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”.

Miso Soup with Green Leaves

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.

Digging Sweet and Taro Potatos from my Garden was Another Exhausting Task.

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.

Taro in my Garden on November 20th.

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.

There was not much Taro Potato its Root.

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.

Taro Washed by Water

Sweet Potato got much Damage by Larvae of Scarab Beetle

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.

Grotesque Shapes of Sweet Potato

That grotesque shapes of sweet potato means that I should have cultivate the soil with my hand hoe well.

Steamed Sweet Potato

Although they look ugly on the surface, the taste is really sweet. I am happy with them.

Hand-made Fig Jam on Toast

They were the last figs in this fall.

Only sugar was used; No chemical, no preservative, no artificial flavor/color.

They were boiled for tight sealing.

Actually I made five bottles of fig jam. I sent these four bottles to my sister.

So only one bottle was left. Fig jam on the toast in the photo above was the last portion from that bottle. But I still have many fig compote in my freezer.

A Rare Sunny day in Late Autumn in Northern Part of JAPAN, Niigata.

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.

Digging Sweet Potato made me Exhausted; I Could Dig Only One Fourth of them.

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.