In autumn in Japan, in the countryside, we make Hoshigaki. I harvested astringent persimmons, peel the skin, tie it to the string and dry for about 2 weeks. It will become very sweet 2 weeks later! Hoshigaki (dried persimmons) are often eaten in the New Year in Japan. We also eat dried persimmons during the winter as a snack.
It is the peak of the autumn leaves in Matsumoto City. They are turning red and yellow now and they are so beatiful! The cherry leaves also have turned red. (A lot of cherry blossoms bloom there in the spring) cherry tree leaves that are tinged red I like this season♡ Trees shed their leaves and winter is coming on.
I pickled plums. Since I harvested the garden plums (called‐ koume), I made plum pickles. Plum is a food that has been popular as preserved food in Japan from ancient times. Plums harvested in June can be eaten throughout the year as Umeboshi, plum pickles, plum juice and plum wine. This time, I tried to pickled sugar-base plum which my grandmother made every year. I harvested plums and soak it in water. mix salt and soak in water again After draining the water well, I put it in a bottle with candy, vinegar and shiso(Japanese basil). It will be eaten in about a week. Too much deliciousness, I can’t stop eating plum pickled!
The apple flower bloom earlier this month. Apple farmers entered the busy season. In Japan, most flowers are nipped off to grow apple big. When the flowers fall, the trees bear fruit. But we also nip off most of them. We leave just big ones and round ones. It requires a lot of work for growing big and sweet apple.
We made Miso at friend’s restaurant. Miso is made with soybeans, koji(malted rice) and salt. First, Soak the soybeans in water. overnight. Soybeans contains water, to swell and become bigger twofold. Then cook for about 3 hours in a pot. Even in this state it is also tasty! crush soybeans Mix soybeans with koji and salt pack it in pot while drawing out the air. It will be miso in about half a year. Save in pickle cottage If it is delicious, I will use for dishes such as miso soup and simmered dishes! I also use it for miso soup to serve guests. I am looking forward to it after six months!!
Cherry blossoms are in full bloom at Matsumoto City. Yesterday, there was a cherry – blossom party（Hanami） in my district. We ate Yakiniku and Yakisoba under cherry blossoms. We feel comfortable outside in this season ! We are looking forward to seeing the cherry blossoms blooming every year. Cherry blossoms will be scattered in about a week. We Japanese love the cherry blossom tree which does bloom for only 2 weeks.]
Spring comes to our house! Ume begin to bloom, and many spring flowers are flowering prettily in the garden. The temperature has become warmer in the daytime. It is very comfortable temperature for me.
I asked a professional gardener to prun garden trees and shrubs around my house. It is difficult for us to prun beautify. There are many garden trees in my garden, so this work takes 5 days!! In Japan, A gardener needs to prun so that you can see tree branches because pepope enjoy viewing tree branches of various shapes.
Today is my daughter’s frist birthday! She became one year old. March 3 is Dolls ‘Festival in Japan. The day is an occasion to pray for young girls’ growth and happiness. So We held a party for my daughter. For this day, I made a lot of dishes. I use to make many type of sushi when I worked at a supermarket, so I was able to use my past experience and skills. In Japan, a baby of one year old carry a Mochi (rice cakes) on the back in birthday. My husband pounding mochi yesterday for this day. My parents also invited me and celebrated her birthday together.
We decided to make a walking map of house and surrounding streets for guest who come to stay at Yokoya Farm. We asked Ms. Mika Takada to draw the map. I think the map become very cute. When flowers bloom, vegetables grow, and apple trees bear fruit, I add these with colored pencils to black-and-white map. I wish that it would be like a welcome card for each guest.