Tag Archives: pickles

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.

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

Diary: tasks (sundry = stereo, pickles, pre-school)

Today-ish (amongst laundry, salads, coffees, bath and vacuuming…) 

* Setting up stereo (need sturdy table)
* Making pickles (trying with kojo)
* Investigating pre-school (not pictured)

Evidence (brief): 

Note: from this photo, rather hard to gauge the *massive* size/heft of this turntable and amp. Next step is reconnect speakers with lower gauge wires trim for appropriate placement tbd / Really need a hi-fi master/buddy to help proper set-up

Note: got behind on the pickle assembly line but in the meantime, got a few more jars into the flow by consuming the exceptionally perfect peanut butter (formerly) contained within

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: Umeboshi update (drying after salting, before salting again)

umeboshi drying (for 5 days) at Tsuchida Cottage after first 5 days of salt brine

[continuing from: Kitchen: Umeboshi Time with Crock & Rocks (+ pickles & jam)]

I know what you’re wondering, “but Dave, weren’t you doing some salted pickled plums? Don’t tell me the remarkable birth of a perfect little human has distracted you from this important task!“

Don’t worry friends, the umeboshi are pleasantly going through a multi-day drying process after a multi-day salting process and soon, will go back into the salt brine in a ceramic vessel.

Note: If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s a complete breakdown of the process at my creative life archive… In short, we started this project in between our “due date” and the actual “birth date” since we stumbled upon a mighty free stash – and it’s a multi-month long process / probably eating them in November. Also made ume jam, pickles, syrup etc.

[Update to the Update]

umeboshi dried in net for 5 days in backyard and under eaves when raining (thanks for parents for moving them as this was all going on while lil Ichiro was being born and whatnot)

also, flipped the little soft plums from time to time, rather gently, while in the net…

then brougt the nets (2) inside and put the treasures back into the ceramic crock vessel (note: we found this crock while tidying up Ryoko’s tool shed)

the salt brine was retained from the original 5 day soak. when first put inside, the plums almost over filled the crock, now barely halfway full…

{not pictured: placed wood and rocks on top of the plums and then a cloth over the opening, tied on, with lid on top/ stashed in cool dark place (outta the way) / now we wait for some time – they smell great}

oh, we need some “shiso” leaf to add red colouring… #semioptional

while i was in the kitchen tending to the umeboshi, rocked out a couple jars of cucumber pickles 

nothing fancy: salt brine with bay/laurel leaf with sometime onion tossed in

Kitchen: Umeboshi Time with Crock & Rocks (+ pickles & jam)

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)…

plus a big ceramic crock (found in the former chaos of the tool shed), a piece of wood, a couple of rocks, cloth and string. Continue reading Kitchen: Umeboshi Time with Crock & Rocks (+ pickles & jam)

Kitchen: pickle jars & exciting times

Another jar of pickles / fermented for 6 weeks and opened today #carrots (no, baby still waiting inside Hotel Ryoko)

not really peanut butter (obv) but a handy jar in our lil kitchen at Tsuchida Cottage

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.