Tag Archives: kitchen

Diary: a day in the life(ish) – woodstove, meta-ness, voting, tidying

Good days and bad days and wind and rain on rotating Mondays… Got up / some things done yesterday {hung some art and usual dishes and laundry} but still in bed today… This illness is a fickle beast #mecfs / So many creative projects in my head > patience and time are my allies.

Note to self: remember to put the ointment on the rabbit’s broken leg (this is not code for something)

So anyway, I got up & did couple of things around the house (the usual laundry, make tea & soup) + wrote one special postcard) – completely wiped out and now curled on the couch looking at the dishes to wash. Dear wife has taken wonderful son for his 18 month medical check in. This is all.

The aforementioned postcard is for a special mail art exhibition at a bookstore in North Carolina. Mail art cancelled postcards from around the world will be displayed for fortnight and then slipped into books to be surprises for unsuspecting patrons. This hits all my keywords. Note Momotaro washi tape.

This adorable, custom café-style kitchen – now with freshly washed dishes and slow cooker full of lentil soup –brought to you (in part) by Bill Janovitz’s “Walt Whitman Mall”. Now back to the couch, fire in the woodstove, tea/snack & name-stamping diapers.

Continue reading Diary: a day in the life(ish) – woodstove, meta-ness, voting, tidying

Diary: Stumbling into the year, skipping ahead with heavy blanket

Guess was a sign in my last diary riff when i said:

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.”

Blerg: From Jan 5 or so til Jan 31, mostly in bed, very ill. Various (backfilled and possibly previous published elsewhere) memos here for no reason aside from reminding myself. ergo:

Jan 19: Got some sleep last night, thanks new weighted blanket, crossed out “January“ on my to-do list and replaced with “February, maybe“. Gonna *try* to get up, catch up laundry and dishes (Including putting away the extra fancy China still out from holidays), and read some letters.

Weighted blanket came with a weighted eye mask which brings my total count of sleeping masks up to *at least* 37 but none of them are “perfect“. Note to self: consider giving out poetry and art and concentrating on just making great sleeping masks for the world. #SideHustle

Update: washed some dishes, folded some laundry, ate some food, took medicine, now will either organize next fortnight’s supplements or put away the “extra fancy dishes“. Rolling slow. Also packet of “A2” size drafting paper arrived for wife’s design project.

Jan 18: Left house, getting treatment. EOD

Note to a friend: “Was back at the doctors yesterday, got some more medication, managed some sleep last night so that helps. Tiny steps, trying to keep positive thoughts. PS A weighted blanket should be delivered today.

Some terrible stomach virus completely laid me out and just as I was getting bit better, what was suspected as “the thing” but test came back negative so more likely just some nasty nursery school cold/flu. My body is just completely battered and worn out & weak & immunity = 0 :(“

Notes: Thanks for your kind words, it’s really got me discouraged. I mean with this chronic/complex disease I live with (#MECFS), I spend a lot of time being “sick“ but this has smacked me upside the head and left me spinning & struggling

Thanks for all your sweetness kind people. Just fired up a 42° bath, going to rest a little bit more than have my very best time of the day with a soak with my little dude (who seems to be getting cuter every day still, and talking more and more every day as well)

Jan. 17: Still “deep in the shed“

Gonna fold some laundry in bed (and think about ordering a weighted blanket) + continuing listening to the @cbcgem series about Quebec from “dark years“ to bombs and such with the FLQ conundrums. Recall: How to Start a Revolution: Episode 2: The Stranger

Jan 16: Very sick for last 10+ days / many IVs, meds & frustration – did scribble some postcard therapy & listen to various radio/esque programmes, i.e.

Jan 16 con’t: Got to say, super grateful for medical system here in Japan. I go to the “Big Central Hospital” monthly to see neurologist (check-in) but for “day to day” incidents, see a kindly, diligent and thorough doctor at a nearby mini clinic w/ xray, ultrasound & lab, scrips, all in-house.

Jan 5: Come on you champion virologists and super computers and mathematicians and investigators and clinicians and researchers

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.

Kitchen: Ume vinegar, syrup & cordial (bottling etc)

[continuing from: Kitchen: Umeboshi Time with Crock & Rocks (+ pickles & jam)Kitchen: Umeboshi update (drying after salting, before salting again) &  Umeboshi update, part 3 (adding shiso and back into the crock}

Ume Chronicles continue (catching up from April 16, 2021)

Last year June, we harvested a load of Ume (Japanese small sour plums of a sort) from the neighbour’s tree and made several items while coincidentally waiting for our little baby to arrive (as you can see from my *sophisticated labeling system*, was started June 16) Oh and the baby arrived a  few days later on June 23rd).

Continue reading Kitchen: Ume vinegar, syrup & cordial (bottling etc)

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: 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: 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: just tidying up, no big deal

“Celebrating” the Canucks game in the “usual manner”… Washing dishes.

Will enjoy an iced coffee while doing so at least (and think about a little bit of a house renovation to change up the closet size kitchen)

Yeah, all finished! ~ Japan life at Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama