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.

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.

Fig Compote; a Way to Preserve When you got a lot of Figs.

Not a lot, but I got eight figs. They were the first harvest from the garden in this fall. The problem is that you cannot keep it long. You need to eat, or do something to preserve figs in the day you got them. They soon get bad. 

So I decided making compote. As to sugar, cane sugar and beet sugar are available in Japan. I don’t think that beet sugar is sweet enough. This time I chose cane sugar that was not refined to be completely white. So the sugar has a little bit color of brown. I poured a small amount of water into pan. Perhaps that water was not necessary because water came out of figs.

You see seven figs in the pan. One was left because it didn’t fit in that pan. I ate it fresh. Actually that one tasted enough sweet. Not bad.

I heated by the gas with low flame. By the way, you don’t need to peel off when making fig compote. I think it is better to leave them unpeeled to keep the shape. On the other, I peel figs off when I make jam.

 

Fig compote is finished. I like the pink color of fig compote. Although this time the syrup is not so clear, because I used a-little-brown cane sugar. I chilled it in fridge and actually I have already eaten them. I think I will drink syrup by diluting with soda.

Sticky and Stinky, Fermented Soy Beans “Natto” is a Must for Japanese Breakfast

Now the season of Okra is ending. The okras in my garden have become taller than me, but many leaves have fallen. I can get only two or three okras a day. These days I am thinking about cut those okras and remove them from the field.

Okras should not be boiled long. It should be just one minute or so, very short time.

 

And then I sliced the boiled okras, and chopped green onions.

 

Here came “Natto” that is fermented soy beans. Japanese like to eat Natto in breakfast. I don’t think it is appropriate to mention bathroom things while talking about food and meal. But let me tell you. Natto is so stinky, if you eat it in your breakfast, you will smell it in your urine in the bathroom. Not just in the morning, it continues until noon.

 

Mixing natto with sliced okra and chopped green onion, I pored just a little bit of Soy sauce.

 

This is the main dish of my breakfast of the day. Usually there is omelet, but this particular morning, pork was there, because I cooked much pork in the previous night.

 

Okay, this is my breakfast on September 30, 2021.

1-6 Morning Market in the Town of Niitsu, Niigata Pref., JAPAN.

This morning I wanted to go to 1-6 morning market in the town of Niitsu. It has been a while since the I last time I went there. This blog has got many viewers to the pages about Ms. Yamashita’s Kimchi. But I hadn’t bought her Kimchi for several months now.
Although I tried getting on a train at 9 a.m, I missed it. I thought I wouldn’t like to wait for the next train. So I walked to the town of Niitsu from my village. It was about two and half miles. It took 50 minutes or so.

On the way to Niitsu, I found that persimmon was now getting yellow.

1-6 means that the market is held on the date whose last digit is 1 or 6. Today is 26th of September. Most of the shops open only on morning hours (Yes, it’s “Morning Market”).

Once I bought seedlings of “Akita Butterbur” from this flower shop person. But I could not grow butterbur well. They were ruined.

This is what I bought today.

Clockwise from the top,

Pears 300 JPY

Grape 1000 JPY

Chinese Cabbage Kimchi 700 JPY

Ginger 300 JPY

Total was 2300 JPY (21USD approx.).