Tag Archives: food

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

Kitchen: Snapper (tai) and/or Wagyu (beef)

Ryoko and a Tai fish (snapper) as gift from Uehara-san / they raise rabbits and veggies / so kind!

+ Dinner choices (& results) at Tsuchida Cottage with Snapper (Tai) or Wagyu (beef) +

Amongst all the goodness in our lives with the wonderful baby, we’ve received some treats. Some are part of Japan’s “summer gift” tradition, others specifically for the baby (so many to document, will get to them eventually) and some because folks are nice and adore Ryoko. 

In this case, we received a box of luxurious premium wagyu beef and a whole tai (snapper) fish / the combo of the 2 provided several fantastic meals as you might expect. 

Because i am grateful and obsessive, i present documentation. 

Dave amazed that a box of remarkable wagyu (so expensive in other countries) beef just “showed up” by courier at the house / from Yusasa-san! thanks
1/ cooked the beef with parents yakiniku (fried meat) style on a table top grill with various garden vegs and dipping sauces and salts

Continue reading Kitchen: Snapper (tai) and/or Wagyu (beef)

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 Diary: Cooking a Duck at Tsuchida Cottage

Roasting a duck (in our tiny oven)… Found a duck a few months ago add a restaurant supply food store kind of place, frozen, from Malaysia, about nine dollars.

nothing fancy / just score it, salt it, stash it for 90mins-ish. Maybe add soy sauce along the way. Cut it up and eat (obv).

Continue reading Kitchen Diary: Cooking a Duck at Tsuchida Cottage

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: 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: (Yet another) Food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage

Let’s begin with the “standard” Japanese classic dinner with grilled whole fish, picked something (kimchi and pickled onions), miso soup, brown rice and a salad – dressing and shoyu on the side.

Well ya gotta eat, and we do and mostly at home. For the permanent diary of endless goodness, i snap a snap from time to time before we dine. That’s all there is to it. Dig it if you wanna. 

We have a counter-top convex oven here at Tsuchida cottage now and aside for well-documented visits to ramen shops and coffee/cake stops, we eat at home.

Soba noodles
Another Japanese classic: soba (buckwheat) noodles, served cold with a raw egg and mentsuyu (fish-flavoured broth), shredded daikon (radish) and shoyu mixed together and the noodles dipped within and green onions sprinkled

 No doubt lots of folks the world over are getting re-acquainted with their kitchens while experienced cooks share tips and try new things. Indeed, so much sourdough going on in the world!

As such, here’s round-up without much in the way of annotations or context of some recent meals i happened to snap a snap of before digging in.

A variety dinner with sashimi (sawara a kind of mackerel), gaumodoki no takiawase (tofu fritters, daikon, komatsuna soup with fish-broth, salt, sugar, shoyu) and and of course, miso soup and genmai (brown rice), kimchi and shoyu/wasabi of course
A lunch of harusame spring vegetable soup with clear bean noodle with various onigiri rice balls

Continue reading Diary: (Yet another) Food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage