I am a native Japanese speaker teaching Japanese in a university somewhere on this planet. This blog is usually written in English, but sometimes Japanese and Chinese appear. Please don't care what you cannot read. They are for my students.
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.
When you cook horse mackerels, you need to cut the hard scales off from the body side from the tale.
I wouldn’t show you the most cruel part of the cooking process.
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.
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.
Oil is not good for our health. I put fried fishes onto cooking paper in order to remove excess oil.
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”.
I am so busy for my job. I should work all the time. There is no time for me to upload any blog postings right now. So let me just upload some photos; they would tell you something better than my poor English.
Now my garden is covered with snow. I have to get rid of snow in order to harvest those green vegetables. Since I don’t have good gloves, I feel like my fingers could be frozen when I do that every afternoon. Now I am thinking about buying those green vegetable from a supermarket. When spring come, I will be able to get my vegetables in the garden again.
So this is my miso soup tonight. Although the slices of green onion (look white in the photo) came from a supermarket, the green leaves were really taken from my garden.
Actually today’s miso soup tasted a little salty. I usually use the dried and chopped fishes that are the mixture of three types; sardine, mackerel, and horse mackerel, when I cook my miso soup. But today I used bones and head of salted salmon. I always try to cook with less salt for my health. So the miso soup tonight might have been a bad one.
They came from tropical regions. If I left them in the ground in cold winter in Niigata, they would be rotten simply because of cold. So I had to dig them before winter come.
I got rid of other weeds around the Taro beforehand. Perhaps you may think about cutting the stems at this stage. But please do NOT cut them before digging out. Because if you cut the stem first, you will lose the grip to pull and lift up the Taro from the ground.
During summer, I should have added fertilizer and mounded soil up around the roots of Taro. But I had been too busy to do those things because of preparation for the online classes of the fall semester. So the harvest of Taro was a little disappointing this year.
I also dug sweet potato in the same day. The sweet potato I planted was improved one having more sweetness than conventional potato. That simply resulted in much damage on surface of the potato. Larvae of scarab beetle in the ground ate the potato and made a lot of holes and dents. Before I got them, I had thought that I would give my sweet potato to my neighbors. But my sweet potato was so dirty and ugly, I gave up my idea to share my sweet potato with people living around me. Instead, I sent one carton box of sweet potato to my sister who lives near Tokyo.
That grotesque shapes of sweet potato means that I should have cultivate the soil with my hand hoe well.
Although they look ugly on the surface, the taste is really sweet. I am happy with them.
Today I went to a funeral of my cousin. The person was the first cousin who died on my mother’s side. I participated the funeral until the casket was hidden behind the steel doors in cremation cite. When other relatives were leaving the funeral place for the deceased person’s parents’ home to have a lunch, I said good-bye to them. They gave me two lunch boxes for my mother and me. One of my uncles gave me a ride to the nearest JR station. I got on a local train to come back to my house. Those people, after lunch, would have been back to the cremation cite to pick up bones. One hour train ride took me to a small town where I live. It was already in late afternoon. Since I saw the Mountain Iide was already white from the train window, I took my digital camera and went outside again to take a picture. That was the photo above. On a rare sunny day in northern part of Japan, a soul of deceased person was gone for one-way trip.
Sweet potato’s leaves had widely spread. I planted the seedlings of sweet potato on two furrows last June. Recently they looked even chaotic. Now the month of October is reaching the end. So I decided digging them.
I cut and got rid of leaves first. Roots and potato still remained in the ground. Since I knew that I could not dig the two furrows in one time, I just tried to do it for one furrow only.
A sweet potato with purple skin appeared from the ground.
Actually it was so exhausting that I could not dig even one furrow. I could dig only a half of it. And then I washed the sweet potato using water.
In order to dry them, I expanded the newspaper and put the potato on it.
This photo shows you as if the one dish of sweet potato was the only thing in my supper. Nope, it is just a kidding. Taste? actually these potato were not so sweet. It is said that sweet potato will be more sweet after being stored for a month. I hope it’s true.
It’s 2a.m. in Japan standard time. I have tried but I cannot fall asleep tonight.
This was the second time for me to cook fig compote in this autumn.
Beyond the rice fields I could see Mountain YAHIKO, whose hight was about 630 meter.
The left peak is the Mt. Yahiko, although the right peak looks higher.
These are not figs in my garden. I just took a photo of other’s fig tree.
Persimmon tree and its fruits. I also have several persimmon trees in my garden, but they are still young to have fruits.
A local JR train on Shin’etsu-line.
The main dish of tonight’s supper.
I am going to bed again soon after I post this one. Now rain is falling down outside. Weather report is saying that a cold front is passing through my region now. Once the cold front is gone, it will be cold and temperature is going down. I expect that the high mountains get the first snow fall. I will check it on Monday.