clearly having no fun 🙂

The year begins with Ichiro Stanley pensively observing a few flakes of snow floating down at Tsuchida Cottage. They disperse before landing (Like all of your hard ships will this year).

Photo by magic mama Ryoko Olson
Zouni soup with fish, greens & most importantly, mochi (sticky rice)
Year of the Ox cookie

Kitchen: Variety of pork, sashimi, soup and sauces

Katsuo no tataki / bonito tuna sashimi served with with onions, green onions, shiso leaf and lemon

I suspect you eat food, likely more than once per day. While I dabble in many mediums of art, the kitchen has never been a place of creative comfort for me however… I’m working to add a few new skills to my repertoire, as well as watching the unique techniques take a bus out for some traditional Japanese favorites.

Also, paying attention to the importance of plating and presentation and choosing an interesting variety of dishes when serving – I’m probably better at this part than in the preparation but hey, one revolution at a time.

As such, very little in the way of annotations or details, or quality of photos for that matter, just evidence of living life at such a cottage.

The results are sort of a hybrid of Japanese and “western“ dishes, and usually served rather Japanese-style meaning lots of little plates as we sit at usually a low table on a mat to enjoy the creations.

snack plate with fruits and maple syrup for coffee/tea

While life is still exciting and new here, I occasionally remember to take a snapshot of things prepared, most of the time I don’t, but sometimes I do, and since I did, i’ll share with you. There are loads of these round-ups elsewhere in this archive if curious. 

impromptu smoker in the kitchen / chips in foil in a pan, pork meat on grill above / worked so good

Continue reading Kitchen: Variety of pork, sashimi, soup and sauces