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”.

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.

Midnight Blog Posting, Because I can’t sleep

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.

Afternoon Walk in Early October, in Niigata, a Northern Part of JAPAN

I am a person who wants to make data small. So I usually resize my digital photos to be 640 by 480. I think the size 640 is good for smartphone. But this time I resized photos to be 960 by 720. Just let me see how they are fine in resolution as a trial basis this time, and if it is worth doing with bigger data sizes of picture file.

Okay, this is the end of this post. I have to make a lot of PPT slides from now to prepare for online teaching in the coming week. I have no time to take a rest.

Walked Around, Took Pictures, and Came Home: The Same Pictures Again and Again.

These pictures look like all the same as what I had already uploaded here. I can not go far from my house under the restriction due to corona virus pandemic. I go out only for shopping food or just walked around my house in rural town in northern part of Japan, Niigata.

A tree is standing on the slope of river bank. And it is also in front of a Japanese Shinto Shrine. It is not that big tree. But I guess this tree has seen many village people for 2 to 3 hundred years or so.

The hall of worship of the Shinto Shrine. Actually, this was not the shrine that I played with my friends when I was a kid. My “playing ground shrine” is even smaller than this.

Flowers of crape myrtle are blooming in the shrine area. Since I have spent all my hours to make Power Point slides for online teaching, I think I have missed the best time of crape myrtle flowers in this summer.

I kept walking on a path of river bank.

I found a convolvulus flower. This is also a summer flower. I saw that the season for this flower was also about to end. We Japanese call the flowers of “morning glory” as “morning face (Asa-gao)” and call the flowers of “convolvulus” as “daytime face (Hiru-gao)”.

This is a view of my hometown, where I live now.

Far behind the river, I saw the ridge of Gozu Mountain whose highest point is 972 meters (3200ft).

I wanted to take a picture of trains running on the bridge. I waited for the trains’ coming. But that didn’t come. I knew that I could not take a good picture because of reverse light of sunshine. So, I stopped waiting and gave up the idea to take a picture of trains. I just came back home.

Apples Steamed with Sugar

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)

I don’t know the name of what I cooked. I steamed small apples with sugar.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

There are several apple trees in my garden. One of apple trees “Ourin” has got some apples. My mom is happy with that and she had taken some fruits from the tree. She just wanted to take them, didn’t care about the apples were ripe or not. To eat, or not to eat, that was not a question to her. Although she said she might offer those apples in front of the photograph of Dad who died last year, she just left the apples on the table.

My dad had been a poor boy when he was a kid. His dad, my father’s side grandpa, died of tuberculosis when he was a kid. Also that was when all the Japanese suffered from lack of food after the WWII. So my dad had never wasted food. I feel like I inherited his DNA that does not waste any food. This evening, just before I started cooking supper, I found the apples were still left on the table. They were three. I tasted one, which was hard and sour, too early to harvest. I gave up eating it. There were still two left. I decided to heat those immature apples by steam in the pan.

At first, I tried digging a hole on the top of apple because I wanted to get rid of seeds. But it is small apple. In order to do that, my smallest spoon was still too large. So I did that with the end part of the spoon (haft?). The purpose of the hole on apple is not only for removing seeds. After getting rid of seeds, I filled the hole with sugar. I put two small apples with sugar in a bowl and covered the bowl with aluminum foil. And then l poured water a half inch depth into a deep pan, put the bowl in the pan, heated the pan 15 minutes.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

This is what I got. I put this in refrigerator tonight. I will eat the sweet and chilled apple as a desert for a breakfast tomorrow morning.

I ate it this morning. It was hard. 15 minutes boiling could not make it soft. Taste was so-so. And there’s one thing I forgot to write yesterday. I don’t have a microwave. If I had a microwave, heating time could have been shortened.

Writing in an Air-Conditioned Room, Outside is Too HOT.

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)

When I was a kid, summer heat was not as severe as today. It used to be 30 Celsius, or just a little above of it. But because of global warming, it often becomes 35 Celsius or higher in the height of the summer season in recent years. Today, too, the weather forecast is saying the temperature in my place will reach 35 Celsius. Heat is severe and sunlight looks harmful.

I remember it was the end of May when I got a message from the university which was saying that I had to teach Japanese literature reading class in the coming fall semester. Since I had heard of it, I had read a lot of books about Japanese literature. Because I wanted to teach the best of the Japanese literature that has 1300 years of history. Perhaps a foreign people may say that 1300 years are short, saying that other world major civilizations have longer histories also for literature. Yes, in ancient times, Japanese didn’t have letters/characters to write down and record our own language. But once Japanese learned how to write Japanese sentences, a lot of literary works were made and handed down to the late generations.

I designed how to teach and schedules of my Japanese literature class so that I could teach the whole history with the best articles. One of those articles that I really wanted to introduce was “Sarashina Diary” by a daughter of Sugawara-no- Takasue. It is not a lengthy book but a short and concise one. The diary is a memoir of a lady’s life in 11th century. It lively describes fun things and sad things that happened to her from when she was a girl to when she lost her husband in her later life. The interesting thing is that although it was written in almost one thousand years ago, there are a lot of things that can be shared with us living in modern times. I expect that many of my female students would like it.

In order to get a whole picture (though it’s literature), I borrowed a lot of books from the city library. I searched books on the city library’s website, reserved some books, and went to the library to get them. I also bought a scanner to take copies of books to make a textbook by myself. But last week, I got a message from a student (not from the university), saying that the class would not be held in the coming semester because very few students wanted to take it. I think what she said is right, although the chief of the Japanese department said to me he was not 100% sure. By that time I had already spent a lot of time to prepare for the class, but that was not enough. I still had to prepare for the level of teaching in the real situation. If the class would not be held, it would make my work easier. So basically I have to be happy for cancellation of my Japanese literature reading class.

As of today’s morning, I was borrowing 9 books from the library. Some were interesting even if I wouldn’t use them for the class, but I decided returning them to the library. Today “Heat Stroke Alart” is being issued to my area by the Ministry of Environment of Japan. So going outside is not good. To avoid the hottest hours, I decided to go there before noon with a parasol. A lady often uses a parasol under the sun, but it is rare for a man to do so. Yes, this was the first time for me to go outside with parasol.

I have a garden (a vegetable field? I don’t know how to call it) and grow many kinds of vegetables. I have to work at least one hour on the ground every day. These days I do it after breakfast; it is from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Although it is just an hour in the morning, I have got sunburn on my left elbow because of strong sunlight. Skin got red. So I wouldn’t like to expose my left elbow to sunlight. A long sleeve shirt cannot be a solution because of the temperature. I decided using a parasol of my mom.

Getting out of my house to go to the library and opening the parasol, I realized that one connection between the cloth and the tip of a beam was broken. But the biggest problem was that it is too SMALL to me. Yes I borrowed my mom’s parasol. It would be big enough for her, but not for me. If I stretched my elbow down, my sunburned elbow would get sunlight. So I should be folding my left hand with my right hand holding the parasol. It should have looked weird; A guy in 50 was walking holding a small parasol with both hands. Anyway, I went to the library and returned nine books two days before a deadline. Now I am typing this in a cool, air-conditioned room.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

These are vegetables that I grew.

Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

But I cannot grow watermelon. It is too difficult for a beginner like me. This watermelon was bought in a supermarket. A little past the best timing.