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.
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).
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.
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.
+ 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.
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.
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.
Re: making umeboshi (salted “plums”) – These tart and salty gems come in all sorts of sizes and various styles and are a common part of so many *normal* Japanese dinners. I LOVE em and wanted to try making… thanks to the neighbour’s tree, the chance came, ready or not…
Requires obviously the sorta plums (in this case from the neighbour’s tree), salt – lots of salt, liquor (a clear fruit liquor made for this sort of purpose)…