“Bandai Taiko” is Strongly Recommended for Souvenir of Niigata

Bandaitaiko is a Sweets of Niigata, JAPAN

Sweet Cake “Bandai Taiko”

It is a cylinder like sponge cake, or I should say “a roll cake”, with white cream inside. This is a famous sweets in Niigata of northern part of JAPAN. Bandaitaiko by Osakaya is a very good choice for souvenir when you visit Niigata.

I got a Horse Mackerel Again, but a BIG ONE, this time

Horse Mackerel that I bought in a Super Market in Northern town in JAPAN

When it comes to Horse Mackerel, it always start with getting rid of hard scales First.

Internal Organs were Removed. Several Cuts for Effective Heating in the Grill

They were placed on the tray to go into the Fish Grill in Gas Stove

Well- Done

My Supper Yesterday

Boiled Mackerels with MISO that is Salty Soy Beans Paste

Steamed Sweet Potato

The photo above is yesterday’s. I boiled sweet potato in the pan. Those were the potato that I planted in my garden last year.

Still the Ground is Covered with Snow in my Region

This is a photo of today. I wanted to take a picture of train running, but those local trains do not come so frequently.

Mackerel in the Package about 4 USD

Today I bought the fish Mackerel. That was not “Horse Mackerel”, but simply “Mackerel”. This is Japan, but we usually see on the supermarket shelves, “Mackerel from Norway”. The mackerel in the photo was not from Norway, but from an Island of Sado which is the major island of Niigata Prefecture.

Mackerel being Boiled with Miso

I boiled them with Miso which is salty soy bean paste for seasoning. Not only Miso, I used also a little bit of sugar, ginger slices, pieces of red pepper, and Japanese Sake for seasoning.

Boiled Mackerel on a Plate

The white slices accompanying with Mackerel is white part of green onion.

My Supper Tonight

Now it’s already the last third (we call it “Gejun”) of Februray. But this winter is cold and still going on. Since the spring semester will start from the coming week, I have been just making PPT slides all day for my classes.

Does He Drink a cup of Water that I put in Front of His Photo?

Viewers of this blog often see the pictures of mountains. Those mountains are all on periphery of Niigata Plain where I live now. Today I am going to write about a mountain which I don’t think I can see from my place, because it is a little far from here, in deeply mountainous area.

One day, when I was a kid, my dad said that he didn’t like mountain climbing. He said the reason. When he was young, he went to climb the Mountain Mikagura (Mikagura-Dake) with his two friends. Bad thing was that, in the middle of summer heat, those three men had just only one bottle of water. My dad had got terrible thirst while walking up and down the Mt. Mikagura. That was the reason of his saying he didn’t like mountain climbing and never wanted to do it again. I was just a kid at that time, but I thought that it was NOT a problem of mountain, but the problem of lack of preparation for mountain climbing in summer.

Now two years have just passed since my dad died. I always offer chrysanthemum flowers, sweet snack like cakes, and a cup of water on his altar. There is a big photograph panel of his face on the altar. Every night before I go to bed, I check the water in the cup. Water in the cup hardly reduce because no one drinks it. Vapor into the room air is little. I also check the water level in flower vase. This one downs every day. I pour water from the cup to the vase so that chrysanthemum flowers could last longer. Then I take the cup to the kitchen, change the water by the tap water, and put it again on the altar, with saying “Hey, dad, drink it”. Of course, there is no answer from the photo frame. I do this because I don’t want him to be thirsty in that world with the same problem that he experienced on Mountain Mikagura in this world.

The Mountain Mikagura is a little far from here. It exists near the border with Fukushima Prefecture. So, it is so deep in the mountainous area between Niigata and Fukushima Prefectures. Now it is winter season, it is difficult to even get closer to the mountain, let alone climbing it. It is cold, there is a lot of snow cover with risk of avalanche. And I don’t have my car (I hate driving). If I want to go there, I have to use public transportation. Even if there were some, I think the buses should be just two or three operations a day. I think I have never seen the mountain, “Mikagura Dake” in the remote area of Aga Town. Now I feel like I want to visit and see the shape of the mountain. Maybe I will find the trail that my dad climbed in his younger days.

Come spring, will I be able to go there? Though I am not sure if it’s possible.

Those Photos on my Desk Top: I just wanted to Clean them up

Curry and Rice that I ate just after I got the second Corona Vaccine Shot last autumn

Red Pepper that I harvested from my garden in last autumn

Lemon marmalade that I made of two lemons and a lot of sugar

Sparrows on Neighbor’s Roof. I actually feed them just a little bit in every morning.

Mountain KAKUDA on the western edge of Niigata Plain

JR Local Train crossing the Ko-Agano River

Green vegetable in my Garden: They cannot grow well because it’s winter. Spring hasn’t come yet.

I used 30 minutes to make this post. I should not waste my time because I have to work hard for the coming semester.

What I saw while I was taking a Walk on Jan.30

Only Two Cars Train on Shin’Etsu JR Line

Shrine: the White Board Writes “Be Careful with Falling Snow from the Roof”

A Shrine area was used to be a playground for kids in the community

But kids are no longer seen because of “Less-Children & More-elderly” Society in Japan.


A train is Crossing the River

That’s it for today’s post. Thanks for taking a look.

I didn’t want Those Discounted Horse Mackerels to be Wasted.

Discounted Horse Mackerels

I found them in the supermarket where I always go buy food. Many packages of small horse mackerels were left unsold on the shelve. They were 30 percent discounted from the original price. But the original price was already reasonable because it was less than Two USD. I think that the problem was that they were too small to cook and eat. It was obvious that soon a lot of small horse mackerels were going to be thrown to be waste. Feeling sorry for that, I decided buying them.

Horse Mackerels’ Hard Scale

When you cook horse mackerels, you need to cut the hard scales off from the body side from the tale.

Opened Body of Horse Mackerel

I wouldn’t show you the most cruel part of the cooking process.

Fishes Wrapped with Potato Starch

Put a lot of Potato Starch around the fishes. I didn’t use fresh egg between the fishes and the starch. I just put the starch directly to the fishes.

Fry in a Pan with Oil

Frying uses a lot of Oil. I usually use a good oil (a little expensive one), but for frying, I bought a cheap cooking oil.

The municipal government where I live has been collecting those cooking oils for recycling. I saw many bottles of dirty brown cooking oil were gathered at the entrance of the community center. Since there is a library in that building, I saw it every time I go to borrow books. But recently the city decided to stop collecting the oil. I don’t know why, because the city government doesn’t say anything about the reason explicitly to us. Recycling is good, so I think there must be a reason for stopping the recycling of used cooking oil.

Draining Excess Oil with Cooking Paper

Oil is not good for our health. I put fried fishes onto cooking paper in order to remove excess oil.

Fried Horse Mackerels with Lemon Slice

Actually this is not the completion of the frying horse mackerels with potato starch. But I didn’t have time to do the end process of the cooking because I wanted to serve this for the dinner soon.

We Japanese usually put the fried horse mackerels into a sour sauce and keep it at least one night. The sauce is made of soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Ginger and red pepper are used for seasoning. Plus, slices of Carrots, onions, and peppers are accompanied. Those sauce and slices are poured onto fried mackerels and they are kept in the refrigerator. A good things of that are not only good taste, but also the vinegar makes the fish bones softer. When you come to Japan, please try to eat this menu that is “Aji no Namban Dzuke”.